Taking chances and making calls

Hello, hello, hello!

As many of you know, back in April I lost my job which sucked and majorly damaged my confidence. BUT! I managed to find myself some temp work between jobs, where I gained some of my confidence back. As my three-month contract was in its final month I really upped my permanent job search.

I was put through for a job by a recruitment agency at a top PR firm. I went to the interview and thought it went well, I genuinely thought I would get a second interview. Unfortunately, I didn’t get it. I’d applied for job after job all through websites, which meant recruitment agencies. Something just wasn’t working. I wasn’t getting jobs and I knew I wanted to work in an agency.

After that rejection, I decided to do something. I looked up agencies local to me and wrote them all down. I went through websites, made a short list and called to ask if there were any jobs available on my lunch break. I called a company called HCT Creative and was told there a be a position, send my CV within the hour. Later that evening I had a chat, the next day I had an interview and was offered the job after 2 hours of chatting with the two directors.

The thing is, we were never told that was an option at uni, it wasn’t encouraged. We were to apply for grad schemes, to go through assessment centres, to use our networking. I know that for a lot of companies you can’t just call up and see if there are jobs, but what if I hadn’t done that? I’m a week in and I can see so much opportunity that I haven’t had before with genuinely nice people.

I’m so excited about my new job, I get up every day and look forward to it. I can’t wait to get more stuck in, to learn and grow because I really think I can. All of that was just by taking a chance.

Staying positive on the job hunt

As all my regular readers know a few months ago I lost my job, which was a big shock and not at all fun! After securing a temporary contract for a few months, it’s been time to start looking for other roles again, so the job hunt is well underway! We all know that it’s not easy or fun to job hunt, it can be very stressful in certain circumstances which mean motivation can be a struggle, particularly if you’ve had rejections or a bad experience in the past. SO how do you stay positive?

Write out all the good things you’ve done so far 

It’s really easy to get sucked into worry and self-doubt when I’ve been in this situation I try and think of 3 things I achieved in the jobs that I’ve had, it might not be huge but if it’s important to you then remember that!

Remember that rejection is not personal

It’s so tough getting rejections and can feel like it’s only you. There are so many reasons someone might not get a job! It’s so competitive at the moment too!

Talk to other people

Almost everyone I’ve spoken to has had a period of job hunting in their lives, don’t be ashamed. Others might be able to give you help and advice!

Be proactive! 

Jobs won’t come to you if you don’t get a job give yourself a little time and keep looking, see if you can boost your skills while you’re looking, it’ all about being proactive!

Change is what I needed.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that last month I lost my job and it was horrible. I felt completely devastated and my confidence took a big hit. I won’t go into specifics but I didn’t know it was going to happen, so I had absolutely no backup plan. At the time I remember Ali saying to me that this could be the best thing that ever happened to me, I scoffed at him. How could that be? At the time I panicking over how I was going to make rent and what the hell I was going to do next.

The thing is, and don’t tell him, but he was right. I’ll be honest and say that I was in a job that didn’t make me happy but I stuck at it and tried to make the best of the situation. While it sucked that I got let go, and at the time it seemed like the world was collapsing, it gave me time to think.

While I was looking I was offered a 3-month contract with a local company, good pay and a new experience. I was nervous but took it and it’s completely changed my outlook on my life and myself. After a month of being there, I feel a lot better. I’m not leaving the house at 7.15am and getting stuck in traffic for an age on the way home. I’m not stressed about everything and I have other people around me who have experience in marketing to help and teach me.

While I know I’m on a contract it could go many ways, I’ve already decided to keep an eye on the company notice board so that I can stay in a place where I’m happy. I never thought that losing my job could be a good thing and it wasn’t at the time but getting to the point that I am now? It was worth it.

Of course, I don’t have it worked out. I still have days where I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing and worry about the future, who doesn’t? But it made me realise that I get to work with a smile on my face and leave with one too, I can have a job where I don’t come home and feel stressed until I go to bed. There will be challenges ahead, I know that but right now I have a good feeling and a positive outlook and that’s really what I needed.

Sunday Seven: My First Month in a New Job

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I can’t believe that as I write this I’ve been at my new job over a month. I didn’t think when I graduated that I would get to Christmas and would have  had two jobs, two new starts but that’s just the way life has gone. For this week I wanted to share 7 tips from my first month in a new job!

Rush hour can be avoided 

I hate traffic, really, really hate it. So I asked to adjust my hours and now work 8-4, it is harder sometimes to get up when it’s cold and dark but I save money in petrol and don’t feel stressed when I get to work.

Tea is for bonding 

There’s nothing better for bonding at work than a cup of tea or coffee. I’ve had many an interesting chat in the kitchen.

Believing in yourself is key

I was so nervous when I started and full of self-doubt but I realised I had good ideas and I would learn things I didn’t know. Believe in yourself because the people who hired you must!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help! 

I’ve never worked in lighting, there was a lot I had no idea about so I find myself asking a lot of questions. It hasn’t done any harm, it’s better that you ask and get it right rather than struggling in silence.

Get as involved as possible 

This month we’ve had a surprise lunch, Christmas party and there’s going to be a Secret Santa this week. I’ve been out to shows, up to Birmingham to go and meet customers and am making plans for next year!

The past is the past 

I worried a lot about things I’d gotten wrong before I started this job, but worrying about them didn’t help me. The past is the past for a reason.

Don’t be scared to share your ideas! 

You’re there for a reason, as a new person you’ll see things differently because you have a new perspective, use it. It doesn’t matter if your ideas aren’t what they’re looking for the fact that you’ve got a voice and you’ll use it!

 

Sunday Seven: Things That Always Happen When You Start A New Job

This week I started a new job in a turn of events! Here are 7 things that always happen when you start a new job!

The panic of what to wear. 

When you start in a new place there’s always a panic (for women anyway) of what to wear. I only met two people in my interview and I had no idea how formal you were supposed to dress, luckily after a day I could tone it down.

The Linkedin search. 

I like having an idea about the company and the people so I do a frenzied Linkedin look before I start, I’ve also found that in my new job and my old job other people looked me up too, proving to myself that it’s not just me being super nerdy.

Setting multiple alarms to make sure you’re awake. 

I’ve legitimately had nightmares where I’ve massively overslept for work and woken up thinking it was real. Ok that happened yesterday…*sigh*

The dread of learning everyone’s names. 

I’m not the best with everyone’s names, luckily I had a little sheet made for me so that I can check it every now and again to double check who’s who when I get confused.

The awkward nice to meet you handshakes.

Or, you know, just feeling awkward as the new girl anyway..

Getting lost. 

My new office isn’t big but I did spend a few minutes trying to work out how to get out of the building until someone told me…whoops.

Wanting to tell everyone about the slightest cool thing about your job.

I get so excited about my new job that I just want to tell everyone everything that’s cool.

What I’ve Learnt From My First 3 Months Full Time Work

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As of yesterday I have spent three months in full time employment, dealing with rush hour, meetings, responsibility and more. It’s definitely been a learning curve, there have been laughs, tears (of exhaustion mostly), excitement and stress. I work with a group of amazing people too who have taught me a lot. So, I wanted to share with you what it’s been like going from university student  to full time Marketing Executive.

It’s nothing like univeristy. 

Work and university are completely different. Do I think my degree prepared me for work? No. With university you have so much time to get things done, you’re not in much and mostly you just have to read and make notes when you’re not there. There’s a lot more to do at work and there’s something to do every day. It’s a different kind of pressure when you’re studying.

It’s a lot more tiring than I first thought. 

I drive about 40 minutes to work, work all day and then drive 40 minutes back before doing whatever else I need to do. For the first month I was absolutely exhausted and crying out for sleep, but now I’m getting used to it and getting myself more organised. That said, it never gets easier to get out of bed in the morning.

I’ve had to work through my anxiety, but I’m better for it. 

For the first week I was an anxious mess. I was so nervous about doing a good job, talking to people and hanging out. I haven’t had a choice but to overcome that, I still struggle with my anxiety, but I’ve definitely become more confident in the job.

It’s great having a job you look forward to going into. 

I really enjoy my job and I’m lucky. I actually look forward to going into the office, seeing everyone and just feeling like I’m making a difference to the company.

You never stop learning. 

I’m learning so much constantly and that makes me feel that I made the right decision about not studying a masters.

Don’t be afraid to ask.

I found out quickly that asking questions is crucial, particularly as I went into an industry I didn’t know much about. My colleagues were always happy to answer my questions and it saved time in the long run rather than me going away getting it wrong and having to do something again.

Write things down.

I’m now known around the office for always having my notepad with me, taking notes is never a bad thing.

It’s about constant improvement. 

I have monthly meetings with my manager and these are to talk about how things are going generally, set targets and talk about how I’m going to improve. It gives me focus and something to aim for. Steadily I’m being given more responsibility as I prove that I’m capable of it.

What were/are your experiences of going from uni to work? Any tips and tricks? Leave them in the comments below!

 

 

Work and Mental Health

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I’ve now been working for a month a month of huge change for me. Now, I have been anxious about leaving university and joining the ‘real world’ for months. Terrified of the impact it would have on my mental health as well as trying to adjust like a ‘normal person’. I’ve been very open and honest about my mental health online, because I want to share my story and to encourage others. In my interviews to work with Exonar I spoke about the blog, the mental health work and campaigning I’ve done because I’m proud of it. I’ve never hidden it but I don’t about it. I also know that my colleagues occasionally read my blog, they’ve told me which was both nerve wracking and exciting. Luckily I work with wonderful and understanding people, they’re read and don’t treat me any different.

Of course, I’ll always be honest, there have been days in the past month where I’ve worried that I was starting to slip. My anxiety has been kicking in again and the depression will grab me some days and make me really struggle, but I’ve been living with those kinds of days since I was 15 years old and I know that most of the time they pass sooner or later. It doesn’t mean that the lows are nicer to deal with or that the anxiety attacks don’t make me feel like I can’t breathe but I’m doing it, I’m dealing with it the best I can. I got to work, I get stuff done and try and concentrate until it passes. I think the hardest thing is when I’m tired, because I know tiredness is one of the things that makes my depression really hard to deal with, but I’m learning, working and trying to find my feet. The tiredness is something we’re all dealing with, it’s more irritating than not that it makes me more irritable and prone to low mood.

All in all, I’m trying. I know that I have to live with this and with the support of Ali, my family and knowing that I have people I can rely on at work fills me with hope. This illness may never go away but like hell am I going to let it control my life.

 

 

Image from Healthyplace.com