Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Career Realities podcast #2:
the Workshop leader/Photographer/PA

January 13th, 2015 No comments

This week’s Career Realities interview is with workshop leader and photograper Jackie McCullough. After full-time careers as a PA in the music industry and other professions, she now runs workshops, works as a mentor and makes photography projects around the subjects of fostering and families. Among other things we talked the difficulties of realising that you can yourself be the kind of person who just makes stuff and starts projects, how to start working freelance, and the best balance of paid work and work for yourself.

The Career Realities podcast series attempts to uncover the hidden realities of day-to-day work culture in various careers – the hours, the workload, the shift patterns – and questions the often-repeated assumption that paid work is our primary source of life fulfillment.

(For a more extensive introduction to the Career Realities interviews see here.)

Podcast excerpts:

On the difficulties of people not understanding the answer to ‘what do you do?’

They want to put you in a paid work box and understand that that’s who you are, and sometimes I think it’s a lot harder to explain that you have a number of different personalities and ways that you work.

On not thinking of yourself as someone who can make stuff

I didn’t understand that I could be a creative individual, I just thought that I was a person that could assist in those things, but not really be at the forefront of that, because it was never really talked about or considered that that was an option for me.

On school not identifying all your talents

There’s lots of things that I’m good at, there are a lot of things that aren’t taught in school – [you understand that] the characteristics that you possess as an individual have some value.

On balancing paid subsistence work with work for yourself

I took on a full-time job in a really brilliant theatre/charity organization in London […] but I found that didn’t give me the opportunity to do the other creative work that I wanted to do. So I found that I’d gone from being freelance and not doing any other work, and working full-time and not doing a huge amount of my freelance work. Now I do a three-day-a-week personal assistant job that pays me money, that pays me enough money, and then I do other things in my other time […] and that I feel is a much better balance than I’ve had either way.

On living cheaply

I don’t want or need for much. I shop second hand, I don’t go out for dinner huge amounts, I like having people round. So I don’t live an expensive lifestyle, and that’s not really what I want out of life anyway. I don’t live a lifestyle that would warrant having huge amounts of money and that works for me.

You can find out more about Jackie’s work at