The problem was that I hated the work. I'm not really conformist enough to fit into office politics and admin work comes very easily to me, so I was soon bored. Needing constant new challenges, I'd rarely last more than a year in any one place and eventually I accepted a position as a marketing assistant in a reinsurance company. At last I thought I'd found something which would let me be more creative, especially when they signed me up for the Advanced Certificate in Marketing, but it soon became apparent that a job presented to me as a foot in the door to marketing was nothing more than a glorified office assistant and I'd long since moved past that.
After a meeting in which my bosses once again tried to replace marketing responsibilities that had been in my contract with menial tasks, something snapped. I was in the process of divorce and heavily in debt, but the fact my job gave me a regular pay cheque wasn't enough to keep me there. If I could be brave enough to step into the unknown with my personal life, I could do the same at work and a fresh start was just what I needed. I've always wanted to do something creative and I'd tried to find that in offices and failed. Now was the time to look elsewhere.
It was with the greatest pleasure that I informed my bosses that I had decided to pursue a music career. The amount of kudos I received from my former colleagues was overwhelming - I had no idea so many of them wished they had the courage to do the same, but in my mind, it had nothing to do with bravery and everything to do with recognising that office work was not for me.
I had been singing on the acoustic scene in London for a while, so I had a few contacts to help get me started. Looking back, when you're in the throes of a divorce it's hard to launch a world-conquering music career, so I did end up going back to temping to supplement my income when I needed, but music became my main focus, as I performed in the Prince's Trust tent at the Glastonbury festival and did some session work.
I also started hosting an open mic night that grew to be very successful. On my last night at the 12 Bar in London's Soho, one of my main acts was Doug Hodge, who was starring in 'Guys and Dolls' at the time and he brought the entire cast and crew in to support him. Everywhere you turned, there were famous faces from stage and screen, including Ewan McGregor! I never could have believed that I'd end up performing in front of A-list Hollywood stars when I handed in my notice.
Emigration and babies meant that I had to stop performing for a while, but now that I'd been bitten by the creative bug, I found other ways to make money as far away from offices as possible. I set up my own publishing company, Fey Publishing, and take great pleasure in nurturing new talent and finding unique voices. I've also written a book and had articles published in many anthologies and magazines. Although music's had to take a back seat for a while, now that my children are older, work's picking up.
My heart's in the creative arts and although I might not release a number one album, I make enough from writing, publishing and music that I know I'm free from ever having to step foot in an office again.