The London Job Hunt

Strolling around London on interview day! My London job hunt experience

As a final year student, absolutely the worst question I could be asked was “what are you doing after uni?” My answer was always, “getting a job in London” and I made it sound so easy. I’ll move to London, get my dream job in marketing and start living the city girl lifestyle I’d been dreaming of.

How optimistic was I?! Job hunting is hard anywhere, but the level of competition and opportunity in the capital make it completely overwhelming.

Firstly you have to decide what type of job you want, made ten times harder when you don’t even know what jobs are out there and you see adverts for jobs you never even knew existed! Then you have to decide whether you want to work in a start-up, a small tight-knit team where perhaps you can feel like you make more of an impact, or a larger corporate company with international offices bringing travel possibilities and greater chances of sinking or swimming.

Then you have to actually find the jobs. Trawling through linked in and indeed, career websites and essentially finding the same jobs on every single one of them. Sending off thousands of CV’s to get maybe 10 replies. 7 will be rejections, 2 might be invitations to participate in an online test that will take you about three hours to then be told that all positions are currently full, with only one being a telephone interview that will result in another online test.

It can really feel like one massive, encapsulating and draining circle of application and rejection. But with each rejection or interview you undoubtedly learn something new.

I actually really enjoy interviews. #controversialopinion

At the end of the day, they want you to do well, they need someone to do the job hence why they are interviewing in the first place. All an interviewer really wants to do is find out if you are the right fit for a company. I like to see an interview as the chance to go into the offices, meet members of the team and see whether or not it would be a fit for me, it’s a two way process. I guess it’s a bit like speed dating, you both want to find out each other’s best qualities and see if you have that spark. If you are interviewing for a job you are passionate about then you already know all the answers. You know why you want the job so all you have to do is tell them!

I am by no means claiming to be an expert at interviews. I’ve maybe had 7/8 in my life! But, out of those 7/8 I can say that by seeing the interview as an opportunity rather than something terrifying, I portrayed myself truly and confidently in each one. It’s a hard skill to practise and I’ve not by any standards mastered it, but it’s a skill I am so grateful I was taught at school. As we got older we would have interview practise days, where we would have recruiters or managers brought in and we would be interviewed for made up jobs.

One such interviewer started by shaking our hands as each of us came in the room. We were then split, roughly half and half. The half on the left were told they wouldn’t be considered for a role after their initial handshake. They lacked vigour, intent and firmness. The right half had made it past the first hurdle.

This has stayed with me for two reasons. Firstly, because it was the most savage thing I’d ever seen at 16. Secondly, because it showed me just how important it was to be confident.

So I guess, in amongst the chaos of the city, it’s important to be confident. Remember why you wanted to work in London/that industry in the first place and show that passion to everyone else. People told me I was mad for wanting to move to London, it’s too fast, too big, too crazy, but for me I knew it was the only place where I’d have the career opportunities I wanted. Whilst the dream is seeming a little far away at the moment, in the midst of interviews and researching, knowing that I’m working for it is making it that little bit more exciting.

How do you deal with looking for a job? Do you have any tips for job hunting? Leave them in the comments I’d love to read them!

PS! The photo’s were taken on interview day – keep your fingers crossed for me!!

Work wardrobe staple; to my interview I wore this blue spotty phase 8 shirt dress
My experience of hunting for a job in London as a recent university graduate!

My Two Year Bucket List

I love planning, especially long term, whether its for holidays or how I’m going to organise my work over the next few months but I feel like moving to London isn’t exactly something I can plan very well. In terms of flats and jobs that’s relatively easy to plan in the sense that I need to find both of them in order to do anything else, but what I’m going to do with my weekends? No idea.

A better idea for me however is to give myself a list of things I want to do or achieve and then get to tick them off as I do each one, sort of like a really flexible big plan that I can adapt to do whenever I want.

Exploring

One of my favourite things to do is explore and I definitely want to make the most of all the little gems that London has to offer. I really want to do some day trips, especially back down to Brighton in the Summer months (I’ve been once before for the day and I loved it!) as well as venturing further afield and exploring the south of England a little more as my knowledge is restricted pretty much to where Ed lives in Essex.

When I lived in Germany for a year one of my favourite things to do was to get on their version of the tube and get off at a random stop, walk around and find something fun to do there. Whilst this may not be the best idea in London I really want to make sure I make use of the tube network and try and visit as many neighbourhoods of the city as I can. We have both said we want to suss out exactly where we would want to live before we commit to a long term rental it’s going to be really important for us to use our weekends wisely and get out and about.

Travel

Whilst this could also be considered exploring, I definitely want to make use of London’s transport networks and I’d love to take the Eurostar across to Europe, especially Paris at some point over the next couple of years. There are also some amazing deals to be had on flights to other cities, so I’d definitely love to book us a couple of long weekends away as a little treat when we need them.

I would also love to go skiing again, something I haven’t done since my year abroad. Whilst it’s definitely going to be one of the more expensive trips, I’d love to save up and hit the slopes for a few days!

Culture

One of London’s greatest selling points for me is the abundance of museums and theatres that can be found there. I have always wanted to see a musical in the West End and I currently have my heart set on Matilda, although Wicked and Phantom remain some of my favourites. There are also so many museums I have still not visited, including the V&A and the British Museum which are top of my list!

Blogging

I really missed blogging during my break but starting afresh with londonsnewgirl has made me realise some of the mistakes I made the last time! Whilst I want to post regularly because it’s something I enjoy doing, I do not want to get myself into the routine where I would feel guilty if I hadn’t been working on my blog for a few days. I know I am going to be so busy, especially for the first few months of the new job and moving into the new flat but my blog will always be my creative outlet. I’d love to grow my site to the point where it becomes a place of reference for other London girls or people looking to visit the city for a few days. As I am such a traveller at heart there will always also be travel content on the blog and I can’t wait to see where the next few years take me!

I much prefer my new mental format of thinking of them as things I want to do rather than planning out exactly where and when I will do them! Do you set yourself goals/lists like these? Let me know in the comments!

I've written a bucket list of what I want to achieve/do over the next two years! From travel to blogging with bits of culture thrown in!

Dear Diary… Is it Summer yet?

Summer is so close I can almost smell the suncream. That feeling of waking up and flopping downstairs, the days stretching out ahead of you with the song of the Summer (I’m calling Avicci SOS or I don’t care by Sheeran & Bieber) blasting on the radio. The good times.

This will essentially be my last ‘free’ Summer, no work, no university to prepare for, no need to find a Summer job. It will be bliss. It’ll be first Summer since I left school that I will be going on a Summer holiday, so naturally I have an ASOS board named “Holidaze” with some sunshine and cocktail emojis with about a thousand items on it. Considering I’m not planning on finding an intermediary job and I will no longer receive a student loan, it’s certainly going to be a fun time for my bank balance. But at least I’ll have a cute yellow and white spotty bikini…

I have so many exciting things planned for the Summer that I almost cannot believe it. Not only am I going to graduate University after a long five years (I did a year abroad!) I have some amazing and exciting trips planned with friends and family. I also have big plans for this blog, creating content all about preparing for the big move and my Summer adventures.

We are so lucky to have plans to explore the UK as well as travelling abroad. From travelling to the West Coast of Scotland with our friends and visiting my family, to spending a week on the beaches of Norfolk with my boyfriend’s (and my half) gorgeous golden retriever, I love taking the time to appreciate my own country.

However since the UK does not have the most reliable climate (although I am hoping to not repeat last Summer’s 32 degrees in London, that was unbearable) we also have a couple of trips abroad.

According to both our parents, choosing to go to Malta for your grad trip is a slightly random choice (with both parents questioning whether or not Malta actually has any beaches…) but I cannot wait to explore the island with some friends. It appears to have the perfect mix between sun, sea and culture and the Maltese cuisine looks like an incredible array of seafood and pasta. Heaven.

We are also so lucky to be travelling to the States with my boyfriend’s family for two weeks of pure relaxation in South Carolina. I have only been to the States once before so I am so excited to explore a different area and meet some of my boyfriend’s family for the first time!

Amongst this whirlwind I will also need to find a flat and a job lol. But let’s forget about that for now and keep scrolling through the endless straw hats on ASOS I am trying to convince myself I will suit and work out which colour of nail varnish will match that yellow bikini…

If you have any plans for the Summer then let me know in the comments! Also if you have any recommendations for Malta then I would love to hear them. We are staying in the North of the Island near St. Pauls bay but are definitely planning on travelling around!