30 June 2019

Interview Preparation | Lifestyle

If you read my post the other week on handling rejection from job interviews then you will know I have been on the hunt for a new  role and it has been a ROLLERCOASTER of emotions but now I have managed to get myself a lovely new job (thank god). During the interview process I notice how much the landscape had changed and thought I would share with you guys some tips/things to be aware of.

Video Calls - Ok so video phone calls are a thing now, a lot of companies that I applied for asked to have a video call even though we were in the same damn city and just around the corner. There are many things to consider with video call such as location, connection, phone or laptop and the major one for me is that sometimes the interviewer will forget they are visible so may yawn which can be really off putting and equally they can see you so be mindful of how your come across.

2 hour long interviews - This one took me by surprise and it could just be the fact I was applying for jobs that were Director level but the expectations are high these days. It mean you have to take time off work whether you use holiday or throw a sickie which actually makes things really hard. One company expected me to have 7 interviews and a presentation, the 2 hour interview was set up of 30 min presentation followed by three 30 minute back to back interviews with 3 different people and that wasn't even the last stage. I didn't go ahead with the rest of the interviews because I didn't think the role was worth it.

Questions - In the many months of interviewing it took me to find a job this was one area I actually got a lot better at. There are many things I like to ask but the two that I think you get the most honesty from are "What are the biggest challenges you face as a company" and "How do you measure success for the person in this role". The first question gives you an insight into where potential struggles could arise in the future but also how well the person knows their business. The second question gives you an understanding as to what the expectations will be of you, whether it's purely about client retention or whether you'll be measured by the revenue your digital channel drives.

Rejection - I don't want to say you should be prepared to not get the job because it will put you in the wrong frame of mind when going for the interview but I guess it's more about understanding that rejection can be a part of the process. Wouldn't it be amazing if we all got the job we interviewed for first? But that's just unrealistic.

For me, I think the best interviews are always going to be face to face with a person you can get a vibe from, sometimes you instantly thing "I can work for that guy" and if I feel that then I am far more likely to go for that role if offered. You have to go with your gut, know what you want and what your limitations are, don't just accept a role because they have offered be sure that they are giving you what you really want, whether it be salary, responsibilities or work/life balance.  
23 June 2019

5 things Since Re-launching my Blog | Blogging

I have been blogging consistently again now for a couple of months and it's quite interesting how in that short space of time things have changed. I'm happy to at least be doing something again but I wanted to share with you guys some things I've noticed since being back and blogging.

No one reads it - Facts are facts! I mean, in all honesty I've always had a teeny tiny readership so I wasn't expecting much when I did relaunch again but in all honesty, no one cares and no one is reading! There's a part of me that's a little sad about it but actually in some respects it's nice to have a hobby and write about anything I want to!

I am lazy at promoting it - literally so lazy! For about a month and a half I just didn't schedule any tweets at all telling people I was writing new content, the thing is I got so out of the routine of the whole blogging space that I forgot entirely that I had to promote that damn thing. Not gonna lie, that might be some of the reason why no one is reading this little corner of the internet!

Lucky that I wrote loads of content before launching it - I launched with 8 weeks worth of posts (only one a week, so 8 posts) and once I relaunched and had all those pieces scheduled I literally didn't log back into Blogger again for at least a month, so if I didn't have the content ready and waiting I very much would have had a gap and then the posts would have felt forced and it would have been a hot mess!

Still struggling to get into it - I'm still very much trying to find my voice on this blog, a lot has changed in a year and when I first started again I knew that I wanted to go in a slightly different direction and not just be about things and stuff. So I have tried to focus a lot of my content to be opinion based and current to how I am feeling at that moment in time but it has taken  a little while to get back into it.

Enjoying the freedom of writing whatever I want - I eluded to this in the first point but since no one is reading my damn blog anyway, it's actually quite freeing to not have any expectations or constraints into what I write! Now, I know I'm hardly writing about anything ground breaking but I would never have written about fur becoming mainstream or separating the art from the artist or even why I gave up meat so I'm happy that I do now!

So even though the relaunch has been a little meh in terms of readership and I have definitely taken my sweet time to get back into the routine the main thing is I am still pretty positive about my blog and I'm happy I started again. I think when you take a break from blogging it's easy to think "oh why should I bother" but it's about identifying your objectives. Are you blogging because you want to be seen? If so, have your shit together before you start and make sure you scream about it from everywhere!  Are you blogging because you just want to write again? If so, then just do it! It doesn't matter whether you have a consistent routine or think you're writing about nothing, do it for you!

16 June 2019

Self improvement | Lifestyle

The first thing you should know about me is that I love my career and the industry I have chosen, it has taken me all over the world, I have spoken on a panel at an event, I have lived in another country, I love it! Recently work changed  and I wrote a post highlighting that I was looking for something new because things got pretty bad. The thing is I didn't quite realise just what sort of impact this was having mentally and I realised things really needed to change, I needed to switch my brain back on again! I met up with a friend who I used to work with and she made me think about my own wellbeing and that I should start thinking of self improvement and invest more in myself, this was a little eye opening I must admit.

The hardest part for me was deciding where to start, there were so many areas of myself I was utterly miserable with so which one should I begin with? After a while I thought the thing that made most sense was starting my blog back up, I mean I pretty much had a year out and no wonder I felt like my brain was decaying, it was because I lost my hobby/interest! Instead of thinking about something new to write, I just locked it away and just said "I'm uninspired, I can't write" which is true but the only way to get inspired is to bloody do something, to write words down, to go out on a walk to do small little things and just get the brain working again! I think I didn't really like my blog for a while but now I feel like I am at a bit of a turning point and I hope to keep this blog as more of a personal space to write my thoughts down and not just a review site (nothing wrong with a review blog though).

Another thing I started doing is any form of exercise whether it's going for a walk or a 10 minute workout videos on days where I was feeling very sloth like I found doing something made me feel a lot better. I didn't really wanna join a gym because I worried about how to fit it into my life. I get up early enough as it is and get home pretty late, did I really want to limit my time even more with Chris and the pooch during the week? Definitely not! I started to change my thought process and understand that I can and should be doing some form of activity (before anyone starts, I'm speaking from an "abled" perspective, I understand that not everyone can be active for 10 minutes and that "active" is different for different people) I know for a fact I could easily fit 10 minutes in my day to start with. I'm also fortunate because we have a dog and he will always be up for going on a walk even if it's just around the streets! 

You may have seen my post about Short Stories and it's really changed my reading habits, I find myself picking my kindle up far more these days, than what I did before so much so I have actually stopped listening to music on my commute. I have no problem with people walking around in headphones but the issue is some become so isolated that they completely forget what's going on around them, in fact I could write a whole other post on that so let's stop there! I find if I am reading on my commute it makes me feel more relaxed and just a little more focused in general because the genre I choose to read always leaves me guessing which I think is a good think to keep the brain ticking over.

I think quality time with myself is another thing I have completely given up, it's a easy as having a bath with a bit of music and a glass of wine, it's having a train journey to somewhere else, I actually really like spending time on my own and it's something that I should do more often! Even if it's just grabbing a coffee after I get my nails done instead of rushing straight back home, just a bit of time to faff! 

One really small but actually quite important thing I have recently started to do is take a damn vitamin! I know for a fact that I do not eat enough veggies, I eat more now since going meat free but I know it's not quite enough so to try and change that a little I have started to have a Berocca in the morning or if I miss that I will have a vitamin b complex tablet to just try and keep my energy levels up!

These are the absolute basics but the problem was I wasn't even doing the basic things so it comes as no surprise that I was feeling so crap! I know it sounds so simple but in all honesty it is very small changes that make a difference or could lead onto bigger changes. The thing I have to remind myself of is that self improvement is a constant thing, it's something that needs to evolve with me as I grow and change.

9 June 2019

Dealing with Rejection when Job Hunting | Lifestyle

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay 

Getting a new job is bloody hard guys isn't it? If you're anything like me then even whittling it down to the places you'd want to work is tough enough and then you have to actually go through the interview process. I have seen it too often where people jump into roles because they are simply fed up of their current situation but they often end up not as happy as they thought they would be because the industry is still the same regardless of company. I only apply for job that I genuinely think I would love to do which means I'm a little fussier than most but I don't think that's a bad thing as such.

I recently went for my dream job, it was somewhere I really respected, somewhere I have wanted to work for such a long time and it was a role I had no shred of doubt I could 100% do and do it well in fact. I didn't get the job, 3 interviews including one presentation the whole process dragged on for over a month with very little updates and little information. The whole thing was am emotional rollercoaster and I was devastated when I didn't get the job but the honest truth is I wasn't good enough and there was someone better.

Unfortunately recently this seemed to be a common theme with my job opportunites, someone is better or I'm just not what they are looking for! It's not even that I have a bad CV because it does get me through the door, in fact it gets me through the door and then I get to the final stage and for a variety of reasons I just don't get the job. I'm not going to sit here and say that I'm perfect, another role I went for I completely messed up because nerves got the better of me, it was a video call and I got distracted by little things the interviewers were doing and I know I didn't answer many things right, I knew as soon as I put the phone down that I had messed up. When the recruiter confirmed my suspicions, I cried like a bloody baby, I mean don't get me wrong I kept composure whilst in the office but I had to go to the bathroom a couple of times to just have a cry because not getting a job you have invested so much time into is soul destroying! Sometimes it's not even just the fact you didn't get the job, sometimes it's the thought of not being able to leave the job you're so miserable in which is the hardest part. Then the feedback comes and you end up feeling really pissed off because some of their reasons you don't agree with or they are "stock" answers which shows how little they know you, an excuse basically.

In all honesty, I didn't handle rejection very well it had the biggest impact on me and I just didn't know how to make it better, the one thing I didn't do was give up. I still kept checking every day, I didn't apply everyday because otherwise I could end up with something I really didn't even want but I kept looking. I also didn't quit my job, now there seems to be a narrative online where people tell others "you more of what makes you happy", "don't do something if it's bad for your health", "I quit my job and look how happy I am" but unfortunately none of those things will pay your damn bills but unless you are in a very privileged position to do that, it isn't realistic. I knew I would get a job eventually but I just had to continue on and keep my head down to get through each day but I have to admit it definitely felt like I wouldn't find anything at times.

You are absolutely allowed to feel like sh*t, you are absolutely allowed to be angry, you are absolutely allowed to tell people to shut up when they try and make you feel better the generic comments about how the company "doesn't know what they're missing" but remember these pals just want to support you in any way they know how. The only thing you shouldn't do is give up, just keep pushing up that hill because the job will come and it will feel even better when it does.
2 June 2019

Why I Stopped Following Huge Influencers | Blogging

Image by kropekk_pl from Pixabay

I used to watch a hell of a lot of YouTube videos, I mean hours upon hours a day just consuming the video content of the big YouTubers and I used to really love watching little snippets of peoples lives or the odd make up tutorial here and there however all of a sudden I just stopped watching them. It was literally like a switch, one minute I am rushing to the channels to see the latest upload and the next I literally could not give a shit and then it hit me, I no longer found these YouTubers, relatable, aspirational nor inspirational. 

I know a lot of people have been feeling this sort of way with some of the really big YouTubers and I just want to stress before someone labels me as "jealous" - I think it's incredible that people can make vast amounts of money from their channels, that alone could be considered aspirational and I would totally understand but that type of content doesn't interest me, I like to see normal people with normal lives, not people buying Gucci every damn week. I like honest, funny content, not fake smiles and perfect angles.

I used to watch a fair amount of Zoella videos, in an almost guilty pleasure kinda way because I felt a lot of her content was probably more tailored to school girls and I am a quite a bit older than that but I still watched them. I came to really enjoy her vlogs and her Christmas content because there was a real personality behind it. That said, I have never and probably would never buy any of her products because the brand doesn't resonate with me. When she moved into her new house, I watched the first few vlogs more from a voyeuristic point of view and then the content just seemed to stagnate, yes her house is stunning and you're damn right she deserves to show it off and be happy in a space she has worked hard for but when did it become just about the money? She released an advent calendar, which was obscenely priced and then uploaded an apology video because of the backlash which was possibly the most insincere thing I have ever watched which shows how out of touch she is from her audiences - the girl knew exactly what the price of the calendar would be because she would have been aware of the profit she would make from each sale, so let's not go there. Her boyf is even more problematic with the amount of wasteful things he spends his money on, and yes, it could be argued that it's his money so therefore he can use it however he sees fit but it's the culture he is breeding that concerns me a little more. 

Lets be honest, those guys are incredibly easy targets but it's not just these influencers who have lost touch with their audiences it's also the ones who aren't relatable. Some style influencers I have loved for the longest time but sometimes as you see their content evolve and become even more beautiful and even more creative which lead me to feel a little disconnected because I no longer felt like their content was relevant to me, it's for people who can spend obscene amount of money on fashion and travel the world, I just can't. I think sometimes you personally change as an individual which means the type of content you want to see will inevitably change as well, which isn't a bad thing at all. I don't watch a lot of big beauty gurus anymore because they don't talk about cruelty free brands but insist on promoting brands just because they get shit tone of stuff for free - which I understand but I'm not interested. 

I think my tastes have definitely changed in the content I want to see, I no longer want to see heavily curated content, I want to see content that means something, that is showing me something good or giving a true opinion, I would love to see content that makes a damn difference without being told I should buy this or use this code.