Top Posts of 2018

My Most Popular Posts Of 2018!

I don’t know about you but I find my analytics absolutely fascinating. Stats might not be everything but year after year I love to see what my readers have been getting up to on my site. So, I thought, why not make a post out of it? 

I’ll always write what I want to write but, at the same time, my blog – and the opportunities I get from it is down to my wonderful readers. On that note I’m going to stop babbling and let you actually read! 

Number 10: Fibromyalgia And Me 

I’m really pleased this post made my top 10, because it was one I was very nervous about posting. I only got diagnosed with Fibromyalgia earlier this year and my reaction was…complicated.

I didn’t want people to see me differently BUT needed to reevaluate parts of my life. Now I feel much better and can be much more open about living with Fibro. The post that started it all is here.

Number 9: I’m Starting Again 

In July I found myself job hunting again and it knocked my confidence. This post was just chatting about how I felt, what I was trying to do and a general update. You can read about it here

Number 8: I’m In A Funk 

Another one of my mental health posts to hit the top 10. I wanted to get out there that I was struggling and comparing myself a lot to others. It was a to the point post about how we look at ourselves and comparison. 

Number 7: Carrying On: Surviving The Past Year 

A post from April about the previous 365 days that had been pretty tough (little did I know this year would have a LOT of ups and downs too!). I like to keep you guys in the loop and this was looking back on how far I’d come.

Number 6: I’m Obese? 

I really wanted to write about body image and expectations because of a few knocks I’d had. Following on from a doctors appointment where I was deemed overweight-obese by my BMI, despite being a size 12-14 I decided to get my feelings down once and for all! 

Number 5: Why I Will NEVER Use An App For Birth Control 

Responding to a worrying idea that people were using a fairly risky app as a way to try and prevent pregnancy got in the top 5. I made my feelings very clear and, actually, had a lot of great conversations about it! 

Number 4: The Pros and Cons Of Long Distance 

I’m in a long distance relationship for chunks of the year. I get asked quite a lot of questions, some weird sympathy and so I wrote about what’s it’s like – and you can check it out here.

Number 3: Taking The Plunge – I’m A Freelancer 

Not something I entirely planned for this year but it happened! I’m planning to do an update on being freelance in the new year too! The blog about how it all started is here

Number 2: Harry Potter Haul: Updated 

One of my most popular blogs EVER was a Harry Potter haul I wrote while at university. So, when I went to London for a Potter filled day shortly after Christmas I came back with a little collection and wanted to share! The updated version is here.

Number 1: Stressed, Depressed, But Well Dressed? 

This is one that really, really surprised me. I wrote the post a few years ago about a top I saw with the slogan on and how I felt about the phrase. Next year I really want to talk more about Mental Health! You can read it here.

So, that’s my top posts of 2018! Thank you to each and every one of you who head read, liked and commented on my posts – it means so much. 

Which of these was your favourite? I’d love to know in the comments below! 

*please note these were the most popular at the time of writing.

How Blogging Helped Me Get Jobs

I’ve been blogging for a long time. I started my first blog at 17, it was just for book reviews and an excuse to keep all of the books I had accumulating in my bedroom. I never dreamed at that age that blogging would help me get jobs. I don’t think I’ve ever had an interview where blogging hasn’t been bought up – in a good way!

People will look you up on the internet before a job interview, that’s just the way of the world now. How much they stalk  find out varies from person to person – which is worth keeping in mind if there’s stuff on a blog you’d rather people didn’t know in a professional sense.

 

It shows you can write

A big part of blogging is writing. No matter what you choose to write about from beauty to books and beyond, you’re writing. You’ll also develop your own style and opinions.

Almost all jobs require writing at some point. It might be emails, it could be proposals or reports. Even if you have an outside adventurous job you’ll probably need to be able to write.

It showcases so many other skills too

I’ve learnt so many skills blogging. I create graphics, I’ve learnt about SEO, marketing. I probably wouldn’t have the job I have now if I hadn’t started blogging. You can really show these off in a blog.

It shows you have a good understanding of digital

Digital is the future. People can try and deny it but it’s true. This kind of follows on from what I was saying about showcasing skills. You also understand the pace of online vs other media. Always a good thing.

It shows a little bit of you as a person!

No matter what you blog about, this shows insight into who you are. Are you into books, movies, politics? This gives a flavour and a lot of companies value getting to know the person they are going to hire. After all, you can spend more time with your colleagues than your family!

 

So, that’s my list, I’d love to know what you would add! Let me know in the comments below!

I’m Starting Again.

Things have been, interesting lately and because of circumstances out of my control, I’m starting again, again. Earlier in the month, I lost my job, which wasn’t the plan. Due to contract changes I was no longer needed and to say it was a shock is an understatement. I was gutted to leave a job that I really enjoyed and people I loved only a few months after getting promoted. So, now, I have a month to find another job and I didn’t expect to be here.

I’ve had a few jobs since leaving uni, contract roles and one that just didn’t work out so it’s not that I haven’t been here before, I have. Despite everything, I’ve actually been feeling pretty positive most of the time, reaching out to contacts on Linkedin, attending interviews etc. At the time of writing I’ve had 2 interviews and have a few more booked in, that’s in a week since being told I no longer had a job. So, it’s looking good. It’s also been the boost I needed to get serious about my own projects and freelancing. My website is in the process of being set up and I’ll enjoy working on that while I’m searching for a full-time job.

I didn’t intend to be starting again, but I’m not seeing it as a bad thing. I learned a lot when I was in my last job, I worked out what I really loved to do and while it was shorter than planned, it was good while it lasted. So, now I have to figure out what’s next but, I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I think everything happens for a reason. What exactly that reason is I don’t quite know, but I’m sure it will become apparent.

So, what have I been doing while I’ve been off? House-sitting for my parents, trying to read because my reading this month was abysmal, applying for job, interviewing and just having some time for myself. I was due to take some time off anyway and I guess I got it, haha. Either way, I’m hoping this will be good for me and I can start a new job re-energised and ready to go. Keep your fingers crossed!

carrying on surviving the past year

Carrying On: Surviving the Past Year

Hello, hello, hello

I know, why am I talking about the past year when it’s April? You see the past year has been tough, really damn tough. It was unexpected and difficult and at times I didn’t really know how I was going to get through it all. I wish that was me being dramatic, I really do.

Career Changes

Aaaaaand this is where it kicked off. In April 2017 I was let go from a Marketing job. To be fair I wasn’t happy in it and now I know it was a good thing, a really good thing. So I did some temp work, some more work which turned out to be temp work before I found my current job. Now I do what I wanted to do when I graduated, I work in Social Media. I love doing extra research, looking at stats and people listen to what I have to say! That said my confidence took a really bad hit for a chunk of the year but I’m back guys!

 

Relationships!

So, Ali is a Sound Engineer and back in April 2017 he hadn’t done much travelling for work. We also hadn’t spent more than 2 weeks apart since we were 13 and 14. Everything changed in that regard this year. Now we’re used to spending time apart from a few nights to two months after a busy summer and his first tour. When it first came around I panicked, I cried and I was petrified of sleeping alone. Now? I miss him but hello, double bed for one? Yes, please.

Personal Challenges

Only a few days after losing my job, I lost my second Dwarf Hamster, Hamski. That was heartbreaking, we knew she was old but the timing just seemed cruel. Because of everything that was going on my mental health took a hit, I became very anxious and depressed, I thought that everything was destined to fail in my life. I was in a lot of pain which, I found out was going to continue to be a constant in my life. I really had to work hard to overcome my personal issues to succeed.

But it wasn’t all bad…

Of course, I’m going to throw in a cliche. It has to rain for flowers to grow. I believe that everything happens for a reason in your life, this year reminded me how resilient I am. I’ve been knocked on my arse and got up again. I’ve got a job that I love, that I feel so passionate about. I have my little Hamster, Wickett. Ali and I are actually closer since he started working away and then coming back. I started to get comfortable with how ‘boring’ I am. I know I can be fully independent if I need to be.

Long story short, it was shit but I got through it and I bet you could too.

 

2017 in review.

I’ve thought about, and more than slightly dreaded, writing this post for a few weeks now. What first came to my mind about this year was the negatives, because there have been more than a few. I’ve had more jobs this year than I wanted to, I’ve seen both the best and the worst in people and I’ve struggled myself. That said, when I was driving on Christmas Day, I realised I felt content. 

Let me explain. This time last year we were living at Ali’s Mums, I’d just started a new job that I wasn’t happy in and all in all I was quite low. In 12 months so much has changed for me and Ali. We’re in our own place, which was so special, we’re both working in jobs that we feel good at and enjoy and we’re happy. I’ve realised I can survive Ali being away for months at a time, and we can still get through tough times apart (I lost my job when he’d started the second month of tour, not great timing).

I’ve definitely seen the best and the worst of people this year, but through it, all learnt that I have some wonderful friends and that my family will always support me. When I was going through awful times this year, job hunting, going through the pain of spinal injections, losing Hamski and just feeling lost, I had people around me who cared.

Even though all that happened I fought my way through. For so long I’d thought, great, the ‘real world’ is about hating your job and being miserable. Thankfully, and while I never take any job for granted, I’ve actually found that I have so much passion working in Social Media, something I’ve wanted to do since I was a student. I’ve realised that if I’m in pain I can go back to the doctors and be firm with the help I need. I’ve learnt that, when I have to, I can survive on just texts and phone calls with Ali, even at the worst of times.

That doesn’t mean that I haven’t had a great time too! I’ve been to Pride in Brighton, got published in a magazine, went on holiday, fallen in love with another little hamster and grown my blog more than I thought I would.

So, while 2017 might not have been the easiest, it’s shown me that I’m resilient and you know what, sometimes, I’m pretty damn cool too.

Who’s going to hire me? -Embracing your past

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I didn’t expect to be laying in my  wide awake at 4am this morning, followed by wandering aimlessly around my flat. To say my sleep pattern is messed up at the moment is an understatement, my days and nights kind of blur together if I don’t have anything to leave the flat for, I’m in a constant state of write, study, read and possibly eat at some point. I found myself thinking and worrying this morning about getting a job at stupid o’clock in the morning. What if they read about the problems I’ve had this year and don’t want me? What if they do secretly discriminate against me because of my mental health? What if was a prominent theme of the torture my sleepless brain put me through. But, it’s not because I’m dramatic.

I’ve been filling in a few job applications here and there, currently only for roles that I really want and could see myself working in and then there is the box that asks if you have a disability. While I myself don’t like being called disabled because it’s a crappy label, I know that to get help I need to tick it, lately though I’ve found myself  not wanting to tick that box, to hide a part of myself and my past out of fear more than anything. Like many other third years, I’m scared of the unknown and I know that the odds aren’t in my favor. Talking to Ali about it tonight he reminded me that there is so much proof that I can do so much more than a label, and I already have done so much more.

I’ve never been embarrassed or ashamed, and I’m not but I do know there is still a lot of people who are uneducated about my condition, but I’ve managed to educate people through telling my story before. With that in mind, why should I be scared of doing that again? When I saw this quote on Pinterest it made me take a breath, because what’s the point in trying to hide a part of my life or the hardships I’ve faced in the past? There is none. If anything that takes away from what would make me a great employee. I work hard, I persevere. Yes there may be times where my illness kicks my ass and I need a day to get myself better but I’m not a quitter. I got through my final year at university with a healing spine, a ‘broken’ mind and sickness and I think I’ve still done pretty damn great and have never let it affect my two jobs.

Why am I writing this? It’s not to brag. It’s because I know that sometimes you need to see someone else lay everything out. All the good times and all the shit times too and just remember that actually, you may not be ‘normal’, whatever the hell that means, but it doesn’t mean you don’t have a story to tell. To some people I’m an ‘inspirational’ person, which I’ll take but to me it’s just my everyday life, carrying on no matter what because I will not let a label or a box define me. I am so much more than that.

Young and Desperate?

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I found this quote while searching through Pinterest (obviously one of my favourite websites) and it went well with a decision I made today. I wrote last week about grad job rejection  and how to handle it and for the past few days I’ve been frantically searching for jobs to apply for. I wasn’t getting stressed until I saw people over Facebook posting about grad jobs they’d been accepted for already or the amount of jobs they’d been applying for. Then I started to panic, all the jobs I wanted to apply for needed you to start in a month or less, there were no grad schemes. So I got online and poured over jobsites looking for jobs I was slightly interested in.

I realised this morning while looking through all the tabs again, that this wasn’t how I was going to find a job I wanted to do. All the ones I was going to apply for were either only slightly related to what I want to do or had a much lower salary that I was hoping and expecting to aim for. And for what? I’d been drawn in by anxiety and panic, thankfully I realised what the uneasy feeling was before applying. I know there are jobs in my field and I know that I’m qualified but I just can’t take a job just yet.

Although I’m only 21 I’ve already had quite a few different roles I’ve worked in retail, cinema, office work, tutoring and freelance and I already have a solid idea of what I hate. When I was 16 I took a job from anyone who would offer it to me because I needed the money and wanted the independence. My first two jobs I hated with a passion because I took them out of desperation. My third job I took on but should have been wiser about contracts and things like that. By the time I took on my 4th job that wasn’t babysitting or tutoring I was working somewhere I wanted to and it made all the difference. It’s been the same with my university jobs that I love doing, I wasn’t desperate, I took my time and I excel at my job. With that in mind I’m going to try and take that into account when applying for post uni jobs.

I know that not everyone can do that and I’m thankful that Ali and I have somewhere to go once we graduate. There was no question I could move back into my parents house but come July, if we haven’t found work, we’ll be moving in with Ali’s Mum temporarily as she has more room. Thankfully I’m only about 10 minutes away in the car from my Mum and Dads too. Ali’s said to me before there’s not a desperate rush and for the first time ever I’m starting to believe him. I’ll work hard and apply for jobs of course but I won’t rush into things and be tricked into an underpaid job, particularly with the experience I have. I want to go into interviews and be passionate and excited about the job and the company. I want to have goals and ideas about what I can bring and I know how cliché I sound right now, but I’ve had enough crappy jobs to last me a lifetime.