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.

 

My Doritos are too crunchy

My Doritos Are Too Crunchy!!!

So much happened on Superbowl Sunday and I’m not even talking about the sports. We had Kylie Jenner announce that she had given birth and kept secret her entire pregnancy (c’mon don’t pretend you hadn’t been wondering too), Justin Timberlake played the halftime show and announced he was coming to the UK on tour BUT the real news will change the lives of all ladies.

…Are you ready?

Doritos have answered our prayers and planned lady friendly snacks. They’ll get rid of that horrible crunch sound, fit into our handbags and we won’t need to suck our fingers like a man! Just how did they know what we were all hoping and praying for! *end of heavy sarcasm*

Yep, seriously. Although now they have said they’re backtracking it still raises the question. What the hell were they thinking? Do they really think that the big issue that women have is that they don’t like getting messy eating a bag of crips? I don’t think so. Now, if I was being cynical I would guess this is a big publicity stunt, a shock tactic to make people angry but still talk about their brand. Which kinda worked.

There is still this idea of gendered BS though, things that are made pretty and pink for women for no reason other than they have a vagina. Do you remember the Bic ‘for her’ pens, have you looked at women’s razors lately? Mine has a damn Daisy on it for no reason, I bought it because it was on offer not because it spoke to my feminine instinct.

In response, I’ll be grabbing the loudest crisps or ‘chips’ as Americans call them and doing this…

Comedy Central Eating GIF by Inside Amy Schumer - Find & Share on GIPHY

How about you? Do you think this goes too far or it’s just amusing? I’d love to hear from you all in the comments below!

A Typical Day.

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When I asked you all what you would like to see on the blog via Twitter, you all asked for a little more Lifestyle and I am more than happy to oblige. For tonight’s post I thought why not let you know what my day to day life is like? I touched upon how hectic it could be in a recent interview with Yada so I thought I’d share with you all what a typical week day is like (because my favourite thing to do at the weekend is sleep, not gonna lie.

6.30 – 7.00am 

Alarm goes off, I usually  hit snooze. Once I finally wrench myself from my nice warm bed I’ll put on my clothes for work, brush my teeth, put on a little bit of make up and make sure I drink some water.

7.10 – 7.45am 

Assuming that I haven’t forgotten anything I’ll be on the road for about 40 minutes. I’ll usually listen to music (carefully selected) and be thinking about my first cup of tea of the day.

8am 

I start work at 8am, which I chose to beat the traffic because the A road I have to go down is a nightmare in rush hour. While my computer is booting up I’ll make myself a glorious cup of tea and catch up with the other 8am starters.

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9am-1.30pm

I spend the morning working on my to do list, replying to emails and doing whatever it is I need to do. Sometimes I’ll have meetings or will be editing some graphic design work. I’ll usually schedule Social Media for the day too.

1.30-2pm 

Lunnnnnccchhh! Depending on who’s in the kitchen and how I’m feeling I’ll either chat or read while I’m on my break. I always take a book with me to work so that I can do a bit of reading on my lunch normally.

2-4pm 

I usually adjust my to do list to reflect anything that’s come in that morning. I’ll compare to the week and highlight how things are going.

4-5pm

Drive home and do any bits and pieces I need to do on the way. Sometimes I drop into my Mum’s for a cup or tea or will need to go to the supermarket to get some food. Nothing that exciting.

5-6pm 

Chill time. I need some time to just chill out after getting home from work before I start blogging and writing so I’ll give myself an hour to catch up with Ali and have a bit of a rest.  Sometimes I’ll just catch up on some reading.

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6-9pm 

No rest for the wicked. I’ll spend my evening sorting and eating dinner, blogging and planning blogs. I work a lot on the blog and trying to work out what I want to do next, looking at my stats as well as talking on Twitter. Oh and feeding and playing with Hamski.

9-10.30pm 

Need to get showered and ready for bed. After I’ll get my clothes ready for the next day, read a bit and scroll through social media.

10.30-11pm 

This is when I’m supposed to go to bed to make sure that I’ll get up the next morning, it doesn’t always work. Once I am in bed though it doesn’t take me long to look like this…

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So that’s a typical day for me? How does it compare to yours?

Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday Seven: Things To Look Forward To In 2017

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Happy New Year!!!

Hello, lovely, lovely people and welcome to 2017! We’re almost a day in and I wanted to share with you some things I’m looking forward to in 2017. Now I’ve said before and I’ll say it again I don’t believe in new years resolutions, nope, nope, nope. I want to spend the whole year setting goals and I know for a fact that I find it harder in the dark winter months to be happy and motivated. So, instead, I focus on things to look forward to! So, here are 7 things I’m looking forward to.

A New Home 

This year at some point Ali and I will move into a new home. It means so much to us and we’re really excited!

Getting Stuck Into Work 

I can’t wait to get even more stuck in with my job, it’s a really exciting time for me. I’m in a company I love and a job I really enjoy, I can’t wait to see what this year brings.

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Carrying On With Spine Recovery 

In the next 8 weeks I should have an appointment for my spinal injections. While I’m absolutely terrified I’m also excited because it’s another chance at relieving the spinal pain I’ve been living with for the past 20 months!

Going on Holiday! 

Ali and I will finally be getting a relaxing break together later in the year, a week in sunny Spain. We haven’t had a relaxing holiday in years so it’ll be a nice time to chill out and spend some time together.

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Improving My Blog 

I’m really focused on my blog and this year I can really focus on it without university work taking up each and every evening. I have some great ideas and plans so keep an eye out!

Celebrating 9 Years 

Yes! The boyfriend and I celebrate 9 years together this year, which is crazy. I’m so lucky to have my best friend by my side every day.

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Caring For Myself 

I bought so much stuff from Lush in the sales, meaning I have a lot of bath products for relaxation purposes. I’m really bad at relaxing, I’m always doing something so I need to work on that but this year I can make that time for myself.

What are you looking forward to? Let me know in the comments below!

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!

 

Lessons I’ve Learnt From Quitting My Job

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Last week I did something I didn’t think I would do, I left my first job as a graduate after 5 months. I never intended to get a job that I would leave so early. There’s a magnitude of reasons why I felt it was the right time to go, some personal and some professional. While I know I’m going to miss the people that I was working with (because let’s face it, they are amazing) I needed to do this for me.

Putting myself first

I knew for a while that I wasn’t 100% happy in the role and what I was doing, and that wasn’t anyone’s fault. I wrestled with myself, but people liked me if I left they’d be upset. What would the company do? Would they be mad? Will I be able to even get another job? Will this wreck my savings to move out? I slept badly and was really stressed for weeks. For once I decided to do what I hardly ever do. I put myself first. I needed to think of myself, my career and my personal life, because at 22 I deserve to try new things. I’d never thought of it that way.

Accepting that not everything works out

I always give 110% to everything I do, and work was no different. I thought I had found a job that I’d love for years and stay there. This was simply something that didn’t work, for me this time. I walked around for a long time feeling ashamed and stupid. Then, after talking to a lot of different people, I realised that I can’t control everything and trying new things makes us grow. I’ve always been the kind of person who will half kill themselves trying to get something to work, this is only the second time I’ve done this and I feel a lot better.

Realising that I am in control of my own life 

I realised that I could change my life. I wasn’t 100% at what I was doing, so I changed it. I sent out a few CVs and had a lot of calls back. I didn’t have a clue that would happen, I didn’t have the confidence in myself but even though this was a hard part of my life and a huge decision it taught me that I am in control. I can make my life what I want it to be.

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!

 

 

The Start of the Next Chapter

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Hello, hello, hello!

This week has been so incredibly busy it’s unbelieveable, I intended to write this blog last night but I got back from work and just needed to curl up and sleep. Yesterday I had my first day in my new office as Marketing Executive (read about getting the job here). It still hasn’t really sunk in that I have a real title in a company, so bizarre. Now, I’m not going to try and explain all that Exonar does because there’s a lot and I’m still learning, but we are a small company working in the IT world and basically being the good guys. So, there were a lot of introductions, setting up, taking information, learning etc. My brain felt a little fried at the end of the day but mostly I was just so excited and I can’t wait to get back when I start in the office full time next week.

Back to the crazy week I’ve had. I spent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday practicing with the boys for Basingstoke Live next month. This has meant getting up earlier than normal, getting back after and doing some of the starter work for my new job, falling into bed and doing it all again the next day. Thursday I had to have my last meeting as a Social Media Coordinator (!!), which made me feel really emotional. While I’m so stupidly excited about my new job everythings changing again and I do feel a little anxious, but I’m told that’s normal.

Now I’m sitting in my Star Wars PJs with Ali asleep in the next room and I just have a huge smile on my face. I’ve just come back from hanging out with some great friends and I just feel good. Of course I’m anxious and slightly terrified about the changes in my life but at the same time I’m going into a job that I’m really excited about with a team of people who just seem friendly, I think I’m going to fit in just fine. There’s a lot going on and I feel like my head is spinning a little but knowing that I’m going back to my home town with my family around me and that will be nice while I’m starting out again. The best part though? I get to start a new chapter of my life with my best friend with me.

 

Getting the job.

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As of yesterday morning I am officially employed! For the past few weeks I’ve been having interviews for a Marketing position that I really, really wanted and the waiting has been driving me crazy. I applied for a job with a tech based company on Linkedin last month, I thought it looked interesting and had the attitude of ‘why not’. I knew it was a long shot, this wasn’t a small position, there was a lot of responsibility and over 80 people had already applied, but what did I have to lose? The worst they could say was no. So I sent off my Linkedin profile and didn’t think much of it until my email pinged about an hour later, it was someone from the company wanting to talk further. Later that evening he called and I had a phone interview there and then on the spot, an hour later I had my instructions come up with a social media plan example and come into the office in a week and a bit and let’s have a look. I was floored. Absolutely floored. Fast Forward to the first face to face interview, I fell in love with the location and got on with my interviewer before being invited back for another face to face interview with the head of the company. Score. So a few days later I met him and had another interview, alongside chatting about other things, no huge scary interview and lots of pressure, not only did it set the tone for the company but it excited me.

I’ll be honest I’ve been scared about finding a job, not so much because I thought I wouldn’t get one, but I was worried I’d just have to go somewhere I didn’t like to make a living. I spent a lot of my teenage years in a job where I was unhappy, then I came to uni and felt the happiness of having a job that I enjoyed and felt like I was doing something productive, not selling cheap clothes that fall apart. Finding Exonar was like a dream come true, they’re a smallish company, full of nice people (as I found out yesterday) and I can really sink my teeth into something without knowing I was on a years contract. I haven’t officially started yet but I’m excited and nervous and I haven’t felt like this since before I went to uni. I get to be in Marketing after a stack of rejections that I didn’t have enough experience.

It’s like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I know I’m going to be ok and hopefully be in a positive environment too! I’m trying to put into words just how excited I am but I don’t know how! All I know is I can’t wait for a new chapter to begin.

Beautiful Brighton Conference and Chloe Break 

  
Yesterday I was invited down to the beautiful Brighton by The Student Room to be the only student representative in the country to speak at an international conference for Social Media in Higher Education at CASE. 

Although I could have stayed the night before too, I decided to brave rush hour because I’d only just come back from being in Basingstoke and, you know, I do kind of like Ali ;). So I arrived for 9am slightly asleep but soon chatting to other people including the other people who were on my panel. For those of you who signed the ‘Save BBC 3 campaign’ Jono started and led that campaign, I was a little awestruck when I met him. 

The conference itself was good but also at times hard to understand because it was specific to some things I haven’t come across in my role yet. I tried to learn as much as I could, make contacts and generally enjoy the day. I didn’t realise what a big deal our panel was until we started it. We had a lot of people approach us through the day about our work on the student room. 

It was weird, I didn’t feel very nervous about what I was actually speaking about, instead, I felt like this was something I was confident to speak about and that took away some of the nerves. Well that and I already knew it was a nice crowd who wanted to help, that’s always a bonus. It was really well received thankfully and some lovely tweets went out after we spoke, including from one of my bosses who was also attending. 

   
   
Before I came back to the hosting hotel for dinner, I was able to check into my own hotel – MyHotel Brighton for the night. I was shocked to find myself in a huge double room, very chic and with one of the comfiest beds I’ve ever slept in. I was a little excited… 

  
Dinner was a chance to talk to people again, although everyone else was staying for the full two days, whereas mine was just for the day of my slot. There was some really quite hilarious chat on my table, including educating an American on British comedy he should watch. 

Jono and I both had early starts the next day and so were one of the first to leave. We were both surprised to receive chocolates and a card to say thank you from CASE for our work and taking the time to speak. The whole day gave me a lot of confidence in my own abilities to become a Marketing and Social Media Coordinator as a job when I leave uni. 

This morning, before I had to get a train back to London, I enjoyed my breakfast before taking a stroll around Brighton, the North Laines, The Brighton Pavillion and along the beach, taking in some Spring sun. 

  
On a personal note I’m proud of beating my anxiety over the head. I was so worried and nervous about going to the conference that I only had 4 hours sleep the night before. It was also the first time I’d gone away and stayed alone, but it was nice to have some time for myself in the hotel. 

Now I’m sat at the O2 with my Mum, sister and cousin waiting to see The Vamps with them (don’t judge me, free concert ticket and time with the girls). I’m absolutely shattered but at the same time really proud of kicking my anxieties butt and achieving something. Although, I am looking forward to getting into bed tonight without setting an alarm.