At school I wanted to be a pilot, I was absolutely kidding myself….
When I left school having achieved very little, certainly not what was required to become a pilot, I went to college and studied. I had NO IDEA what I wanted to do with my life, NOT A CLUE! But, what I lacked in qualifications, I made up for with my strong work ethic, something McDonald’s could definitely utilise. So, on my 16th birthday, I was being interviewed for a job at McDonald’s on the Great Western Way in Swindon, I worked there for a year working almost 40 hours per week, whilst juggling college at the same time.
I was studying I.T at New College in Swindon, because apparently, this is where the money was sure to be – we were working on Windows 95 in those days! The only trouble was, I didn’t want to work in I.T. The only thing that appealed to me about I.T was being the one people would go to in order to fix something that was broken.
I dropped out of college after my first year and got a job working full time in banking at Nationwide Building Society. They are a good employer to work for and I was proud that I was working full time for them. The only issue was, I was dreadful – something you won’t know about me is that my attention to detail is woeful and this role involved processing 100’s of bank payments a day, this meant every day finishing my shift with a difference between the amount I said I had paid in and the amount I had received. This grew tiresome for both me and my employer and I left.
The next 10 years were spent in different jobs involving communication; Customer Service, Sales Account Management, and Training, but I was never 100% fulfilled. In the back of my mind, I knew I always wanted to be a Radio DJ. But becoming a Radio DJ was the dream I never dared dream – after all, what did I have to say? who would want to listen to me?
That all changed when I left the UK to move to Amsterdam with my then girlfriend – now wife – where after the 100th conversation about wanting to be a DJ she finally shouted at me to do it, so I did. I found a local English speaking radio show in Amsterdam and that’s where life changed.
I am now a professional broadcaster, I have broadcast on the radio and on TV in Amsterdam, and Frankfurt, Germany getting my first paid role with the American Forces Network (AFN) in Wiesbaden. But that wasn’t without a fight, I volunteered for a whole year, working 40 hours per week and driving 1 hour each way up and down the Autobahn to co-host and then host the midday show, I had found my calling.
After lot’s of hard work and working with the station on its social media and working with our customers to create a more community-focused radio station, I was made a full-time employee! I was already well known in the community by that point and as a Brit, broadcasting on a German radio station you could say I stood out, I was “that British guy on the radio” the name stuck and I became “Paul the Brit.”
At AFN I was able to ply my trade, I wrote and voiced news copy, created and voiced commercials, presented the midday, afternoon and then morning show and reinvigorated the show format, creating a focal point for the American community in Wiesbaden. I was also responsible for driving engagement over social media and managing the station’s relationships with its customers and clients – I learned so much.
Evolving from the fact I found my voice and my passion, I also Vlog and create podcasts, I am very happy to have found my calling – I wish I had just had the nerve to go for it when I was younger and that it didn’t take me more than a decade to find my passion, but I am glad I did, some never do.