Zoom – The Fatigue is Real

What was previously just another onomatopoeic “ding dong” is now going to be one of the most used words of 2020. The word zoom, will forever take on a meaning of endless work meetings and the location for all social interaction for the large part of the last three months. We’ve celebrated birthday’s on zoom, praised achievements, had hard discussions and now honestly, I’m zoomed out.

Ironically, the word “zoom” usually indicates that you are moving quickly, flying through life, but my god are we trudging right now. Since moving to London time has flown, I’ve posted once since September! Days and nights instead filled with commuting, drinks in the pub, exploring new areas and for the large part, flopping exhaustedly on my bed after a day in the office. But now, we shut our laptops after a day of working from home, only to open them an hour later to join our friends and family for another edition of the weekly lockdown quiz.

But there is no shame in wanting to turn off the laptop, put it in a cupboard and never turn it back on. That would be admittedly a little dramatic, but honestly, I feel you. We are not programmed to live our lives through a screen, social interaction is a fundamental part of our nature and sometimes we all just need a physical hug.

I’ve found that since I’m spending the entirety of my social time on a laptop, whether that be for work or for catching up with friends, I’m sure as hell not wanting to spend my “me time” on it too. Whereas I once could have spent hours reading blogs, watching youtube videos and *ahem* playing the sims, now I find myself craving activities that don’t require staring at a screen. I’ve found I actually love colouring – turn’s out my creativity was playing with the colours in a picture someone else has drawn for me rather than drawing them myself, something my art teacher was more than definitely aware of at school…

I also have finished my first leisure book in a long time. Sophie Kinsella speaks to me on another level and I resonated hard with Samantha from The Undomestic Goddess. I’ve been delving into Caroline Hiron’s Skincare and have been learning to tell my AHA’s from my BHA’s in an attempt to justify a whole new skincare routine that’s Caroline approved.

So if you’re feeling a little ‘zoomed out’ then do yourself a good deed and step away from the screen. Social media is included in this – if you are digitally fatigued then the last thing you need is to see how others are living it up in lockdown!

Pick up a book. Go for a socially distanced walk. Paint your nails. Draw a picture. Fake tan. Try on every item of clothing in your wardrobe. Take a bath. Ultimately, make some time for yourself offline.

Yes, this is temporary, but whilst this is the way things are, make sure you adjust the other aspects of your life to account for this change. Will I ever pick colouring in a picture over meeting my friends for cocktails and brunch in the future? No, probably not. But for now it’s ok to say no to a zoom call and do an offline activity that’s just for you.

Brb, off to sharpen my pencils.

How Blogging Can Help Your Career

If you’re reading this post then there’s a high chance you’re already a blogger yourself or a regular reader of blogs. Blogging is a great creative and therapeutic outlet and the benefits of blogging are numerous; it’s cathartic, a space for creativity and has also introduced me to so many wonderful people.

Whilst blogging is still just my hobby, it has had a profound impact on my experiences of looking for a job. Despite my 2.1 degree from the 2nd best university in the UK (we are clearly very proud of this) and the numerous sporting and academic activities listed on my CV, it is actually the small paragraph at the bottom of the second page that catches the eye of most interviewers. “Tell us a bit about your blog, what made you get in to blogging?” Having a blog and regularly blogging speaks volumes to recruiters and interviewers as it displays so many skills and attributes, so if it’s not already on your CV, here’s why it should be!

Creativity

Whilst I’ve already acknowledged that blogging is a creative outlet for me, it can also act as a portfolio of work that you can show to interviewers to display your creative skills. Not only does it demonstrate your writing skills, there are also the photographs, post, site layouts and so many more facets that show your creative skillset to potential employers. This is particularly important for any job where creativity is an essential part of the job description. I’ve been looking at jobs in marketing and many of them list strong writing capabilities as a key attribute, what better than a digital collection of passionate writing to illustrate your skills?

Attention to Detail

Re-reading and editing posts is probably my least favourite part of the blogging process, however it is incredibly important to me that the quality of writing and content on my site is of the highest possible degree. Producing grammatically correct and accurate content illustrates to employers that you have an eye for detail and are able to produce quality pieces to a high standard.

Organisation

The vast amount of time it takes to have a blog stands as testament to your organisational and planning skills. Most bloggers don’t simply pick up their laptop when they have a few minutes, bash out a post and that’s them done. Blogging requires a great deal of time, forcing you to plan ahead and manage your time wisely. It demonstrates an organisational ability which almost all job descriptions I have ever read have listed as a key requirement.

Initiative

As well as demonstrating creativity, starting a blog requires initiative, a further attribute that is often discussed during interviews. Having the confidence to put yourself online and the drive to continue to post regularly, shows employers that you have the initiative and determination to start with a concept and follow it through.

Social Media Management

With an increasing number of jobs and industries turning towards digital channels to promote their products, social media is playing an ever growing role in business and marketing. Since we are now in 2019, it’s safe to say that almost everyone will have either a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest account, or all of the above! However it is the extra skills that you develop as a blogger that set you against other candidates. Scheduling platforms such as buffer and Hootsuite, co-ordinating a promotion plan and forward planning layouts are all tools used by most bloggers to increase their reach and reader base.

Collaboration

Most industries will require you to work with either clients or other businesses to achieve objectives, requiring strong lines of communication and often working to a brief. If you have been lucky enough to work with brands as part of your blog, then this is something you should definitely be mentioning in interviews. Whilst you may have worked with a make-up or fashion brand that has no relation to the job you are applying for, the skills you have gained from the experience are extremely attractive to employers and will impressive any interviewer.

Have you ever been asked about your blog in an interview? Please share in the comments if you have any other skills you’ve gained from blogging that would be beneficial in a job hunt! There is also the pinnable graphic at the bottom of the post if you want to save it for later and look back when you’re writing job applications or preparing for an interview!

How blogging can help your career, pinnable graphic.

New Girl at Camden Market

Camden Market in London, looking across the canal

When I was trying to think of what to do with my friend from uni who was down visiting, my mind initially jumped to where we were going to eat in London. Obviously…

I had been to Camden market before a few years ago and remembered it having an amazing mix of street food and various stalls, so after looking it up online and finding out that they had a stall selling yorkshire pudding burritos (yorkshire puds are in my top ever foods) I thought it would be the perfect place to have a wander.

After taking the Northern line out to Camden town station, we walked through the crowds to Camden lock and crossed the bridge into the street food market. It was absolutely jammed with people and stalls and there really was something for everyone. If you want a full list of what’s available you can find one on the Camden Market website!

Other side fried buffalo chicken strips from Camden Market

Whilst there really was so much to choose from, there was never any doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t be getting a yorkshire pudding burrito after I’d basically dreamt about it the night before. I went for chicken and it came stuffed with chicken, roast potatoes, spinach, stuffing and honey mustard sauce and it was absolutely divine. You can see the look of love in my eyes. However, it’s definitely not one to eat standing up and it dropped out everywhere and made such a mess, so maybe try and secure a table before you try one!

Ed went for the other side fried buffalo chicken strips that came topped with parmesan. Whilst the parmesan and buffalo was a new combination for me, Ed absolutely loved it and said it satisfied the buffalo sauce cravings he’s been suffering from since our trip to the US.

However there is so much more to the market than just the food stalls, as the stables market also has an incredible array of vintage shops, decor, jewellery, art and more! There are so many beautiful stalls but our favourite was To Home From London! They had a great selection of cute cartoon-esque art and homeware and we both loved the prints of London landmarks and are seriously considering getting some pieces for our new flat (when we get it…) I love the idea of putting little bits of London into the flat to really make it feel like our city pad!

The entrance to Camden market, wearing new look floral playsuit
Playsuit – New Look

Camden Market Top 5 Tips

  • Don’t go on a Sunday! I had read that Sunday was the best day to go to Camden as it was the day that was the busiest and therefore had the best atmosphere but as we were there at lunchtime it really was just too busy. There was barely even any room to stand to eat never mind space to sit down! Whilst the concept of street food is obviously to be able to eat on the go in the streets it was just that little bit too busy and bustling so I would say Sundays are to be avoided. We were there from around 12 till 3 and it didn’t show any signs of quietening down.
  • Bring hand wipes!! Most stalls offer napkins but if you’re eating after exploring the market stalls or planning on having one of those dreamy yorkshire burritos, I’d definitely recommend bringing some form of hand sanitiser or hand wipes!
  • Check out whats on offer before you commit! If you walk in across the bridge over the canal, you may think that the first section is all there is, but the food market extends so much further than that! Walking around before you decide what you want is a must as there is simply so much choice.
  • There are more tables further in to the market, so if there isn’t one available right beside the canal then if you cross into the second section of the market then you will find more. We didn’t realise this initially and probably could have saved ourselves a lot of mess and standing if we had walked a little more.
  • Finally, wear comfy clothes! Bit of an obvious one perhaps, but the ground is not suited to heels or wedges of any kind and trainers are essential. I’d also encourage food baby friendly outfits as you are guaranteed to find something tasty!

Have you ever been to Camden Market? What was your favourite stall/dish? Let me know in the comments because there’s no doubt I’ll be going back!

Exploring Camden Market in London; pinnable graphic