With so many career options at our fingertips these days it can be hard to decide what you want to do and then get the determination to do it.
Gone are the days where if you didn’t perform at school you had to accept what life threw at you. Now no matter what age you are and no matter at what point you have reached in your career the opportunities to change that are wide and varied.
Glenn Gordon, 27, made the choice to change his future and is now a well-known and widely respected entrepreneur and photographer.
“I have a lot of bad memories of school. When you grow up believing that there’s always something wrong with you and that you’re a bad egg as such, it sometimes sticks and you begin to believe it yourself” explained Glenn, adding: “You kind of go along with that, in the sense that you think you’re not capable of much else you know, and I’m glad that I finally realised that I am worth a lot more.
“I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was about eight. I was medicated, and I’m still medicated now, so I always believed that there was something very different about me and something wrong. I remember my teachers having to give me a tablet at lunch time.
“Mainstream education certainly wasn’t for me. I was very disruptive in class, I would have been the class clown, I would have bullied teachers, I was a wee bit nuts I look back now and I go ‘Jesus Christ I was a nightmare’.
“I got expelled from two schools. I left school in 2004, after doing a year at Pathways, which is a social exclusion group run for fifth years at Extern and I have to say I probably learned more in that year than I did elsewhere.”
Eventually there came a turning point in Glenn’s life.
At 22 he became depressed and pushed everyone he loved away.
He said: “I was living out of the house from I was 19 so I’d lived on my own and all and I just remember sort of going ‘What am I doing with my life?’.
“I remember getting a photography portfolio done when I was 21 and I hated the photos and said to myself ‘I can do that better.’ so I ended up buying a camera.
“The business happened by accident. Truth be told I was trying to impress some fella actually, he was a painter and decorator and I ended up more or less signing a bloody lease for a shop [laughs] but within that came great excitement and the fact that it was in the area that I lived in, you know I’d been known for being wild and nuts and being crazy and a bad boy.
“So that kind of was my strength because people were waiting on me failing you know?
“My business was set up, I think it was always with the belief that I could do it. Probably the hardest thing was learning Photoshop, but it was something that I fell madly in love with as well.
“I would encourage anybody especially people that are troubled who come from a disadvantaged background that maybe you’re not supposed to follow the yellow brick road of mainstream education, maybe you are supposed to go onto alternative education or higher education, the likes of Pathways or something like that and be pushed into being creative yourself because as I say not everyone are followers, there’s people out there who are leaders and I certainly think that I would be one of them.
“My advice to others is to find out what makes you tick. I don’t think that you’re supposed to know what you want to do with the rest of your life whenever you’re 16. Definitely not, I’m 27 and I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.
“I do some motivational speaking with the Pathways project. I’m going to be working with them next year as well, doing some mentoring teaching photography and also I’m doing some relief work for them and I’m more going into youth work now myself because it’s just something that I feel really passionate about.”
And what’s Glenn’s secret ?
“Positive thinking and if you find something that you’re passionate about and you enjoy doing, if you can turn that into a career, you will absolutely get to where you need to be” he said, adding: “It’s all about self-belief but you have to feel good.
“I read a quote before that always sticks in my head ‘If you find a job that you love, you’ll never work a day in your life’.”