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  • Debbie Bird

Do you want to be Visible? Just say YES!

As a woman in her 50s, and in a very competitive industry, one of my min aims it to help women like myself to become visible. We are often overlooked, not seen as sexual beings or not seen as the right 'man' for the job. I, like many of you, still feel that is the case and am guilty of still letting it define me. Well, no more!


In February, after living with a dear friend for much longer than planned, thank you Covid, I was trying to get a job so I could move out. I may have been a teacher and a Head of Department, I may have a BA in Theatre Studies and an MA in Professional Acting, but they are not necessarily job skills. Or so I thought. I applied for Receptionist roles: I'm good with people. But I wanted more, I wanted some responsibility, to do more than answer the phone and make the coffee. Surely I can do more than that. Surely my life experience, the the work I have done in the past, can give me more. So I said Yes, and started looking for Administrator roles - I have NEVER been an Administrator! I landed 2 part time jobs doing just that. My age didn't stop them wanting me, the fact that the internet has a lot of photos of me with a vibrator in my nose, didn't phase them. I was Visible.


I had no fixed abode so I had looked all over two counties for work, knowing full well that I could end up being far away from any familiar faces. But the main job role was in Worthing, so I moved there. I said Yes. The first flat I saw was the cheapest I could find, I said Yes. I know no-one here yet, but that's ok. I will. I have networked for my job and 'met' some lovely people online. I have said Yes to 1-2-1 meetings, to connecting both on Social Media and online zooms, and now I will soon be meeting up in person.


I wanted to stop working weekends, for lots of personal reasons, apart from the fact I work 6 days a week at the moment. Things began popping up on Facebook pages: a Saturday morning drama teacher in Bognor Regis; a workshop facilitator going into schools all over the South; an immersive acting role in Brighton. My doubts plagued me: am I too old, am I what they are looking for, can I do this, can I work this around my survival job that I now love?


I applied, I interviewed. I self taped. I said Yes. Not to the job, who knew if I'd get it. But I said Yes to the opportunity. And that is what I have realised. I said Yes to the chance, I didn't say No and not try. I stepped out from my vulnerability and put myself out there. To be rejected? Possibly. But I decided that if I believed in me then maybe they would too.


Sometimes, you have to choose to be Visible to stop being Invisible. Just say Yes!




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