Let's Have A Catch Up

Stop the traffic, I have actually written a new blog post. Much to my family’s delight I am sure after months of asking why I haven’t been blogging. But the reason why I haven’t been blogging? Real life is hard. Most of my posts so far on here have been about finding a job, I seem to have that bit sorted. But what to do once I actually got one? Not a clue mate.

In truth, some aspects of my job have been even better than expected. I do really like the people I work with and not being micromanaged means I have the responsibility of planning how I am going to spend my time, which has proved to be one of my strengths. I’ve still got my pastel highlighters which are used every day to co-ordinate which areas I’m working on and I have been incredibly organised. Emails get filed as soon as they have been dealt with, my desktop is surprisingly uncluttered and I make sure that I only have the essentials on my desk throughout the day. Sounds pretty good so far!

But the world of work is incredibly tricky to navigate, especially as a recent graduate. Starting a new job there is obviously so much to learn, but when you’re trying to learn how to deal with office politics, finding an evening and morning routine that isn’t going to leave you feeling like a zombie and the feeling of pure exhaustion after fighting through rush hour at the end of the day it seems like one big Eat-Sleep-Work-Repeat cycle.

As you can see from the complete lack of blogging, making the time for myself and my hobbies has taken somewhat of a back seat. I have a gym in my building but if I make it once during the week then it’s a good effort. I’ve barely read any blogs never mind written my own! All those areas of London and restaurants that I wanted to visit? Yeah, not doing too well on that front either.

What have I been doing then? Aside from sitting on the jubilee line for what feels like the majority of my day, having a flat where most of the surfaces are white or wooden takes a lot of cleaning. Whilst I did obviously have a flat at uni, having a place that is totally my own has given me a much stronger sense of pride and I’ve been making conscious efforts to ensure that it stays both tidy and clean. Whilst this might sound like the most basic of housekeeping, for those that know me then they will know I not only have “the chair” where all my clothes get piled, but also “the floor” and don’t even get me started on my non-existent makeup storage that covered my entire desk. But I’m enjoying feeling like a domestic goddess after bleaching the entire kitchen and feeling like the best girlfriend in the world after ironing Ed’s shirts for the week.

So in short, this being an adult thing is actually a little bit harder than I thought. The unlimited free time of University to do with as I pleased is now a distant memory. But, in the New Year same-but-trying me vein, I am determined to manage my time a little better and make sure I don’t lose the bits of me that make me me. So that’s getting myself back in the gym and making sure that I start sharing all the experiences of the working world that I’ve had on londonsnewgirl. After a delightful walk through Hyde Park yesterday I realised how much more exploring I need to do of this incredible city. I do still get butterflies sometimes on my walk to work as I catch a glimpse of the Thames and the London Eye so I think I’ve had my settling in period, it’s time to go grab London life with both hands.

Dear Diary… I GOT A JOB

Perhaps the most exciting post I’ve written since I started blogging again. So far on londonsnewgirl you’ve all read about my journey trying to find a job in London. I’ve talked about everything from interview prep to dealing with rejection and now I can finally share some good news – I’M EMPLOYED! Well, I will be when I start full time on September 9th.

What an absolutely whirlwind of a job-seeking experience. I knew the day would come when I’d actually get a job but finding motivation when I’m sitting in the house watching Ed go off to work and dealing with rejection was pretty damn hard. I’ve recently written about how hard it is to be a graduate and that post had such an amazing response. I’m glad I can now be an example of how hard work can pay off and help others who are struggling with their job hunting experience.

So what’s my job? For various reasons I don’t want to go in to too much detail, but I’ll be working for a publication coordinating their German adverts. A job in media that uses German? Quite literally a dream! The office is on fleet street and I thought my mum was going to cry when I told her. I’ve always loved writing and journalism, so to have my office on a street that is so iconic makes moving to London feel all that more real. I’m right in the heart of the action and I don’t think that is ever going to stop being exciting!

As I had to go through a recruitment company to get an interview for the role, I had three interviews in total! One assessment centre, an initial interview with the company and then finally a presentation. Luckily for me the process was rather speedy in comparison to others and exactly a week after the first interview I received a job offer.

One thing nobody ever talks about though is how scary it is actually accepting it! I’d been working towards a job offer for months, but as soon as I actually had one I was full of nerves. What if I don’t like it? What if I am not good at it? Am I about to make a mistake? I’m a chronic over-thinker so this probably doesn’t apply to you, but after reconciling myself to the fact that yes, I probably will absolutely love it and yes, they wouldn’t have offered me the job if they didn’t think I’d be good at it, I was thrilled to accept.

So now I have a week or so to sort myself out. Finish collecting some final pieces for my dream work wardrobe, make sure we lock down a flat now that we both have jobs and ultimately enjoy my last little bit of Summer Holiday freedom. The thought that I’m about to start the rest of my life is a little doom and gloom and I’m trying to see it as such a big opportunity to finally start achieving some of my long term goals!

Dealing with Life as a Graduate

The end of Summer means only one thing, the start of school/university again. Yet this year, for the first time in 18 years I will not be going ‘back’ anywhere. Life has truly begun. I’ve graduated and no longer have the security and stability that full time education provides. How scary.

So far, this blog has captured my move to London, how I’m finding hunting for a job, dealing with rejection and just generally getting out and about exploring the city. It is such an exciting time in my life. I’m planning to move in with my boyfriend and cannot wait to find the perfect job for me! But damn, graduate life is not easy.

I recently went along to the first Gals Who Graduate event hosted by Bronte King. After leaving university, she realised that so many girls were struggling and not quite knowing what to do. Whether that’s how to cope moving back in with their parents after the freedom of University, dealing with that overdraft that is supposed to be decreasing yet seems to be impossible to defeat, or the difficulties in finding a job in the competitive graduate market. So she decided to set up the Gals Who Graduate platform for girls to come together, share advice and discuss their problems. The first event was held at Kalifornia Kitchen on Percy Street (the food was INCREDIBLE!) and there was the best atmosphere of support and solidarity amongst all the girls that were there.

Very quickly I learned that I was not alone. Everyone was somewhat struggling to deal with the highs and lows of graduate life. There is so much pressure to know what you are doing as soon as you leave University, to get a job and not move back to the family home. To show on Instagram that you are living the high life, free from education and your parents. However in reality it’s a lot more lonely than that. Constant job applications leave you dealing with a lot of rejection, quite often moving to a new city where you know very few people and struggling to find financial balance after the drain of student life.

Ultimately, there is no correct path. I met girls who had moved country to find their dream job, girls who had moved back in with their parents but were loving their new job, girls who were still looking for a job, girls living with their boyfriends, friends, strangers, girls who had absolutely no idea what they were doing and just came to meet new people. It was so refreshing. I had met nobody there before, but it didn’t matter. There was a strong sense of community and I left truly feeling that I had a great support group of other girls who would be there if I had a question, even if they were just online!

So if you’ve just graduated, a massive congratulations! University was hard, but I think life as a graduate might be slightly harder. Most importantly though, you’re not alone! Reach out to your friends, chat to the other graduates you meet in your office, try and put yourself out there to meet new people, because chances are, they are feeling as nervous and overwhelmed as you!

Gals who graduate logo, Bronte King