My career path has been a little strange, but I suppose it's actually a sign of the times.

Back in 1996 when I was 18 and applying to University's, the web, as it was, wasn't a career path; it was in it's infancy, and when it came down to it, nobody actually knew what to teach about it.

The closest I could get to Web Design or HCI etc was a degree course called Software Systems for the Arts & Media, but I was rejected for that because I didn't have a musical background (tone deaf, btw). So I ended up taking the only viable alternative which was a straight, hardcore, Computer Science degree.

I ended up dropping out after 3 of the 5 year course, mainly because my brain is not one condusive to high end maths. I passed all the non-programming modules, but I basically found out I was not a (COBOL, FORTRAN or Java) programmer, which I already knew.

I found myself without a degree and needing a job, so I took the first one I got. It was in the financial services industry in London, and I stayed at that company for 7 years in the end. Whilst I was there, I would print off hundreds of pages of tutorials on how to code HTML (and table based layouts), javascript, and all the really cool Photoshop tutorials of the time. Yes, heavy drop shadows, bevel and embossing were the in thing.

90's google homepage

I learnt. And learnt. And learnt.

And then it came to cruch time. Would I do this city job for the rest of my life, or would I do what I had loved doing in my spare time for more than 9 years.

And so I quit, set up on my own and started to freelance. But just prior to quitting, I asked a local agency if I could be cc'd in on a brief, and that I'd produce a design for them free of charge, if they'd give me feedback. They were gracious enough to accept the offer, and this gave me an insight as to what I should be doing in terms of client communication, and expectations, as well as what standard I needed to be at in terms of design.

So fast forward another 8 years, and here I am. Still loving what I do, still learning every day.

If you're not doing what you love now, work towards what it is you love. You're the one that can change things.