Recognising the Need for Change & Getting a New Job

Hey Sweeties,

I think it’s important to acknowledge that not all recognition for change means getting a new job, sometimes solutions can be found and suggested internally, that introduces a new process for colleagues to follow. However, sometimes even with the best intentions at heart, trying to enforce change within a workplace and/or team proves too challenging and the change you seek can only come from acknowledging it’s time to move on elsewhere.

Recognising the Need for Change

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What to Ask at Interview – Five Questions that could help get you that Job!

Hey Sweeties,

It’s the end of an interview for a position you really want, and the interviewer asks if you have any questions for them and you say “no”. Sound familiar? Yes, me too. We all make mistakes in interview, during my process of seeking employment after graduating I asked in a couple of first round interviews about salary because I had read somewhere that this is good to ask. SPOILER – do NOT talk about salary at a first interview; negotiate salary once the job is actually yours, not before.

Interviews are one of those things that you get better at with experience, there is so much advice out there it’s easy to get conflicting information. I’ve already spoken before about how to nail an interview, and how to start your career in marketing, but I thought I would now focus on what YOU should ask at interview. Some times questions to ask are obvious if there are things you need some clarity on, but oftentimes it can be a struggle.

Here are some examples of things you could ask at interview

What to ask at interview

What to ask at interview

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So you want a career in Marketing? My Four Tips to get you Started

Hey Sweeties,

A colleague recently came to me for some advice about how to get started in marketing, acknowledging that it is a career path they would like to explore, but not too sure where to start.

For the lowdown for how I (finally) landed in marketing, you want to read my Graduate Experience Post, and if you have an interview coming up, you might want to read my post about How to Nail an Interview also. Meanwhile however, I thought I would put together a post sharing some advice (and experience) about how you can start a career in marketing.

Career in marketing

 

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Hey, it’s Okay: The Career Edition – Six Pieces of Life Advice

Hey Sweeties,

Every once in a while it’s good to be reassured that something you’re doing/have done, or the situation you’re in or going into, is okay. As women, we are told conflicting advice ALL THE TIME! While I can share some life advice from a very general perspective, I think my particular expertise covers the area of careers. Nowadays, women can do anything in the world of work and yet, the first thing to get sacrificed is our career when it comes to having children, or being married (in some cultures), or just because. But also, the messages around us also say that career women are too focused, too ambitious… or it goes the other way and we are made to feel a little inadequate if we don’t have lots of career aspirations. I’ve only been around 29 years but here’s what I can share about the world of work, here goes –

Hey it’s okay:

To spend your twenties exploring multiple roles and industries –

It is no longer the deal to train in one thing and stick with it for the rest of your life like it was in the olden days. Nowadays, it’s the norm to explore a few things before you find what it is you’re good at/want to do; it’s also the norm to move on from one employer to the next every few years, particularly when you’re still building up your experience and network. But be sensible, show logic and focus in your journey rather than moving on for the sake of it or because you got bored. Do you have an interview coming up? Here’s my five tips on how to nail it.

hey it's okay

To complete as many or as little qualifications as you like –

At 29 years old, I have: 9 (expired) GCSE’s; 3 A-Levels; 2 NVQs in Business Administration; a Dental Nurse qualification (National exam); a Bachelors degree in Media Communications; and a diploma in Copy Writing. I would love to do a Masters degree if time and finances allowed. Why? I enjoy studying and also I just don’t think I’ll ever really shake off the feeling that I was never considered good enough at school, so I spent years afterwards getting myself qualified in everything I pursued. But it’s not essential, a qualification shows you can apply yourself to something, experience demonstrates you can put your learning into practice. But your twenties are definitely for getting yourself qualified in whatever you want to do before time and financial commitments prevent you from having that freedom. Recently got your A-Level results? This post is for you!

hey it's okay

To be Selfish –

No one else is going to give you an opportunity if you don’t put yourself forward/make yourself known, you need to think of number one (that’s you) and work out what it is you want and go and get it. I know it’s difficult to make moves and things when you have a partner, or a mortgage etc. but where possible, don’t be afraid to move to a new location for your dream job, and it takes time to climb the salary ladder so be prepared to start low, but climb high. This day and age, you can do and be anything.

Hey it's okay

To be intimidated by highly successful women –

I don’t mean this negatively, when I read about successful women who have climbed to the top of the ladder before I’ve even got out of bed in the morning is inspiring, but it’s also intimidating. We have to champion our female leaders and those young women who have made a name for themselves in the business world, but it’s okay to be a little overwhelmed by them too. I’ve worked my damnedest to get to where I am now and while for many that might not look significant, but if you’re familiar with my Graduate experience you’ll know how long it has taken me to find my footing. You and me have probably worked as hard as those women we read about, but their journey has propelled them further, quicker, but that doesn’t make them better. See my top ten list of successful women, here.

hey it's okay

To want a family –

It’s amazing how in the 21st Century, women fundamentally still have to chose between being a mother, or having a career. I say fuck society and do both… if you want to. But it’s also okay to choose motherhood and spend some time raising a family because that’s still a pretty crucial role to play. For me I am at that point where motherhood beckons on the horizon but so does my want to still do well and do more in my career first. I also have concerns about what will happen to my job once I go on maternity leave; will it still be there several months on for me to take back or will I begin a frustrating period of life whereby I am punished for having a family? Who knows. But from what I’ve been told, by both men and women, is that you can’t really ever know and if you’re lucky enough to have a family, you’ll make it work and there’s no point delaying it because you’re worried about the what ifs.

hey it's okay

To have your cake and eat it –

Because you can.

hey it's okay

What I am wearing: Shirt – Dorothy Perkins; black leggings – ASOS; Shoes – Dorothy Perkins; Bag – Fiorelli.

 

What life advice would you pass on to your younger self?

Until next time x

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So you have your A-Level Results, what next? | August Blogs

Hey Sweeties,

If you’re reading this and your A-Level results are sat on the table next to you, first of all, congratulations! Regardless of all this bollocks that gets released every year about how A-level exams are getting easier, they are still hard for any student completing them as it requires a lot of effort and discipline to study and achieve good results. So well done you! But what now? Maybe you’re already set on your next move and you either have a job, an apprenticeship or a University place waiting, or maybe you have your around-the-world plane ticket in hand and are off travelling for a bit, but what if you don’t? What if everything has actually suddenly become a bit overwhelming and you’re not sure what to do? That’s okay, you’re not alone. Breathe!

I am desperately hoping that the attitude of sixth form colleges and teachers has changed since completing my own A-Level exams back in 2005, because back then I had zero intention to go to University and as soon as I had made that clear, I was plonked in a little reject group that fundamentally got left out of everything. I mean, we’re going to be doing sod all for the school’s league table of students that went off to University so best to just pretend we didn’t exist, right? Pathetic.

As it happened I did go to University four years later but that decision was 100% my own and it was the correct path for me at the time. If I had gone to University when I was 18, I would 100% have not been ready, nor been totally sure on what I wanted to do there and I don’t think I would have graduated in the same way as I did later in life. Going when I was 22 gave me a far more wholesome experience, I knew what I wanted to get out of the experience and it will go down as one of the best decisions I ever made for myself. Period. Rather than repeat my story all over again however, a couple of years ago I wrote all about my University experience, more specifically about life after graduation, which you can read for yourself, here.

Graduation

But please let me make it clear that University is not the only route into a successful career if that is something important to you. Now the University fees have risen significantly (I graduated the [academic] year before the higher fees came in) which quite honestly I think are ridiculous, it’s okay to not want to go. In fact, it’s always been okay to not want to go to University but unfortunately some employers have been and still are blinded by the criticality for applicants to have a degree. A degree in its simplest terms, demonstrates you can apply yourself to something for a period of time and (hopefully) get a good result out of it. All exams essentially prove this, but with the right employer, you can achieve this straight out of school as well. (I have also written previously about if there is such a thing as the perfect degree, here).

Fundamentally my message to all young people, or anyone really, is that success and being sure of yourself takes time, and that really is what your twenties are for, for exploring yourself and the world around you. I think another thing to remember, which might not be what you want to hear now but is something I believe very strongly in, is that everything happens for a reason. If something hasn’t gone to plan (particularly applicable to anyone currently sat in pieces about their A-level grades), it might seem disastrous, but when you look back on it in a few months or even years’ time, having taken a different route as a result, you might be in a far better place because you had to go down route B, C or even D, and be so much happier than you would be if route A had gone to plan.

I liken this to when I spent a couple of years training with my school to complete the Ten Tors (a walking challenge based on Dartmoor). On the final training expedition that determined the teams for the May event, I had a total mental breakdown which caused me to quit. For the next few days I literally didn’t know what to do with myself as I think the whole coming to the end of school and the pressures surrounding my GCSEs amongst other things just broke me. As a result, I didn’t make the teams but I was still taken to the event as first reserve. The day before the challenge was to begin, another competing school who my trainers knew, approached them and asked if they had a spare walker. Once my trainers were confident I wasn’t needed, I was put forward and thus was not only able, but I completed the challenge with a totally new team of people which for me, made the whole experience ten times better. Of course I was a bit anxious walking and camping with people I didn’t know, but I was so grateful for the opportunity that it overrode everything else. I appreciate that not everyone gets a second chance at doing something, but it just goes to show that what you think you want, isn’t always going to give you the best experience. If you’re driven to succeed, you’ll get there.

What are your results day experiences?

Until next time x

 

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