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A predominately outside and varied work life. How has yours been?

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As the title suggests, what have you done during your working life? I expect many on here have had as varied a life as mine.

I'll kick off with mine. In late 1975 I was kicked out of school at 15 for being a smart arse and thinking that school wasn't for me. Got a job on a farm for a year or so until my grandmother left me enough money to scrape a ticket to NZ. I remember it cost about as much then as it does now. Worked there for two years by overstaying my work visa, getting caught by immigration, and them being good enough to allow me an extension. Worked on sheep and cattle stations, with a fencing and shearing contractor, and even did a month in a slaughter house. There was always a job there if you were willing to work hard. Great place and great people.

Came home and didn't want the drudgery of returning to farm work so started an apprenticeship in a car bodywork shop. Still wanted to travel though, so took off around Europe on a motorbike. Got a job in Germany in another car bodyshop and stuck it for two years. Then had some time off the cars and went to work for six months in a stone quarry near Heidelberg.  Great money. Took off around other parts of Europe mainly exploring, and even doing some shelf stacking in a French supermarket. Returned to the UK and bought a house with a workshop and started a small body shop business catering mainly for the trade, and one private collector . The house with workshop in 1982 cost £12000. 

In 1985 a friend put in a word for me and I got a job through a contractor on a North sea offshore oil installation. The house was paid off within a year and it still allowed me two weeks in every four to continue my business. Got married and continued to work the body shop until a divorce made me realise that being stuck in a shed doing restorations and crash damage was not for me. I've always enjoyed fishing and lived on the river whenever I got free time. The next 22 years were spent on three different sporting estates as their fishing ghillie. The first place was a hard go as during the winter I was thinning woods on a self employed per ton basis. Luckily I had a good mentor on the estate who had done a great deal and showed me the basics so I didn't kill myself.  He just operated the forwarder as he was getting on in years. I did the same job on the next estate during the winters, before getting full time employment on the last estate. The winters on the last estate over 8 years or so were spent helping out with the shooting as a beater and picker up with my dogs. Funnily enough, it was the last estate who paid me through the most basic saw course, even though I never did any work in the woods except for my own firewood and trimming down the river bank. 

I now work as a driver for the NHS out of hours service. I reckon I'm a jack of all trades and a former master of one.😏



Edited by Baldbloke
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My CV and interview for the NHS job had to be fairly inventive Working with others within the NHS who have been there all their life made me realise how lucky I’ve inadvertently been. Not too sure what I'm going to do when I grow up

Edited by Baldbloke
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what rig were u on baldbloke.

It was production platforms. Brent field, mainly Delta. However did sleep on an ex rig. Treasure Finder or Seeker. On a bloody Bell helicopter 2 or more times a day. Worked for a defunct company called AMOD.

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Went to college , did engineering.

Went to Sheffield Polytechnic , did computer studies ( and lots of drinking ! )

Worked on a farm for a year.

Hitch-hiked around Europe.

Worked with my Dad for a year ( cabinet maker )

Employed as a studio kitchen fitter , until made redundant.

Self employed as a kitchen fitter for 20 years.

Went into "care" industry , working with learning disabilities.

Started on the tree work only 3 years ago.

Have done various " VTEC level3" night school courses....anatomy and physiology , indian head massage , sign language , counselling courses level 2 and 3 , ear candling and next thing is I am starting a stained glass course in January.


Nothing too special really .....😎

Edited by maria warwick
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Good thread, interesting to see how people got here!

Grew up on a council estate. Left school at 16 and worked at the local sofa bed factory until my apprenticeship started. Served my time as a welder at Cleveland Bridge, got laid off just when come out of apprenticeship when factory went from thousands to tens of staff.

Worked in a little fab shop and realised how shit life would be if I spent the rest of my life watching a little blue light through a bucket on a my head! Set up self employed mobile welding, little unit etc till lost my license drunk driving like a complete knob. 

No license meant had to get a local job, worked as a cnc profile cutter and miller.

got sick of being covered in dust and shit, set up a gym as was really into fitness at the time did that for 18 months, great fun but no money in it. Buggered off for a bit of travelling ended up working on farms in Australia for a bit and really enjoyed it so decided to give it a go back in the UK. 

Moved to Northumberland, bought a little fiesta van and started as a handy man/fencer etc on farms. Ended up buying a little farm, selling all of our produce direct to customers and doing a bit of logging, milling, digger work, welding, building, fencing, everything else on the side.


Always messed about with cars, bikes, houses on the side for fun and £.

Edited by LeeGray
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