Let’s remember the bad bits

Tags

, , , ,

learning-to-be-free

I don’t know where I learned the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad life experiences. As early as a 13 I remember doing something that I considered to be bad and vowing to forget. Throughout my teenage years I did various things that I wanted to forget and it continued throughout university. As I downed bottles of wine, smoked cigarettes and hooked up with different people, there was always a voice telling me that what I was doing was wrong. It took away from my experiences and made me feel bad about living them.

After my last relationship ended I spent months questioning what had gone wrong and how I could have changed. I convinced myself that it was my fault that things went bad and this made it hard to move on. I convinced myself that in order to move on I needed to forget. This made it impossible to move on and I felt stuck in the past.

My therapist is a big advocate of mindfulness, living in the present. I have embraced this concept and try and focus my time and energy in the here and now. Despite that I knew that all of my past experiences (good and bad) are also a part of my life. Trying to forget the past was another way of trying to edit out the ‘bad bits’ in order to create a perfect life journey. Life just isn’t like that.

My experiences have made me who I am and they are impossible to forget. All of the things that I class as bad are related to freedom and exploration. I’m tired of punishing myself for living.  No one should feel like they can’t live fully because they fear regretting their decisions.

Your Experiences make you

We are all obsessed with living the perfect life. Mistakes are often glossed over in an attempt to forget them. Society makes us feel like only certain experiences are good ones. Everything that happens in your life is part of your story. They influence how you see the world and how you make decisions. I always thought that my sexuality was something to be ashamed of, something  to hide and forget. I was wrong. The relationships I had with women weren’t mistakes, they allowed me to explore who I am. What experiences are you trying to forget?

Accepting your past allows healing and growth

One of the reasons I enjoy practicing mindfulness is the focus on the present. That doesn’t mean that I don’t feel old thoughts and feelings. Sometimes they are so intense that I feel like I am having the experiences all over again. Instead of forgetting them I allow myself to feel the emotions or the thoughts. I know that they can’t affect my present, they are just apart of my journey. Don’t get my wrong, it is so difficult to accept things that may have hurt you or made you sad, but you can’t forget them.

You can make informed decisions

One of the greatest things about experiences is that you can learn from them. I have done things that I wouldn’t want to repeat or know that I shouldn’t repeat. This is particularly relevant when it comes to dating and relationships. I have decided that I don’t want casual hook ups and will only pursue something more serious. This is important to me because I know what kind of relationship I want and how I want to feel. What has your past taught you?

There is so much pressure to make the right decisions and learn from your mistakes. Sometimes neither is possible. The important thing to remember is that all experiences are a part of life. You don’t have to forget.

Advertisements

What driving taught me about life

Tags

, , , ,

passed

Passing my driving test is one of my biggest life achievements so far. I still remember hyperventilating while clutching the steering wheel in my first driving lesson in 2013. It took me months to master the gears and years to develop clutch control, spatial awareness and real time hazard perception. I cried, I gave up, I tried again and I almost rolled down a hill because I couldn’t control my clutch. Despite that I refused to give up and managed to pass.

I loved and hated my driving lessons but one thing that kept me going was the need for independence. I didn’t want to rely on friends and family to pick me up. I didn’t want ‘ a man with a car’ as part of my dating check list. I wanted to be able to take myself places. Throughout my years of driving I learnt a lot about myself and life. This blog will share some of this:

It’s OK to be a beginner 

I remember my friend’s telling me how easy driving was. I would often hear stories about someone passing their test within ten lessons- I have had more then I can count. Everyone has different skills and abilities. Just because someone find’s something easy doesn’t mean you will. I think as we get older we become more and more frightened of being a beginner. It become worse with age, no one want’s to admit that they don’t know something. If we have this static mindset we will never learn anything new or grow. This makes life very boring.

Trust your instincts, they are usually right

One of my biggest problems with driving was having the ability to make judgments all of the time. When was the right time to pull out onto a major road or join a busy roundabout. In my driving test I was forced to face my fears because my independent drive took me across 3 roundabouts. When we are faced with major life decisions we should trust ourselves to choose the right one. You know when something doesn’t feel right so trust your instincts.

Ask for help

I am a big believer in asking for help. I’m sure I drove my instructor mad because I would constantly ask the same questions. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. This is related to not being afraid of being a beginner. All of the information is out there. Use people, Google or your local library to find the answers that you need. My experience with driving made me a lot more comfortable with asking for help. 

It can take years to achieve a goal

I can’t emphasis this one enough. I never thought I would get my licence because I kept making mistakes. As soon as I thought I had mastered the clutch I would begin to make jerky gear changes and stall .Then everything went back to normal and I felt confident driving again. I think this is a good example of how difficult any goal is to achieve. There will be false starts, at times you will feel that you haven’t made any progress but the important thing is to keep going. If you really want something you need to put in the time and effort. Some things you will be working on for the rest of your life, others may only be a few years. 

I believe that fear stops us from pursing the things that will make us happier. Don’t let fear stop you from achieving your goals.

The Life Manifesto

Tags

, , , ,

o-woman-writing-facebook”A public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives as one issued by government, sovereign, or organisation” (www.dictionary.com)

Your twenties are a time of success and failure, love and loss. The last time I felt this range of emotions was my teenage years. This is why I am convinced that the twenties decade is a second adolescence, a time for self discovery.  Instead of fighting all of the change and uncertainty it’s time to embrace it. That includes the uninspiring jobs, living with mum and dad and the one night stands. It’s time to release the fear and guilt- you are building a life.

We are so good at over-sharing on social media, how many people have you seen prematurely announcing a business, pregnancy, or event before they have had time to think about it? Facebook is the not the place to share your life goals. The life manifesto is where you create a powerful life vision.

This blog will explore the different aspects of the life manifesto so that you can create your own.

What is your Mission Statement? 

All good manifestos have a strong mission statement. Remember, your not an organisation or a politician so you don’t need a catchy statement. Mine is simply ”To create an exciting life filled with passion, love and adventure”. Your mission statement will be the one thing that guides you through life. How many times have you struggled to make a decision on a job, a relationship or even a holiday? When you know what you want your decisions become much easier. Your not going to take a job that doesn’t align with your core values (which will be reflected in your statement) or start a relationship with someone who lacks ambitions if you have lots it. What does a happy life look like to you?

What are your strategic aims?  

A good strategy provides direction to an otherwise vague statement. My strategic aims are centred around career, health and wellbeing, relationships and adventure because I feel that those strands broadly represent my life. Your strands should become clear after you have written your mission statement.

Now you have strategic aims you need to be more specific about what you would like to achieve in those different areas. Under each aim write bullet points on what success would look like to you. For example, under my health and wellbeing aim I have meditate each morning. This is a success indicator and will help me evaluate my progress in this area. Try and make your success indicators as specific as possible. This will make the action you need to take easier to identify.

Remember, your life manifesto is a living document that should be reviewed, reflected upon and changed.

I think that life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. As much as we are encouraged to be free and aimless (because that’s what your twenties are about right?) this brings unnecessary stress and anxiety. Creating a life vision gives you direction and helps you make meaningful decisions.

The Quarter Life Crisis

Tags

, , , , ,

the quarter life crisis

Last weekend I went to a medieval banquet with an old university friend. We dressed up in medieval clothes, drank red wine from a pint glass and danced in a circle with complete strangers. Then we moved on to ‘Satan’s Den’ where we downed Sambuca  shots (foul) and took selfies on a double bed that we found hidden in a corner near the bar. It felt like the carefree days of uni. I think we both embraced the night because it was a break from life. Having fun was enough, I didn’t have to think about the future. I could just live in the moment. It was a nice break because over the past six months I have been consumed by depression and anxiety.

They say the ‘quarter life crisis’ is a time of uncertainty, stress and fear about the future. I have experienced it all. I’m not were I thought I would be in my career, I still live at home, I can’t seem to make my wages last the month and my jeans are still tight. Every week I start a new diet, attempt to save money and try and figure out my career path. By the end of the month I am eating everything, avoiding my bank account and having ‘that life’ conversation with another disillusioned 20 something while we try to avoid getting drunk- impossible. Older friends and family tell me that I am worrying unnecessarily  ‘Your 24 years old’ ‘ You have your whole life ahead of you’. The problem is I have no idea what that looks like.

09320025779907428dbb8f4bfe962655

I have spent the last few years trying to ‘become someone’. I thought that meant chasing the next job, finding a serious relationship and losing weight. Neither is happening in the way I would like and this has caused me to become depressed. It’s been hard but I have decided to let go of my expectations. I always told myself that I couldn’t be happy until I achieved the next goal. What if this is it?  I may never achieve ‘success’ I might not be married by 30 and my jeans are likely to remain tight unless I buy a bigger pair. I’m not an expert, I live the struggle daily but the following are things that I have been thinking about.

Un-become everything that isn’t you

As a society we are obsessed with ‘becoming’ something. We spend our lives trying to fix ourselves. Generation Y have taken this to another level. Why spend so much time trying to change ourselves all in the hope that it will bring happiness. You will never be happy until you accept yourself for who you really are. I am slowly learning this. I have always been obsessed with wearing heels, they made me feel beautiful. I conveniently ignored the fact that I struggled to walk in them and I would have sore feet for at least a day after my night out. I hardly wear heels now, my comfort is much more important. What are trying to become? If it doesn’t feel right then it’s not you.

Work is a living not a life

I have a love/hate relationship with my job. One minute I feel like I am making a difference and the next I feel like another cog in the machine. The promotion I dream about seems more distant, I get disheartened and I feel like I am wasting my life. This has been a major cause of my unhappiness. I am starting to realize that jobs shouldn’t define you. It doesn’t matter how many mistakes I make or how difficult my colleagues are. I come in each day and do my best to change people’s lives. I have a job that aligns with my values and that is a blessing. You may be in a job that you hate or not progressing fast enough. You could look for a new job and that might make you happy for a while. However, happiness is never guaranteed. The most important thing is to try and find value in your work. Your job gives you the money needed to build a life- never forget that.

You can’t find love on a schedule

The number one topic of conversation is always relationships and my lack of one. I have been single for over a year and it’s not fun any more. I watch people getting married and having babies and wonder, is that ever going to happen to me? I hope so but the truth is I can’t force a relationship. Every man/woman shouldn’t be looked at as a potential life partner. You shouldn’t be mentally assessing someone when you first meet them. Dating has become boring and robotic. Dating Apps such as Plenty of Fish or Tinder tell us that value can only be found in someone’s physical appearance. We treat each other like commodities, selling yourself in the hope that someone will buy. A relationship based on the superficial will never last. I know it’s hard but we need to stop thinking that we can make love a ‘goal’. It will just happen.

I wasn’t sure about writing this post. I have been avoiding my blog because I didn’t feel like I had anything interesting or positive to say. I don’t have the answers, each day is still a struggle but I hope that this post helps someone. Let’s commit to sharing the struggles as well as the success, life is about both.

I think I’m Saving but I’m Not

Tags

, , , , , ,

savings

By Daniella Nzekwe

There are so many negative stereotypes held about generation Y. The lost twenty-somethings that are stuck in low paid jobs, binge drinking their wages and staggering back to their childhood bedrooms whilst trying not to wake their parents. Let’s not forget about the young professionals living in shared accommodation but are still unable to save because of expensive rents. That life is the reality for twenty-somethings and there is nothing wrong with it. Do your best with what you have, that’s what I have always believed.

I am grateful to be in a decently paid job and on my way to buying my first property. I wish I could say that I sacrificed my social life so that I could save for a deposit but I didn’t. A generous inheritance means that I will be able to afford to step onto the property ladder. Despite the economic austerity, I am still managing to maintain a fairly carefree lifestyle. My mother has been begging me to save for the past three years and I have tried. I would transfer £200 to my savings account on payday- it just refused to stay there. It might have been an unexpected shopping trip or a deposit for a last minute holiday. My need (or addiction) to living life to the full means that I have to say yes to experiences, travel, food and tastefully furnished cocktail bars all of the time.

I have spent so much time talking to my best friend about saving. I often fantasize about what it would be like to have money in my bank account at the end of the month or be able to pay for a holiday in cash. However, I am slowly accepting that my dream of saving thousands of pounds is unlikely to happen. I enjoy spending my wages.

Experiences and Things

How many times have you read a quote that says ‘spend money on experiences not things’? What about spending money on both? I have always enjoyed buying clothes and handbags. When I started working I felt guilty about ‘’wasting’’ my money on these material things. I started to see my favourite handbag in terms of ‘’hours worked’’ or ‘’percentages of my salary’’. It made me feel very guilty about spending my money, although I still did. Last year I went on three holidays and felt extremely guilty about every single one. My mother didn’t help matters because she was always telling me that I travel too much. I don’t care about saving! I want to visit exotic locations, carry expensive handbags and drink Prosecco by the bottle.  What’s wrong with that?

 

A very controversial view on London’s housing crisis

Like most twenty –somethings I have spent the last couple of years living with my parents and complaining about the expense of moving out. Although I will be moving out soon, I will still have the responsibility of a mortgage, rising bills and my weekly shop. The scariest thing is knowing that I will be responsible for fixing anything that goes wrong because it’s my house. All of this responsibility almost put me off. Then I decided to put on my big girl pants and get on with it. Good things don’t come easy and independence comes at a cost.

The same goes for the current housing crisis. I know that people are being robbed in the private sector but you have two choices- pay your rent or move out of London. The UK is a big place and there are cheaper places to live. I know that I have probably made some cyber enemies but that is my honest opinion. I am tired of seeing so many of my friends depressed about the cost of London living. It’s making people forget that they are living in one of the best cities in the world. Now is the time to chase your dreams, explore your interests and make the most of what London’s social scene has to offer.  Whatever you need to do to make that happen, do it.

I am aware that this blog may come across as frivolous, let me know what you think? I’m not a financial advisor (I would be terrible); I am just a twenty-something that has decided to enjoy life instead of obsessing over every penny. I believe in positive thinking and the laws of attraction. I genuinely believe that I will always have enough money to support myself and enjoy my life.

 

  • Are you a twenty-something who is earning a decent wage? Let me know how you spend your money.
  • Are you a twenty-something living in expensive London accommodation? Do you think you could make practical changes about the way you think about or spend your money?

How to Build your Personal Brand

Tags

, , , ,

 

Building-Blocks

By Paul Shonowo, IT Career Consultant 

Most graduates assume that their grades and work experience are the most important part of a job application, however you’re wrong. For instance, assume that an employer is comparing you to another candidate and you both have a similar work/educational background, what do you think the employer will do next? Yes you guessed right! They will Google you. The question is what will they see?

I believe that most if not all employers Google their prospective employees as it is a part of their screening process. This could either be a good or bad thing depending on how you portray yourself online. We all know how integral social media is to life, so employers expect candidates to have a social media presence. What image will you portray?

As a career consultant that screens between 50-100 CV’s a day, I will provide my personal opinion on what I think stands out to me when I read through a CV. I will also give you some tips on what you can do to improve your personal brand.

                                         Finding Your Personal Brand

Firstly, for you to manage your personal brand you must be able to understand how it is found.

Have you ever heard of the word SEO? This is a synonym for search engine optimization.  In plain English this means drawing attention to a specific point on the Internet. In this case your name.

How does an employer Google your name? An employer would usually use a Boolean search approach in order to get a refined outcome. In other words they will type your name in a certain way so that they can filter through irrelevant distractions. For instance if your name is Brenda Clothing then the employer will Google – “Brenda Clothing” in quotation marks because this will extract the full name rather than anything that has clothing or Brenda on the internet.

If you are trying to find a keyword that has more than one word then use a quotation mark around it as this will find the exact word only.

If you would like to know more about the way to refine your search Google – Boolean search strings.

Locating Your Name in a Text

Since hot keys are keyboard shortcuts for carrying out functions such as cut, copy, or past etc. I would like to show you how I use hot keys to save time when looking for keywords E.G a full name.

Let’s assume that you are looking for a term in a 10000-word script, how would you find every point where the name is without reading the whole text?

You will use the CTRL + F key for PC’s and the CMD + F key for Mac’s. This is a shortcut that you can use to find keywords in scripts, webpages, textbooks or journals etc. Once you press the two keys together depending on the type of script that you are looking at a small rectangular box will appear and you will be able to enter the keyword that you are looking for into the rectangular box. After entering the keyword depending on the script, the name may be highlighted or you may have to click search. You will then be able to see how many times and where the name is quoted in the text by clicking the right or left arrow beside the rectangular box.

This method has helped me to save time during my assignments and dissertation. I am sure that you will find this worthwhile if you use it.

 Social Media

 We all know how popular Facebook is and we have all probably been on it for years, however when you’re competing for a job your social media posts could make or break your career. I would suggest that you put your profile on private because you never know how a person could interpretate your photos. I would also suggest that you remove inappropriate posts such as drunken selfies or that half naked holiday picture. It may seem funny at the time but this could be used against you at any time in the future.

I would suggest that you join Google + and populate it with interests and hobbies that may display a positive image of you. Google is the search engine that the employer will use to search for your name, the Google account will most likely be high in the search ranking because it is Google’s own profile platform.

 Blogging

 I would strongly advise you to blog, as this is one of the ways that people can learn more about your interests. I have personally read through a blog and felt like I knew the candidate within minutes. You could also be a guest writer for a blog as this could draw attention to your name as long as it is quoted in the text somewhere.

 Boosting Your Personal Search

 Have you ever made a reference from a news article before? Have you ever looked into the person who wrote the article? Call me weird but I used to do this all the time when I was at University. I noticed that certain writers of news articles were undergraduates. I didn’t understand how until I did some research into how to become student news article writer.

I  discovered that it is relatively easy to become a news article writer because some newspapers have a section for students E.G Guardian Students. All you have to do is sign up and then send your articles. The newspaper will screen your script and tell you whether they will publish it or not.

Imagine being an employer for a moment, now compare two candidates that have a similar background in education and work but one has pictures on the internet of parties and alcohol whilst the other has features in top news articles for related topics. Which candidate would seem to be more attractive?

 

Undergraduates need to remember that recruiters/employers will judge you based on your CV and online presence. The best way to portray a positive image is to show them what they want to see. I’m not saying that you should take selfies with a textbook but you should Google yourself once in a while to check if you were tagged in an inappropriate photo or upload a photo of something that relates to your ambition.

I believe that today’s graduates are in a unique position as they have the power to create a strong personal brand. You are the first generation that is able to create your identity, based around your goals and dreams using a mobile and a laptop. You are in charge of your employability, show what you have to offer.

 

If you would like any further information about this article feel free to contact me on: paulshonowo@yahoo.co.uk

How to Manage Staff (For Beginners)

Tags

, , , ,

By Debisi Desalu

Today’s graduates are ambitious and want to climb the career ladder quicker than previous generations. Graduates employed in start-up companies and small charities (such as student unions) will have management responsibility very early on in their careers. Management training is limited but you are still expected to deliver. Check out my top tips for how to manage staff.

Get them on board

A good induction is vital. This ensures that staff members have the knowledge and tools needed to do the job. Nothing is more dis-empowering than having to do something or being expected to do something you haven’t been trained to do or been given the tools to do. Making sure your induction and training is relevant increases the likelihood of success.

   Expectations and Accountability

Be clear on your expectations from the start, so each staff member understands their role. Once the expectations have been set ensure you are transparent about how performance will be measured. Hold staff accountable for their results without being dis empowering but most importantly create an atmosphere where your staff can hold you to account as well.

Bond with your staff

Many studies show that staff members happiness and engagement at work is directly linked to the relationship with their line manager and their wider team. Building this sense of shared goals is very important and taking the time to get to know your staff members makes them feel valued and ensures they work to the best of their ability. Doing this from the start will honestly make managing that person a lot easier. Come up with engaging activities you can do together that get them connected to the strategy, their targets and form shared goals for the team.

 Recognize your staff as individuals

As a manager it is easy to get so tied up to the process that we lose sight of the individual. One size does not fit all when it comes to managing staff and expecting the same template or management style to work for everyone is not a good way to go. Monthly 1-2-1 for example should be different depending on the individual and what they need from you, what barriers they are facing and their personality type. Some may want a full-blown coaching session while others might just want a to-do list to crack on with. Work with the staff member to get a process that works for them.

                                  Empowerment and Involvement

Empower your staff to make decisions. Let people know how their work helps achieve the bigger picture. I work with receptionists and call centre staff and they are happy to do the same tasks day after day because they can see how it makes the organisation better, how it’s valued and how it’s helping us achieve our strategy.

Personal Development

Try and help your staff set personal development goals and make time to help them achieve them. Don’t be afraid to get them ready for their next step and be comfortable knowing the next step may not be with you. Ask them what their long-term goals are and try to link those to work goals if possible. Staff need to know that you are thinking about their longer term success and not just their next appraisal.

Debisi Desalu is a People and Office Manager in London. She currently manages 11 staff members. 

Are you a new manager, what is the biggest challenge you have faced so far? 

5 Creative Ways to Productivity

Tags

, , , , ,

productivity

I have never really thought about my productivity until recently. I have always felt reasonably successful- I managed to complete all of my work tasks. Then I started to think about all of the goals that I wasn’t achieving. My career was stagnant and my future book was still a day-dream. I didn’t want to look back at my life and regret the things that I didn’t do. It was time to reclaim my time and start doing the things that really made me happy. I hate patronising ‘productivity articles’ and have done my best to avoid the usual textbook advice. Here are my 5 creative ways to productivity.

Use your Calendar 

A great personal development writer (Gretchen Rubin) once said ‘if it’s on the calendar it happens’. Despite working with Microsoft Outlook daily and having a calendar on my phone I didn’t think that recording personal appointments was important. I liked being spontaneous and seeing where the day took me. The only problem with that was that I wasn’t achieving my goals.  I started to record all of my commitments from dinner dates to writing slots. I instantly had more control of my life. The unexpected benefit was also having a weekly snap shot of my life. I had more free time then I actually thought. If you want to make the most of your life use your calendar.

Create one daily priority task

We complete most of our daily tasks on auto pilot. You don’t have to think about having a shower or brushing your teeth. I don’t think we should waste our time planning to do things that will happen anyway. Save your energy and focus on one top-level task that you really need to complete each day. This may be completing a report or calling your mother. Whatever it is, make sure that you only create one. The most important task should be clear. Once this task is completed you will feel like a super hero and your self-confidence will sky-rocket. Keep life simple.

Organise tasks in 90 minute blocks

Apparently our brains work best in 60-90 minute blocks- I do agree. In the past I would give myself a whole day to tidy a room or write a blog. This resulted in hours of procrastination and very little productivity. Now I work in 90 minute blocks and can finish tasks in record time. I find that I remain motivated and actually complete more than what I set out to do. If you’re an ambitious person (like me) you probably have lots that you want to achieve. Work smarter not harder. By organising your time into blocks you can achieve your goals and still have time to have fun.

Work in different environments

If you work in an office it’s likely all you need is a computer and an internet connection. We all have times when we have important tasks to complete. If you find your office distracting why not work in a local coffee shop and enjoy your favourite latte at the same time? Better yet, why not spend a day working from home? Everyone should work in their pyjama’s from time to time.

2015-09-23 16.33.25

In order to achieve my writing goals I need to work in a variety of environments.  I have just set up a home office but sometimes I want to get out of the house. I enjoy writing on the train, coffee shops and the local library. Writing while around people is a different experience and the snatches of conversation I catch usually influence my work. Whatever your task, changing your environment will help your creativity and focus.

                                               Start a support group

We all need support, it’s not easy achieving goals alone. I created a ‘Life Club’ a couple of months ago to formalize this support network. This club is a small group of women who actively pursue their goals and enjoy helping others. We meet once per month and set goals that we would like to achieve by the next meet up. The Life Club is a great place to share hopes, fears and moments of inspiration. There is nothing better than seeing someone realize their full potential. The peer-support and accountability means that I achieve most of the goals that I set. Goal setting is the key to productivity. Why not start your own life club?

I hope that you have enjoyed this blog and I have managed to demystify the very corporate word that is productivity.

How do you stay productive in your life? Please share your tips below. 

Further Reading

Why You Should Quit Your Job

Tags

, , , ,

This blog isn’t about how to write your resignation letter. I sent a sentence of resignation through email for those who are interested. I won’t be telling you about the boring formalities of HR processes like how your P45 is issued. This blog is about the decisions that led me to leaving my job and why you should consider quitting yours.

I felt myself stagnating in my previous role. I wasn’t learning anything new and everyday felt the same. I knew I had to leave when my ideas became bigger then my role. I spent six months looking for a new job and when I finally got one I couldn’t believe it. Even though I had accepted the job I wasn’t sure if this was what I really wanted. I had made great friends, secure working relationships and I understood the dynamics of my team. Leaving my role was stepping into the unknown and I wasn’t sure if I could cope with that. Then I realised that I was thinking  too small. I needed to start thinking like a ‘professional’ instead of a ‘worker’. I wanted to build a career and that involved dealing with change and moving on.

I needed to start thinking like a professional instead of a worker.

  Career Progression

One of things they don’t teach you at university is how to manage your career. When I started work I assumed that if I worked hard I would be promoted. Promotions rarely happen. You usually have to apply for the role that you want. I learned this the hard way. Most of us work go above and beyond our job role on a regularly basis but recognition doesn’t go beyond the occasional praise from managers. Going through the education system has made us crave and rely on praise. You need to recognise your own potential.

You need to recognise your own potential.

What are your strengths and weaknesses? Is there anything that you could improve on? You should look for a role that allows you to develop your strengths. It is also important to have an awareness of your weaknesses because you may have to work on those too. Be strategic ,you don’t have to be good at everything but some things are essential. For example, I have always found the concept of strategy difficult because it involves looking at the bigger picture. I prefer to focus on helping the individual. Despite this I knew that thinking of the collective would benefit larger amounts of students. I incorporate ‘strategic thinking’ whenever I have to make a difficult decision. It helps me rationalize things and manage conflicting priorities. Whatever your areas for important areas for improvement, work on them daily. You can talk about this in a job interview. A new role means taking on new challenges.

                              You will learn how to deal with change

Most  people stay in their jobs is because they are scared of change. All of the uncertainties that could have prevented me from moving on were related to a fear ofchange. Despite change being a normal part of life most of us don’t deal with it well. We enjoy the routine or our lives, completing the same task daily and never having to worry about making a mistake. You may be comfortable but you will never create an extraordinary life living in your comfort zone. I want to limitless life. This involves taking opportunities at a moment’s notice. Taking on a new role will help you develop new skills, relationships and bring you more opportunities. It will also make the next step up easier to deal with.

            Leave on a high, don’t wait for unhappiness

Most people leave their jobs because they hate it. This is the worst time to leave. At this point you are desperate and will take anything. Your next move is unlikely to progress your career and you could end up in an organisation that you really hate. The best time to leave a job is when you think that your current role has nothing else to offer. Good managers expect their employees to move on and they will support you. I was shocked at how supportive my manager was. He even offered me career advice. The best thing about leaving on a high, is that your managers will be left with good memories of you. They become a part of your professional network and you can contact them in the future. You never know when you might need advice or another job. Keep all of your options open.

Have you become comfortable in your job, what’s stopping you from moving on? 

If you are ready for a new challenge you will find my previous blogs useful:

Waiting for the One: The ‘single’ ramblings of a 20 something

Tags

, , ,

im-single-facebook-cover_5273I spend most of my life as a walking, talking cliché. After the breakdown of my 3 year relationship I went a bit nuts. I hadn’t broken up with someone I loved before so didn’t know how I was supposed to behave. I have spent the last 6 months binge drinking, dancing, going on holiday (Vegas is still to come) and enjoying the single life. It’s only recently that I have started to feel lonely. The evenings and weekends can seem like an endless stretch of spare time. Instead of working on my ‘life goals’ I find myself wishing that I had a date or someone to cuddle. I miss that comfortable familiarity of spending time with someone I love. The love shack that is Facebook doesn’t even bother me (honestly) but what does is all the relationships quotes.

 I am overwhelmed by ‘relationship goals’, apparently I should be building an empire with someone. This is not Hollywood.

I’m interested in meeting a young professional who is funny, intelligent, well travelled and ambitious…. am I asking for too much? I don’t think that I am. So many people waste their time with incompatible partners, I’m not prepared to do that. Us singles are told not to be picky or to consider people who don’t quite meet the criteria. Why should I do that? There are literally millions of people to choose from. I recently went to see a documentary called Looking for Love and it looked at how different generations viewed relationships. It looks like 20 somethings are happy to settle for unhappy and unhealthy relationships just so that they are not alone.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q0t0LWnd8NQ“>http://

I don’t believe in the rebound, friends with benefits (tried and tested) or anything else that isn’t real. Life is to short to pretend. There is nothing wrong with admitting that you would like to share your life with someone.  This blog isn’t a ‘how to guide’ on how to find a partner- there are enough of those already. These are just my thoughts on waiting for the one.

Single can be lonely (Lets be honest)

There is nothing wrong with admitting that single life gets lonely sometimes. It doesn’t make you pathetic or sad. I can be out with my friends and still feel lonely. They can only offer a certain type of company. Despite this I refuse to reminiscence about past relationships or message old flames. Like me, just accept that it’s normal to feel lonely and distract yourself. In the last couple of months I have started to date myself. I am becoming comfortable with my own company. There is nothing like watching something you really want to watch or spending hours reading without someone disturbing you.

Write your ‘partner wish list’ (wishes are free)

I once read a self-help booked called The Secret which was all about how positive thoughts creates physical manifestations in your life. Although I do believe this is true for most things, I don’t know if love and relationships are part of this. If this was the case, why haven’t we met our dream partners already? Despite this, I think it’s good to know what you are looking for. It makes it easier to eliminate unsuitable candidates before feelings develop.  I recently encouraged a friend to make a partner wish list and she was reluctant at first. I think most people don’t like to feel they are forcing things to happen. What’s wrong with knowing what you want?

You wouldn’t go to a supermarket without a shopping list, so why would you be willing to accept the first person who walks past? 

Be open to love 

  I think this can be the hardest thing to do if you have been hurt or single for a long time. It’s easy to become bitter and think negatively about love and relationships. While you are doing this you could be preventing yourself from getting to know potential partners. No one want’s to be around someone who constantly talks about their ex or puts up a barrier when they are getting close. Everyone is not the same. You shouldn’t allow the issues from your past relationships/experiences to affect how to interact with new people. Love is the most powerful thing in the world. We all want it and we all need it. The best way to open yourself to love is by loving yourself.

I don’t know how this blog will be received because I haven’t written anything like this before. I am known for giving advice in my personal and professional life but I think people forget that I need advice too. I want to know about your experiences of the single life.

  • Do you think ‘the one’ exists?
  • How do you make the most of the single life?

Please leave a comment below.  ‘Like’ if you enjoyed this blog and would like me to write more of this type of thing.