nothing is permanent, even unemployment

2018, lifestyle, student

Hello!

After graduating, the only thing anyone ever really wants to talk to you about is whether you’ve got a job, what’re you going to do next and what your plans are and when you don’t have a job or a plan it gets pretty boring and incredibly down-heartening.

That’s not to say I resent anyone who asks – it’s nice to know that people care enough to ask, especially my family – I’m mostly annoyed with myself for not having anything to update them on.

And it is disheartening – when you’ve spent three years working on something and you’re proud of your achievements and you’ve been told ‘you won’t struggle to get a job’ (maybe all lecturers say that to everyone) it’s hard to apply for some really exciting jobs and some jobs that you could do but wouldn’t love and some jobs just to pass the time and to get a new rejection email every day. Even my mum today used the words ‘soul destroying’ and she’s right.

This isn’t new information – I’m not the first graduate to feel like this and I most certainly won’t be the last, I’m not trying to be a voice and I’m not trying to pretend this is something new or original.

I’m just saying that if you’re feeling like this you’re not alone – being in this post-graduate unemployment slump can be incredibly isolating. After three years of living with your best mates, seeing your friends every day and living a completely independent life, for most students it’s moving back in with your parents, knowing that all your friends are scattered around the country and it takes more than just a Facebook message to see them. It’s lonely and on top of that you may start to feel like the universe is telling you that you’ll never get a job.

To be honest, I don’t know if I have any ‘tips and tricks’ to make this easier – we’re not going to be unemployed forever, no one ever is, I just don’t know what the next step is. However much I keep telling myself I’m going to be unemployed forever and I’m not good enough for the jobs I’ve applied for doesn’t mean it’s true – I’m not going to spend the rest of my life living at my mum’s house making food plans and uploading videos not many people watch and I know that not getting a job doesn’t mean I’m a failure and I’m useless.

Well, at least I hope it doesn’t.

I guess the thing I want to share (to make this a slightly less miserable post!) is this – I was chatting to a friend a few weeks ago, he’s just finished his first year and he said his biggest worry about finishing uni was ending up in a dead end job and I said words to this effect.

I mean, it’s hard to say either way – obviously I want to say ‘that won’t happen’ but I finished uni months ago and I still don’t have a job. All I can say is nothing lasts forever – I don’t think I know anyone who has been in the same job at the same company or even in the same career from when they’re in their early 20s to when they’re 60. Things change and move and you’ll change and move with them – nothing is ‘stuck’ or ‘dead end’ unless you decide to stay, so don’t worry about it too much!

Nothing is permanent, even unemployment.

Any advice (or jobs in social/digital media or along these lines) please do let me know! All my socials are linked below as always.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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my uncertain life right now (Diary 1)

2018, lifestyle, student, travel

Hello!

A couple of months ago I wrote a post all about how I was writing this blog for myself – how I didn’t really want to spend masses of time scheduling tweets or making promo for Instagram stories that I didn’t get much engagement on so I’d rather this blog was a little spot on the internet that I can scroll through in 50 years and look back on what was important to me when I was 21.

I don’t think I’m the right kind of person to get brand deals and really make a living from doing this, maybe writing in other capacities but not like this (not that I wouldn’t want to if the opportunity came along? I could get caught up in ‘if’s and ‘but’s for ages, but you get the gist).

So where I may have held off writing diary like blog posts in the past (‘because it doesn’t help anyone’ or ‘no one cares’) – I want to start documenting little capsules of my life! Here and now – 17th August 2018, these are the things I’m thinking, what makes me happy, what I’m worried about. I hope that’s okay.

Right this second, I’m sat in a Cafe Nero in Peterborough – my boyfriend is at his (hopefully) last driving lesson before he gets put forward for his test and I’m killing time until we get the bus home together later. I love working in cafes – for some reason, being out the house and in public makes me feel like I have to get work done but it doesn’t feel like a chore. It inspired me to write this post, to be honest.

This week was one of those busy but quiet weeks – the beginning of the week was a trial shift at a job that I had to turn down because my back is in really bad shape and standing for whole shifts would do more bad than good, then I was on a train back to Southampton for a job interview at the university I didn’t attend.

I think it went well – I’ve tried not to post too much about it online because I know for a fact that if everyone else is as nosy as me, people will be judging and keeping an eye on how the job hunt is going (that sounds malicious – I’m kinda nosy but because it’s exciting seeing where everyone’s going next!). But also I don’t want to post about it and then not get it because then people might ask me how it went and I’d have to say I didn’t get it. I’m waiting on an email or some form of contact today so I might update this post? I feel like I have to now!

edit: I didn’t get the job, back to applying I guess!

It was a very quick one night stay in Southampton and by Tuesday evening we were home and continuing to watch CW’s Arrow Season 1 – we started watching Legends of Tomorrow with the fam and it was a bit confusing because I’ve watched Flash but I hadn’t seen Arrow or Supergirl so we decided to go right back to the beginning and watch them in order. I’m loving it so much – I’ve always been a massive fan of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (none of the TV shows ever grabbed me) but DC’s films never blew me away, DC TV however is edging it’s way to be equal to Marvel to be honest. Flash is my DC boy and Spider-Man is my Marvel boy, they could never be more than each other.

I take superheroes very seriously, I don’t know if you can tell!

The middle of this week has been very slow – I’ve had a lot of headaches and I can’t tell if they’re dehydration or stress but I’m already looking forward to a new week and a fresh start.

In the least melodramatic way, my life right now is very uncertain – I might get this job or that job (I’ve applied for too many to count at this point), I might be living at home for a while, should I start driving lessons? Will I be home for my birthday? Do I book to go down to Bournemouth for my sister’s birthday because I don’t know where I’ll be? I feel like I’m waiting on a lot of conditions before I can settled and plan properly and we all know that planning and knowing where I am and what I’m doing is my specialty – I feel a bit like I’m floating, so I’m very much looking forward to having my feet planted firmly on the ground again.

I’ve really enjoyed writing this – I might make it a more regular thing or keep it just to when I feel like something significant is worth documenting? Either way, I found it very therapeutic so I hope you enjoyed it too!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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May Mini Goals

2018, lifestyle, photography, student, travel

Hello!

I’m a little bit late this month but my final (ever) university hand in was on May 2nd so I took a few days to myself, I’m back home with my mum and now I’m back and more focused than ever – I’ve done a lot of work on a portfolio I’m building on a new Instagram account and I’m ready to have a few weeks to make the content I’ve been longing to make for so long.

So let’s crack on shall we.

APRIL GOALS + REVIEW:

  1. Post on Instagram 5 times a week: I mean I’m not sure in what world I was going to have the time to plan and take photos for Instagram considering the amount of work I had to do for my FMP. This lasted all of about a week and then I decided I couldn’t spend the time I wanted to dedicate to Instagram so I went radio silent for a few weeks. But it’s what my project needed and FMP was priority so I’m not to fussed about this one.
  2. Watch more films: My goal for the month was to see two films at the cinema and I did this – I saw Black Panther in the lead up to going to the midnight showing of Infinity War. My god, my Marvel fangirl heart is having a field day – I’ve since seen Infinity War twice more and I fully intend to go and see it a few more times at the cinema. I’m in love with going to the cinema at the moment and there are a couple more films I’d like to see so now that I’ve handed in, I think some solo cinema trips are in order.
  3. Book a holiday: This one is justifiable – I definitely would have booked it but my beloved boyfriend hasn’t actually ordered his passport yet and as it’s his first passport it will take considerably longer to arrive than your average passport renewal so I’ve said I’m not booking it until he has the passport in his hands. So it’s not the case that I didn’t do, but that I elected to do it once another task was completed. It just wasn’t my task to complete.
  4. Finish my FMP: NAILED IT! Not only because it was due in and I had to, but I’m so happy with what I submitted – I was pleased with the copy, the photos fit really well, the audio was really fun and I love editing video so much. When I’ve got the grades back I think I’ll do a post explaining my project and showcasing it a little bit but that won’t be for another few weeks yet.
  5. Apply for 3 more jobs: Also smashed it – I applied for three more jobs at the beginning of the month then a couple more in the middle and then decided I wouldn’t apply for anymore until after hand in, so doing pretty good on that front.

MAY GOALS:

  1. Content Focus: Now I don’t have university work, I can actually write, film, edit and post all the things I want to make – I’m going to try my best to stick to a schedule of two videos a week and at least one blog post a week. I’m genuinely excited about this.
  2. Get a job: When I say ‘get a job’, I mean apply for as many as I can and do what I can to get a job, if I end the month with a job that’ll be lush but no pressure either way.
  3. See more films: Not everything here is about professional development and making things! Last month was two films and I’ve already seen Infinity War twice more this month so I’m going to say I want to go to the cinema twice more this month. Not sure what I want to see but with my Showcase Insider card I can definitely make the most of every trip.
  4. Work on portfolio and professional presence: It helps with getting a job if I actually work on these kind of things right? So I want to add a portfolio section to my blog, I have a portfolio Instagram that I’ve just planned all the posts for (and these posts can be used on my blog as well), I need to make a showreel or figure out whether I want one showreel with different roles or a showreel for each role, I should probably update my CV – I’ve got a list that I’ll slowly tick off by the end of the month.
  5. Exercise, y’know, some: Now that I’ve finished uni, I can focus on exercising and losing weight before graduation in July – originally I planned to workout every day but that’s not always feasible so I’m just doing as much as I can. I’m giving Blogilates beginner calendar a go, trying to go for lots of walks and eating more healthily. We’ll see how it goes.

Hopefully having handed in my FMP will mean I stay as productive as I intended to be but I’ll just have to try my best and see how it goes – if I want it to work I’m the only one that can make it!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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balancing a job and university

2017, lifestyle, student

Hello!

This past week has been difficult – I was at work four days in a row and I have two deadlines this week and it’s all kind of getting on top of me. I’m not doing very well at the moment, I just kind of want to be a bit sad and not do anything but everything bad is happening while I have lots and lots going on and my assignments are piling up and what I’m making is just really bad and I can’t figure it out or make it up or get it right and I’m a bit overwhelmed right now.

But before this week, I’ve managed having a job and keeping up with uni for a good couple of months now so so I thought I’d collate a few tips for anyone who isn’t sure if they should get a job at uni or anyone who needs a bit of help, like me, right now.

Make a list of everything that needs doing – I talk about lists a lot, I’m a bit of an advocate for a list, but I find that listing out all of the uni work I have to do in more detail than just ‘this assignment, that assignment’ and also writing down when I’m working and when I’m in uni, means I can spread my workload out evenly over the days I have time to do work and I’m finding that it’s really helpful. Just doing a little bit every day or whenever you have time is so much easier than waiting till the day before it’s due and getting really stressed.

See if there’s any work you can do on paper on shift – obviously this depends where you work and what your manager’s like, but where I work if it’s really quiet and there’s nothing to do, I’m allowed to write out a to do list or if I’ve got any work I can write out on paper that’s fine as long as it doesn’t interfere with customer service (because contrary to Paperchase’s belief, I’m good at customer service, the managers at Paperchase are dicks).

Sacrifice social time if you have to – it’s difficult enough to manage having a job and uni but throwing a social life into the mix is even more difficult. I’m not saying don’t have a social life, I’m saying just be really sensible and don’t throw uni work out the window just because you want to see your friends – sometimes you have to say no to the pub or a night out or a movie night if it means you have to get work done. And that sucks but once the assignment or the work is done and summer rolls around, you’ll only have to balance a social life and work and that’s much easier. Well, for now, I think it is.

If you have an hour break at uni, go to the library – it’s easy to say ‘yeah sure, I’ll come to McDonalds’ or just chill with your friends for a bit but if you’re struggling for time and you have work that evening or over the weekend, make the most of the time you have to read a couple of chapters, write up some notes, make a list, write down some ideas – you can do a lot in an hour.

Now that I’ve written this all out, I should probably stop using my blog to procrastinate and actually do some work. I know it’s really easy to say ‘make a list, make the most of your time, it’ll be fine’ and not do it – god knows that’s what I’m doing – but at least trying is a step in the right direction.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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Working in Retail!

2016

Hello!

I’ve been working in retail for three months now and it was my first retail job and comparing it to my last job in customer service and fast food, it’s a very different atmosphere.

I work in the stationary store Paperchase and you get a certain type of customer, so I’m lucky that I don’t have any particularly bad customer experiences but people still treat you all kinds of ways. There was a woman who kept me for about ten minutes once just to tell me how she didn’t like any of the notebook designs and I should pass it on to my managers… like we have anything to do with designing the products… so that was fun!

The only instance where customers really don’t want to be bothered is loyalty cards. We’re not supposed to call them loyalty cards, they’re ‘Treat Me’ cards and they’re actually really great (no joke), you get money on your birthday and discounts and vouchers left, right and centre, it does literally take a minute to set up and they’re actually really useful cards. But people don’t want them, I know that but I have to ask if you want one! We get scored based on how many cards we issue or scan against how many transactions we make so I have to ask, I’m not trying to slow you down or irritate you!

The thing that annoys me the most about working in retail is when someone decides they no longer want something and they just dump it on the nearest shelf. That’s not where it goes is it? It clearly doesn’t belong in that range and it’s my job to keep the store tidy, though I suppose it gives me something to do while the store isn’t massively busy and there’s no stock to put out.

Don’t get me started on how messy the card wall is, but if I started tidying that I’d spend literally all day there. It’s so messy.

Another part of my job is greeting and engaging with customers – I didn’t expect this to be part of my job description when I started at Paperchase because that’s something I never expected or recalled encountering at the store before, but it’s part of being a Sales Assistant so I have to say hello to everyone and offer my assistance to anyone who could need it.

It’s mostly just ‘do you have these cards’ or ‘do you have this specific product’ and occasionally someone buying a present for a partner or relative and not quite being sure where to start. But if someone asks you if you need any help and you don’t, a polite ‘I’m fine thanks’ is okay – no need to be snappy because I’m doing my job.

And I think that’s what is the best thing to take away from this – whether someone is working in retail, customer service or waiting tables in a restaurant they’re just doing their job. If something they do annoys you, it’s unlikely it’s personal and it’s probable their manager asked them to (I know in fast food, I had to ask if every meal ordered was a large and 90% of the time people would say no).

Treat staff respectfully, because they’re just doing their job.

Thank you for reading!

Sophie xx

 

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