Learning to be Patient

Patience is a virtue, sadly it is a virtue I do not possess. Sitting around waiting for something to happen is not how I roll. As Queen B once said,

Destiny is for losers. It’s just a stupid excuse to wait for things to happen instead of making them happen.

If I want something, I go get it or set the wheels in motion to get it. I think its this dogged determination that’s got me to where I am today, about to start a job in my dream city of London and about to move into my own flat with my boyfriend. I am just far too excited for everything to simply sit around and wait for it to happen – I want to do it now! I want to be heading off to work with Ed in the mornings and catching the tube at the weekends to meet my friends for lunch and generally being settled in to life in the city.

However the past few weeks have taught me an important lesson, that sometime’s life doesn’t work that way and you really do just have to be patient. By the time I start work I’ll have had 3 weeks of ‘me time’ that I could have spent doing anything I wanted. Yet, I have still spent some of that time thinking about how I wanted it to go quickly instead of just enjoying the moment. It’s now less than a week till I start work, a terrifying thought in itself, yet this week I am determined not to let it just pass me by. We should all be making the most of the moment (cliché but true) rather than just waiting for the next thing to happen. In order for me to be patient I really do have to slow down. I don’t need to be living life at 100 miles an hour, considering sooner or later it’s going to speed up whether I like it or not!

I am so lucky that this free time has really allowed me to get in to a blogging grove, I absolutely crushed my personal blogging targets for August and I have so many exciting posts planned out for September already! So when I find myself sitting around with nothing immediately obvious to do, I jump on my laptop and play around on Canva, read up on SEO or scroll through twitter to find new blogs to read. This week I want to make sure my blog is in the best possible place before I start working full time, as I know just how hard it is to maintain a regular schedule amongst the stress of full time work, especially as we will still have our 3 hour round trip commute for the whole month before we move. That’s three hours that I would usually spend a day blogging, so I will need to find the extra time from somewhere, yet if I can pre-plan or schedule a few posts then hopefully it will be a smooth transition.

It has also meant that I have been able to help Ed out to make his first few weeks at work as easy a transition as possible. I make sure that all his work shirts are washed and ironed when he’s at work, so it’s all ready for him to wear when he needs it. A small gesture but it means that he doesn’t need to spend his time doing it when he gets home late at night, allowing us more chill time together. Another great thing to do if you’re trying to be patient and wait for things to happen is to try and learn/improve a skill that will be useful for whatever it is you are going in to. Whilst I’ve already talked about the skills that blogging gives you that are relevant to the workplace, I also want to improve my excel knowledge and refresh some of my powerpoint skills to make sure I’m raring to go when I begin my new role. Having a few weeks before I start to do this is such a great opportunity to give myself the best start possible so I should be making the most of this!

So if you, like me, struggle with being patient then I guess from a fellow struggler, learning to use your time productively is a great way to make yourself feel like you are still achieving things and moving forward. Whether that’s helping out family, spending more time with friends, planning in advance or teaching yourself a skill, trying to think of it as a positive period of time that is yours to grab and make your own will really help.

Are you good at being patient? Let me know in the comments how you do it!

PS. Have also attempted to combat the boredom of being so impatient by binge watching Australian reality TV shows on netflix. Instant Hotel and Back With the Ex are golden. Yummy Mummies is next on my list!

Learning to be patient pinnable graphic

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.

How I’m Blogging Differently This Time

Before I created londonsnewgirl, I actually blogged over on misszarabelle.com and whilst I’ve left the site up as it really is like a diary and I truly loved what I was writing, I feel like I’ve taken londonsnewgirl in a completely different direction and I am going about it a totally different way.

WordPress VS Blogger

The age old blogger debate! When creating londonsnewgirl I wanted to try a different platform as I had found a lot of issues with my previous blog which was hosted on blogger. I chose WordPress and I really do feel like I made the right decision.

Despite having invested in a blogger theme, I found it a lot more work to add widgets and edit the layout. WordPress had so many beautiful free themes that were relatively easy to customise and I haven’t found any need to spend extra money to find a theme as the current theme reflects my blog and what I want it to portray.

I also love that WordPress uses blocks to form their posts, making it so much easier to edit and add photos to posts. It is also so easy to edit the ALT text of images and add meta descriptions which is especially helpful for WordPress beginners like myself.

Pressure

Blogging is definitely my hobby. Whilst it would be the dream career for some, I love the office environment and feeling part of a team. However, I would love to use my blogging skills in my career and can definitely see it playing a significant role in my future. Therefore you could say that there is a certain sense of pressure, however nothing like the pressure I was putting on myself beforehand! I would spend hours a day looking at google analytics, when in all honesty, not all that much was changing. I was definitely never obsessed with the numbers because it wasn’t about that for me, but I would spend hours trying to promote my blog and would not get much in return. This time I’m focusing more on creating the content and generating the right kind of engagement with it. I want my blog to be a guide and a place of inspiration for others, therefore I’d much rather read five comments that were relevant to the post than ten that simply said “Great post!” I’m putting much less pressure on myself this time and I think it’s already visible in my views and interactions on social media – in a positive way! I am engaging more with people who are enjoying my content rather than people who simply want a returned comment.

Brand Image

I have also tried to focus on creating a unified brand for londonsnewgirl, across both social media and the content I am producing. Whilst I was essentially the brand for my previous blog, I have so many interests that it ended up sprawling quite a few topics. However as this blog is focused on my move to London and how I am navigating the city as a graduate, I have tried to narrow my content to career and London based topics. My recent posts have included how I’m finding the London job hunt, how I am curating my work wardrobe and what I learned at university. By focusing on these topics I am finding it much easier to plan posts and I am writing much less spur of the moment chatter. I want londonsnewgirl to be a guide for any other gal or guy who is taking the plunge and move to the city. Once I become more settled I want to discuss the London rental market, as well as my favourite places for brunch and post-work cocktails. (A girl can dream… Reality is looking more like the sweaty central line ride home before I collapse in an exhausted heap…)

Photography

Or well, lack of it. Photography is not my strong suit, I don’t have a fancy canon camera and I don’t have portrait mode on my iPhone. For me, blogging isn’t about the photography, it’s about the words and the experience of reading the content. Pictures are definitely important, they provide an image that can be associated with the content and this is infinitely easier to share on social media as they are more inviting and eye catching. However this time, I’m wanting to put out high quality content, including photography, so I have decided to work with stock photos. Some of you may be gasping in horror, but I recently ran a poll on my twitter to see what you all thought of stock photos and 88% of you said you weren’t fussed/wouldn’t even notice. For some, this might be the biggest blogging sin ever, but please forgive me. I’d rather put all my energy into creating better quality content and sharing high quality images no matter who took them. I am also really enjoying creating Pinterest graphics for my post, so that my content can be easily shared on Pinterest, something which I never bothered with before as I didn’t think it would drive much traffic. However as I want londonsnewgirl to be more of a reference point and guide, it’s important to me that I make my posts and content as easy to refer back to as possible and Pinterest definitely helps me do that.

Pinnable graphic; how I'm blogging differently this time!