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.

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.