Trees in the morning sun to convey thinking about the future

I am a sucker for making resolutions, to the extent that I don’t just make them at Christmas I make them throughout the year. There is something, however, about being able to start the new year with a goal or idea that appeals to me. However I break a lot of them as well. This post details my journey of resolutions made throughout the years and which ones I stuck at but which ones I broke and why.

Writing in a diary

Back when I was in high school I had the great idea of writing in a diary for the entire year. I had tried before and failed in many aspects but this one I was determined to stick at. And I did. I stuck at it for two and a half years! I am so glad I did because these diaries have provided me with a comprehensive view of my time at high school, those thoughts, feelings and who I fancied – which I would not have had otherwise.

Learning to ride in cleats

I ride my bicycle a lot. In fact I have two bikes (a mountain and road bike) and I love cycling and am regularly on Strava and if I am not cycling I am watching cycling or talking about cycling. You get the picture. I bought cleats three years ago as I knew more cycling I knew I needed to start wearing them. I got the pedals fitted onto my bike and practised around the Uni car park and the field. I was doing pretty well with only a few accidents until I had a nasty fall down Stoke canal. Safe to say I haven’t clipped in since.

Writing more on my blog

This one makes me really sad. I really want to create a blog where I am constantly posting, have pretty pictures and create something I am proud of. I do find it hard (and I know I am certainly not alone) in having the time to create this content and keep on top of it. This has set me back in my other blog goals such as entering awards and going to blog events as I never thought my blog was established enough. This year my blog will be top priority.

A sheltie dog looking up at a tree

Partaking in more twitter chats

I really enjoy twitter chats and have hosted a few of them myself too. This year I want to partake in a few new ones and keep setting myself reminders for the others.

Going to a blogger event

As above going to a blog event will be really big for me. It will be exciting networking with other people.

Spending less time surfing the net

I am terrible at just browsing the internet whilst watching TV or to put things off. 2017 I want to spend more time on hobbies.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

So you are final year of uni (or college) and thinking ‘what the hell am I going to do next’? Yep that was me in my final year of uni. Nearly four years later I am now a Marketing and Communications Coordinator role and am very pleased in my role.

My experience job hunting was pretty average. I started applying for jobs after Easter of my final year which, as a tip, if you are thinking of doing a graduate scheme you need to be looking around about September of your final year. Going into my job hunt I lacked confidence. I felt that the skills I had learned from my degree was not enough. I got caught in the whole cycle of ‘got the degree but no experience’ which was an awful position to be in to be honest.
When I started applying for roles I signed up to a lot of job search engines (Monster, Reed and my uni’s own bespoke job search engine). I wrote my CV and got my partner to look it over and then I uploaded them. I would upload a cover letter and CV bespoke for each job because let’s face it, you don’t want to give an easy reason for a rejection.
My first jobs I applied for were just shop jobs to keep me going and allow me to stay in my old uni town. Additionally I already had my summer job as a cleaner lined up ( I had been cleaning in halls every summer since first year). It was a 16 week contract so knew I had 16 weeks to get myself a job full-time role.
After a few failed interviews I really started to ramp up the job hunt in June. I was applying for jobs every night and by then the interviews were coming in and, on average, I was going to one interview a week.  My work was really supportive and let me have the time I needed for those interviews. I would google all of these interview questions  and  get my partner to practice them with me. On my seventh week cleaning I went for an interview to become a market researcher at an Students’ Union. I was really ill that week ( I had flu), had been sick and was so close to not attending the interview but went anyway. Luckily I performed well and got the job.
What lessons did I learn from job hunting
I didn’t have the option to give up because if I wanted to live with my partner I had to earn money. However some graduates that I knew were living at home not doing a lot and waiting for the ‘perfect’ job.
Looking back, for those interviews I did do my homework and sat and learned as much as possible about the organisations (it is a pet hate of mine for people to turn up to interviews and not know anything about the organisation they are interviewing for).
Practice, practice, practice – get someone to interview you. Google questions relating to the role you are interviewing for.
Make sure you are passionate, is so important for any role and can make up if you are lacking in skills.
If I had my time at University again what would I do different to help my career

I would certainly have had a part-time job throughout term rather than just in the holidays. Preferably several different ones (not all at the same time) so I could get some experience.

Has anybody had any good or bad interview experiences?

Picture of trees at Cannock Chase ANOB

When I was at high school there used to be a thought of the day at form time and most of the time I didn’t pay attention to them. One day however one thought my form tutor read out was ”Would you want to see into the future?”. I automatically thought yes – I wanted to know if I was going to die early or not so I could take steps to avoid it! However one guy (who was an utter jerk) said no because life would be boring if it wasn’t a surprise and that got me thinking.

This was nearly ten years ago now and recently I have been thinking about that moment as so much has happened in the last ten years, some good – some sad, that truthfully I could not have predicted. Even this year has been one hell of a journey going from being a Marketing Assistant to running the department and from being engaged and planning a wedding to not. I have lived in the West Midlands for seven years and Yorkshire for two, and I thought I would live in Lincolnshire my entire life. I have been to America three times to six different states and I remember at school that being only a pipe dream.

So after all that would I want to know what I had in store for the future? To be honest no – the element of surprise is all part of the fun and sometimes some best experiences are to be had from unmade plans. I see life as one hell of a learning process and that we all learn the same lessons just in different ways. I would love to read your thoughts below.  

I like money – I like earning, saving and spending it! A couple of weeks back I had some stuff that wasn’t going to sell on ebay (think Primark clothes, books etc) but would do really well at a boot sale. So lo and behold by the Sunday myself and my friend set off at 5am to do our first ever boot sale – and it was a really good day! I had been to boot sales a million times before to buy stuff but never to sell. There is – believe it or not – an art to getting a really good bootsale right. So if your looking to make some money then read on.

Do you research beforehand
There is nothing worse then paying for a pitch and finding out hardly any buyers are going to turn up. I googled extensively using the website gocarbootsales and Facebook to whittle down the best sites.

Be used to the early starts
6am are the normal time that sellers need to start setting up and people come earlier – car boots may not be for you if you struggle to get out of bed anytime before ten on a Sunday. On the plus side you are more likely to be done by 12 so you still have an afternoon.

Take a friend
If you can take a friend, you can share on costs and it will be handy when you need the toilet. I parked my car in a lay by, transferred my stuff over to my mates car and travelled in with her as I didn’t have that much to sell and it meant it cost us £4 each for the pitch rather than £8.

Driving down the cost of everything!
The aim is to make money – so bring your own lunch and drink, I used a old duvet cover and a very wide scarf as a blanket for the floor and a recycle bin to put items in.

Bring your own loo roll and hand sanitiser
Them toilets can be nasty!

Bring a float
I brought thirty pound in change but £25 would be ok.

People expect something for nothing
If I hadn’t done my research beforehand I would have been surprised at how little people are prepared to pay for things. Don’t go to a car boot expecting to get good prices for your items as it won’t happen. I would normally go in for a price that was higher then I would be expecting so I would more likely get the price I was happy with. Haggling can get quiet intimating so don’t be afraid to say no.

People may try to get in your car
Again as in the point above, I would have not expected people to try and get in the car when we were parked up, especially if they see an item they want. We locked the car doors and just set up as quickly as possible.

Strategise
I had to admit it was kind of fun setting up and switching items around throughout the day to try and increase sales. Jewellery and make-up which started off at the back got moved to the front as it was very popular and rather than have all our clothes on the clothes rail – we laid them out on the blankets as well.

People will literally buy anything
Finally this point is so true. I saw people walking around with really random items that you wouldn’t think would sell. So it really is worth bringing any old tat along and seeing what price you get for them!

Have you been to a car boot? How much have you earned from one? Let me know in the comments! xx

Hello, So a post today about the recent Channel 4 Pop Up day I attended. Channel 4 along with My Kinda Future arranges several Pop Up days each year for ages between 16- 25 to find young upcoming talent but also educate those that are interested in a media career. The talent day focuses on three areas (digital marketing, marketing and TV production) and you choose one. To get on a talent day you have to fill out an application form (it is like a job application form).

When you get a place you are encouraged to join Hiive this network for creative professionals. I have joined Hiive but not sure what I think about it yet. I joined the Channel 4 swarm which is a group for those who attended the C4 day, so I knew a few people who were going beforehand.

When I got there I found that I was put into the Digital Marketing group, we were put into a hall where the head of 4Talent spoke to us and showed us a Channel 4 showreel. Afterwards, the Executive Producer of Maverick TV, Kirsty Lord, showed us Maverick’s showreel and spoke to us about her career journey through media and how she got there. Maverick was there because one of their centres is based in the Midlands (Birmingham) and they are always on the lookout for local talent. It also shows us that you don’t need to move to London to have a career in media.
Her words were work as hard as possible and take every opportunity you can. Very wise indeed! Afterwards, we were split into our groups for our respective talks.

Cheeky image inside the Digital Marketing workshop

In the Digital Marketing workshop, we got a talk about digital marketing from My Kinda Future which is an agency that works with young people to help students explore their career options post education. As I already work in Marketing (and the age range was so vast) it was pitched a little low for me but it was great for those that wanted to see what it was all about or doesn’t have any experience. We were then told that for our afternoon task in the groups we were going to create a digital campaign for the Rio 2016 Paralympics based on the word pride and that we would present our idea to Aaron and Mark who worked at Maverick and a Continuity Presenter for Channel 4. The two winning groups would get an experience day at Channel 4 and the overall winning group would present their idea in London and battle it out for a career development prize.

Bit of brainstorming in the workshop

After lunch, we created our digital campaign and presented it to the judges, although my team didn’t win it gave me some ideas and also I didn’t realise until after that pitching that I actually pitched to industry specialists, which I had never done before and is a really big thing!

Two other industry talks followed, one from the Continuity Presenter at Channel 4 who grew up in Wolverhampton (where the Talent Day was held) and one from Erin Jane who worked in the Marketing Department at Channel 4.

Erin’s talk was really good because she hammered home how important it is to look outside the box and take every opportunity you can get. She worked in International Relations in America rather than going to an American university to study in her year abroad and she got herself a mentor in her final year at Birmingham University. Both of which helped her see what she wanted to do. In addition when she applied for the role at Channel 4 she wanted it so badly she travelled down to London and asked to meet a member of staff who worked in HR to talk about the job, the Receptionist was so shocked that she actually let Erin speak to a member of HR and she managed to set up a meeting for that day. It goes to show if you want an opportunity that badly and you demonstrate how and why you want it, it will help you in the long run.

Erin offering her advice

So that was it! It was a really good day even just for the networking. I met some brilliant people and I really felt invested in Channel 4, what I mean by that is I felt that they offer lots of career pathways for anyone to take up and they really want young people to get involved.

Interested in Channel 4 pop up. Look at their site here.

I have done some work with the BBC too! Look at my BBC Generation2015 profile here.

I also write for Metro.co.uk in my spare time and a few other sites. Look at my article list here.