5 Things I’ve Gained From Jobs I’ve Had Since Graduating.

When I left university I thought I would get a job, stay in that job for a few years and not even have to think about another one until I wanted to. With hindsight I laugh at myself then, because what I didn’t know is that it’s simply not the case. 

From the examples I’d had in my life you worked in one place for a long time, people in my family had worked at the same place for over 10 years sometimes – they might have changed roles but they were with that company. The thing is, that didn’t seem to apply with me. 

I’ve moved around a fair few times since graduating. For some, it was simply the fact that my position wasn’t needed anymore and so my contract ended, from others I wasn’t right for the role and let go and some were simply short term contract roles. In some of those I was miserable and leaving was the best thing I did…but when I was made to leave I couldn’t help but feel like a failure. But, with the gift of hindsight I realised I actually learnt a lot.

Doing a good job is important but so are boundaries.

I’ve always been an overachiever, but I had to learn about boundaries. I would work and work and work way past what I should have been.

I needed to learn to separate my work life and my home life. To know that my job wasn’t my entire life (although this gets a little more difficult when you are working for yourself). I learnt that I work to live, not the other way around! It’s an important lesson.

Learning what I want and what I don’t in my personal and professional life

I learnt that I love the world of digital, have a passion for social and like to be creative. Traditional marketing methods never spoke to me short-term and instead of managing campaigns I wanted to be in the thick of it! I wanted to be writing, making, creating.

I also learnt that a 45-minute drive every morning and every night made me miserable, as did a rigid 9-5.30. That the corporate scene bored me and that I needed to enjoy what I was doing.

I have to look after my own health because other people won’t

In more than one of my jobs I felt that I had to hide any health issues I had, even mentioning the word stress was looked down upon. As if I couldn’t do my job.

When I worked late and gave my all, it wasn’t noticed or acknowledged but if I was overworked and got ill or wasn’t my ‘normal self’ it was pulled up. I had to learn the hard way I needed to look after myself because no one in the working world was going to.

Resilience

Every time I got knocked down I got back up again vowing to do better next time. Once, after being told my job wasn’t going to exist anymore I cried, drove back to my home town and immediately got online and started contacting people who might know of some leads.

Did I cry when these happened? Of course, I did, I’m human! Did I have times where I thought I just couldn’t do it and wanted to give up, duh! Somehow I did it.

There are good people in every company, organisation, etc

Ultimately in every single job I’ve had I met wonderful people. People who I’ve stayed in touch with to varying degrees. No matter what there are good people in the world and that’s always a good thing to be reminded of.

What have previous jobs taught you? I’d love to know in the comments below!

What Mean Girls Taught Me

What Mean Girls Taught Me

Recently I saw one of the songs that will be in the Mean Girls musical which, should it ever come to London, I will be going to. You see Mean Girls was a huge part of growing up for me. Before Netflix (gasp) I would go to Car Boot sales and buy any and all movies that were deemed as ‘chick flicks’ and it all started off with Cady Heron.

I was in Portsmouth with my parents at the tender age of 11 when I saw this film, the cover looked cool. My Dad gave me the money, having no idea what it was about, and said to go pay. I was half terrified that they wouldn’t sell it to me because I was 11 and it was a 12. Ah, sweet, sweet innocence. But what did I learn from it…

The ‘freaks’ are the coolest people you will ever meet

I can speak as someone who used to hang out with the music/art/nerds. A lot of the time the creative people are the most welcoming and accepting, that’s what I’ve found. Just like Damien and Janice.

Stereotypes don’t have to be a thing.

Cady wasn’t one stereotype or the other. She could rock a short dress but also had a brilliant brain. She wasn’t above petty school politics, she fell right into them just like all of us did; if you say you didn’t you’re lying. People in this film made mistakes.

Changing yourself to fit in is never a good idea

Do I need to explain this one…

Don’t believe rumours

Ok, ok, we know that Coach Karr is an exception to this. The film made me realise people gossip and rumours go around. You can’t stop that. The teenage years are full of this shit so it’s best to try and ignore it. Fun fact waiting to go into my General Studies (read luck of the draw) exam I was informed that someone had been told I was pregnant with twins…news to me.

Everyone has their own shit going on

Do I think Regina George was evil? No, probably not. From Caddy’s worries that she was a ‘homeschooled jungle freak’, Janice’s tough girl attitude masking her being rejected, to Gretchen wanting to stab Ceaser. Every person in that film has their own issues, just like in real life.

I still quote Mean Girls on a regular basis even if it has been years since I’ve sat down and watched the film myself. There is just something in that film that I think anyone who has been a teenager just gets. That being a teenager isn’t sunshine and rainbows, people are shitty and school is shitty too. Oh and teenage girls can be awful to each other, truly awful.

What did Mean Girls Teach you? Let me know in the comments below and you go Glen Coco!

 

23 Things I’ve Learned in 23 Years

Yesterday I turned 23! I’m determined to make this a good year for me and already have some really exciting things planned but it made me think, what have I learned in the past 23 years on this planet? Well, here it goes…

You know your body better than anyone

There have been so many times that I’ve felt something wasn’t right and after being persistent with my doctors or consultants have been proven right. Listen to your own body and don’t be embarrassed to get a second or even third opinion.

You’re allowed to change your mind

I’ve changed my mind on so many things. It’s all part of growing up, adapting and changing. This isn’t always a bad thing! In so many situations you can and will change your mind.

Feminism is incredible 

Just like I said above changing your mind is allowed, I completely changed my mind on Feminism as I got more educated. It’s such a brilliant thing promoting equality, which is why I started my ‘Feminist Friday‘ series.

Everyone makes mistakes 

And that’s ok! It’s definitely a part of growing up. I am still a perfectionist and really struggle when I make mistakes so I have to remember this, almost on a daily basis.

Not everyone is meant to be in your life forever 

This was so hard but I’m a firm believer in this. Some people are meant to be around for a reason and then go.

Fun is what you make of it 

Sometimes I just like grabbing some dinner on a Friday night, others I like going out for a drink, others I like getting an early night. Fun is different for every person! Own it 🙂

Should is a shitty word 

I HATE the word ‘should’. Why is it even a thing! It just stresses us out, no, no, no, no.

 But No is a great one 

I’m still not great at using the word ‘no’ but it’s a powerful one and one to learn how to use.

Me time is so important

It’s not selfish. We all need some time to ourselves and that’s good for you! Personally, I like to curl up and read, write, watch YouTube whatever I feel like!

No one has the right to make you unhappy 

No one at all, whether that be family, friends, partners, colleagues. I spent too long letting other people impact my happiness, no more.

Mental Health is as important as physical health! 

Repeat, repeat, repeat!

If you don’t ask you don’t get

The worst someone can say is no.

How you see yourself isn’t always how others see you 

I’m not always the nicest to myself, think about the way your friends and those who love you see you. Trust me.

A good book is priceless  

Very few things are better.

Sleep is important, not overrated  

It’s so important to get enough sleep. For me if I don’t get enough sleep I feel really poorly. So, to all who tell me sleep is for the weak, I’ll be in my Harry Potter PJs, snuggled up under the duvet.

A few good friends are worth more than  loads of acquaintances

I used to want to be part of a huge friendship group, then I realised I didn’t really want or need to be. What I did want was to have friends who knew and loved me.

Saving money is important but so is treating yourself sometimes 

I saved constantly through uni and was obsessed with saving. It was also driving around in a car from 1996 that I thought would go on forever. Thankfully my family convinced me that maybe it was time to let go and use my savings to buy another car…

The voices in your head don’t always tell the truth 

They can be your worst enemy, don’t listen to it.

Let go of the rigid life plan 

I had a plan, I had a perfectionist plan. I was going to graduate uni with a first, come out and get a good job, save for a house, get married, have children. Then life happened. I broke my spine and that changed everything. I lost my job, that changed everything. I got a job I loved, everything changed again. I’ve let go of a rigid plan and have goals instead.

Find exercise you love, you’ll thank yourself later 

I was always adamant that I hated exercise. I hated PE at school and thought I’d never like exercise. Then I found horse riding and I fell in love with it. Now, post injury,  I quite like the gym.

It’s ok not to be ok 

I will keep saying this until I’m blue in the face, I even wrote a whole blog about it. You can read it here.

There is nothing wrong with a good night in! 

I go ‘out out’ once a month. I save money and get to stay in my PJs, what’s not to love here?

No one really knows what they’re doing

This is the most important lesson. Everyone is winging it, absolutely winging it.