What you should consider in your career

rawpixel-com-250087.jpg

I recently conducted a poll on my Twitter, not the best sample size but interesting non the less, so thank you to all my followers who participated. It’s fascinating to see the results on what people prioritise when job hunting or deciding if a job is beneficial.

poll

It’s important to follow your heart, but listen to your head too. Your friends may think money is paramount in a new job or career, yet, you may value having a great boss as being just as important. Based on my experiences I like to look at the big picture and see what would benefit me now, and in 5 years time…

Money

Money is incredibly important and unfortunately, it kinda does make the world go around.

It’s important to know your market value. Cost and worth are very different things. All managers and boards want a return on investment, spending the least possible on a new hire. Therefore, if you offer your services too low, it can be harder to get a raise later. When you go job-hunting, it’s vital to do your research on the average salary your role usually pays. Look at the likes of Glassdoor and ask around, as this will establish where you are in terms of salary expectations. Pay can fluctuate based on a multitude of scenarios, such as, location, size of company and other work benefits.

Many people become blind-sighted by London or other cities as they pay more, but fail to realise that the cost of living often increases too! Sometimes roles outside of the bigger cities in reality pay more, with higher chances of better career progression. Always weigh your options against your prioritises now and in the future. Be careful not to sell yourself too short by accepting a salary lower than the going rate, just because you are desperate to be hired. But, go easy on demanding 30k before you’ve walked into the interview, as this can deter employers from hiring you. If you are already in a role, this research and knowledge can help you in negotiating a promotion or raise.

Your Boss

“When analysing the monster, be sure not to become the monster. And, when looking into the abyss, the abyss looks back at you”

I read this quote in “Talking with Psychopaths” by Christopher Berry Dee, but relevant here also. When your future boss interviews you, you should also interview them. You’re going to be working for them for approx. 8 hours everyday. Ask questions, query their intentions, seek their knowledge, insight and grill them. Find out what makes them tick, their goals and expectations of you now and in 6 months time. Find out how they treat their existing staff too, as this speaks volumes.

You must determine if they want to coach you or boss and work you to the bone. Will they mentor and develop you, treat you as an equal, or a piece of shit on the bottom of their shoe. A boss should value you, push you, help you, support you and train you. If they don’t? Leave.

Company Culture

This essentially covers the values, attitudes, support network, ethos and mantra of a company as a whole. It’s often insidious and hard to pin down, but can seriously take a toll on well-being and health. Is there a blame-culture? Do people socialise outside of office hours, collaborate, praise and support one another? Or or they back-stabbing and bitchy?

The list can go on but depending on the boss’s management style, training practises and overall attitude, it can often lead to high staff turnover. Being thrown in at the deep end instead of being properly trained, lack of career progression and no support network can be checked by observing how content the existing staff are. How can you spot this? By asking what their take on holidays, days off and dealing with staff complaints is. What training and career progression opportunities are on offer, to name but a few. But it’s usually a gut feeling more than anything.

Career Progression

It’s great if you can hit the ground running on your first day, but it can be a challenging and stressful period starting a new job. Nerves can play havoc, so it’s essential to have a support network, the opportunity to learn and grow at your own pace and to be able to make mistakes and learn from them. If you are expected to do a job that is outside of your remittance, don’t be afraid to ask for help, training or to go on a course to improve your knowledge and experience. If you are over-worked or dying to take on more work and responsibility, only you can voice it. Push for improvement and appraisals to see what areas you need to develop. Not investing in you, can in the long run be extremely costly for the company. Not promoting you and keeping you in the same role isn’t beneficial to you, your boss or the company either.

Often, the reason people leave a job or career is because of the same old line, feeling overworked and undervalued.

What do you think is most important? I’ve love to hear in the comments below…

Love Career Girl

 

Stress less

pexels-photo-305821.jpeg

We all lead busy lives. I often feel like the sector I work in makes me feel like I’m running on a tread mill and can’t stop or get off. It’s partly why I love my job, I feel like you have to constantly learn, work and strive to improve your knowledge and skill-set. I aim to work smart, I gym, I socialise, try to blog, read, etc…. but often feel frazzled. A brunch date with a dear friend sided with me on society’s need for everyone to promote just how busy they are 24/7. I can’t be alone in thinking that if you have a day to spare, a lazy day with few plans, it’s seen as odd. Society looks down on you.

It’s as if we pride ourselves on being constantly busy, constantly on the move and constantly switched on. It’s almost a luxury these days to turn your phone off and just relax, be in the moment and take time out to re-charge our batteries.

So, for every Career Girl chasing her dream of getting ahead and becoming successful, there is a thin line between pushing yourself and burning out. It’s not good to overwork yourself to exhaustion. It’s not good for your health, mental or physical, or your soul, especially considering stress can exacerbate just about any illness and yet there are a few simple inexpensive things you can easily fit into your life to stress less, be more healthy and happy in your daily life!

Switch off

I am the worst at this. The first thing I check once I have turned my alarm off is Twitter. On my bus to work I catch up on the latest blogs, news and PR & marketing happenings. I scroll through every social media app I have, again and again. I stare at a screen all day. Come home and am glued to Netflix. Which is why I like to have ‘down days’ or even weekends where I like to not look at a screen and I turn off all devices. Initially, it’s hard to get used to as we are all so accustomed to checking our phones, it’s like we can’t survive without them, right? Trust me, this is great for calming the mind without notifications distracting you. One of the best decisions I made was deleting Facebook – much to the horror of friends!

Exercise

As Elle Woods would say, endorphin’s make you happy. Scientifically proven, exercise has always helped me improve my concentration, memory and has significantly improved my stress levels. It’s important to find a workout or activity you love, and many places offer free Yoga to try if you don’t want to commit. I despise running and working out at the gym, so opt for Yoga, Hiit, circuits, Spin and boxing classes.

Mediate

There is no need to chant, unless you want to. I was sceptical at first but found Yoga, vinyasa flow, to work wonders on my aches and pains and mental well-being. It teaches you to breath deeply, inhale and exhale through the nose and to be in the moment. It really helps me clear my mind whilst maintaining my flexibility. Even just sitting peacefully and taking a few breaths is sufficient – there are many apps available to help focus the mind and relax.

Work smarter

I find it funny when people boast about how many extra hours they put in at work. In reality, I feel this is more a reflection of how poorly one manages their workload. If you work efficiently, manage your workload, organise and work smarter, not harder, you achieve so much more, and no need to clock extra hours! Prepare the day before, with to do lists, prioritising tasks and thinking how best to use your time can benefit you on the day. I learnt whilst reading Robert Caldini’s book ‘Persuasion techniques’, that writing your goals on paper ensure you are much more likely to stick to it and fulfil it, than just verbally stating you’ll complete a task.

Challenge yourself & treat yourself!

We all work hard, but when was the last time you selfishly treated yourself? Don’t be afraid to spend your hard earned money on yourself. Treat yourself to a spa day, that nice top, a bath bomb, a holiday or take yourself out to dinner. It’s important to take time out to congratulate yourself, your body and mind because our bodies are often put to extremes, we are all works of extraordinary machinery. We need to worship ourselves as it’s so easy to take life and our bodies for granted! It’s important to find those moments, whether it’s 24 minutes or 24 hours to relax and de-stress fully and unapologetically.

Go stress less,

Love Career Girl xoxo

How to deal with an Office Bully

FullSizeRender

The Office Bully comes in many different forms. From the slimy snake that steals your sales, to the office gossip who creates rumours behind your back, to the jealous, incompetent one, who’ll do everything in their power to get you fired. And, if you are a new graduate and naïve to the game, or an experienced soul, at some point in your life, whether you like it or not, you’ll come across at least one of the above.  No matter if you’re dealing with subtle Sandy or backstabbing, bitchy, Becky, there are things you can do to protect yourself and succeed despite the surrounding negative vibes.

If you think you are dealing with an Office Bully there are a multitude of options to stay ahead of the game.

Speak Up

Hopefully, there is someone in the organisation you work for who you feel comfortable enough to divulge details of your office bully’s actions. It could be a fellow co-worker, or, preferably HR. Think hard about what the office bully has done, or said, or even what they haven’t said. Have they purposely left you out of an important email? Have they taken credit for your hard work? Have they talked down to you or purposely tried to intimidate you? All these little things can accumulate easily and quickly, and, if you are not careful, can spiral out of control. It’s important to try and spot it and be aware of it in the early stages. Once you have started the process of verbally documenting the issues, it will be easier to voice a formal complaint later down the line, if you so wish.

Log It

Unless you have evidence, it’s often just your word against theirs; which is why it is so important to build a network of trust and communication. It’s no doubt a tricky, awkward situation, but it’s paramount to try and gain as much evidence as possible. Keep a log. Every backhanded comment, passive aggressive attitude or general patronising that’s come your way needs to be noted and logged. Who said it? When? How? Did anyone else hear it? If the above is committed via emails or texts, take screenshots. Try and be as neutral as possible.

Rise above it

Aggravating the situation doesn’t help and can often make things worse. You may want to give as good as you get, but try and stay calm, neutral and above all, professional. At the end of the day, you are there to work. So work your arse off and focus on doing well. Use that negative energy and turn into positive energy to propel you forward. Work harder then you’ve worked. Things do get better. Rise above it. Be mature. People want to see you do well, never better than them. Pay close attention to those who don’t praise you or congratulate you on your achievements; who instead will try and undermine and stifle your accomplishments. You are so much better. So succeed.

Success is the best revenge, right?

I hope you enjoyed this post, if you have ever experienced an Office Bully, either a co-worker or boss do, let me know. How did you cope? And what advice would you give?

Good Luck!

 

Love Career Girl xo

Hair Regime feat: Natural World

FullSizeRender (26)

Ever feel like changing up your hair? That’s exactly what’ll I’ll be doing soon, opting for Baleyage. Well that’s the plan. Like most people wanting what they can’t have, I’ve always wanted to have blond hair. I’ve only ever had my hair dyed once before, having pink tips at the end. It’s fun to experiment right?

What isn’t so fun is experimenting and having to trial and test so many various hair products to find ones that actually do what they promote on the box. My hair, although thick and voluminous, is a pain to style and straighten properly due to its natural kink. Oh and did I mention how quickly it can frizz up in the humidity?!

I have recently managed to tame my hair, having a new haircut helped but also sticking to a fairly good hair regime has made my hair shine more, feel glossy and neat. I thought I would share with you the few things I use as they have been an absolute game changer. So listen up…

Natural World: Charcoal & Mint*

After reviewing Natural World’s Argan Oil range, of which I absolutely loved, I was lucky enough to have been sent their Charcoal and Mint Shampoo & Conditioner, thanks to the lovely PR! I gave it a try… uh-mazing. If only you could smell the products. They are so refreshing and perfect for summer, revitalising my dull hair instantly. Infused with Activated Charcoal & Certified Organic Mint, with Rosemary, Lemongrass, Orange & Ylang Ylang essential oils; these products are 95% derived from natural products. They are also pretty affordable, available Tesco. Once I’ve finished with these bottles I’ll no doubt be stocking up.

FullSizeRender (23)

Aquis hair towel & Ojon rare blend oil

The Aquis hairwrap and the Ojon Oil were products found in a Sheerluxe & Latest in beauty edit box, my review here. I have used hair oils in the past, but have found this one to be the best. It’s not the cheapest but then again, it lasts ages, as you only need a pea size amount. I apply a few drops of the oil onto my hands, rub and then rough up my hair, through the tips and blow dry. Works a treat. And, forget drying your hair with your normal towel, invest in this innovative Aquis hair wrap, designed to dry your hair quickly, without damaging hair.

What are the hair products you swear by?

Love Career Girl

XO

 

PS – This item was gifted to me for promotional purposes, thoughts are all mine!

Embrace The Shake At BARRE:toned

img_4739

Who doesn’t love dancing, shaking and sweating to pumping music in a beautifully air-conditioned, light and dreamy boutique studio?!

And that right there was the reason I jumped at the chance to review BARRE:toned. After attending a Barrecore class, I knew what to expect, which made it a whole less awkward. I knew it would be intense, that I would be expected to wear tight gear such as leggings and wear socks, to relax, have fun and, more importantly, to go at your own pace.

Last weekend, on a relatively sunny, fresh, late morning I was finally able to review BARRE:toned. I hopped off the tube at Notting Hill Gate and 10 minutes later arrived at the boutique. I was greeted by a lovely lady who, as it was my first time at the studio, gave me a tour around. Bright daylight floods into the almost all white rooms. There’s a very friendly yet calming atmosphere, it feels like you’re hanging out at a friend’s house, the staff are wonderful and instantly put me at ease.

You can chill-out easily before your class, or after even after, with options to perch on the mini sofas with cushions, sip chilled bottles of water and read Woman’s Health mag. Downstairs are well catered and thoughtfully decorated changing rooms, showers and lockers, with cute quotes like “embrace the shake”. To ensure I wasn’t late and allowing enough time to change into my workout gear and quickly refresh, I arrived quite early. It gave me a chance to soak up everything before my class with Catherine at noon.

 

Entering the upstairs studio with daylight flooding in (the roof is half glass) was lovely – I detest artificial lighting! The studio itself was fairly small, not necessarily a bad thing, it provided an intimate setting, fitting around 15 or so women comfortably. Surrounded by mirrors and of course the barre, it brought back memories of when I did ballet regularly. This particular class involved use of the barre, the ball and straps. Heart rate was instantly up thanks to doing the plank, thighs were shaking to their limits and my body was put through its paces. I was thankful for the stretches which signalled the class was drawing to an end!

It was a brilliant class with an awesome instructor who motivated everyone and ensured every member was working out in the correct form, maintaining the right posture by helpfully, yet subtly adjusting to achieve maximum benefit. I think this is a really good indicator of separating a mediocre class from a great one. In my opinion, this is an obvious aspect of workouts and classes, yet it’s surprising just how many instructors neglect doing this or have a bad attitude. Especially for first timers who are unsure of whether they are doing a series of exercises correctly, this is massively important!

Now it’s not a case of if I’ll be back, but when! I highly recommend the class, instructor, the studio and the facilities. Oh, and Sunday morning my body felt the wonderful effects of the workout. I definitely want to make this a regular addition to my fitness regime. With consist attendance I bet after a few month you can easily expect to notice tangible improvements in flexibility and stamina and achieve an overall toned body.

Have you tried out classes or studios like this? What would you recommend?

 

Love Career Girl

 

 

 

*This opportunity was gifted to me for promotional purposes but thoughts are mine!

Reflections: 1yr Blog Birthday!

YAY! IT’s officially my blog birthday – my Career Girl blog has been established for 1 year now, how exciting?! Initially an impulse decision, I thought I would start a blog on WordPress. I choose the free plan as I desperately wanted an outlet for my creativity, of which I have endless amounts of! In fact, I could kick myself I didn’t stick with Art and have always loved the subject Graphics, and so, one of my many New Year’s Resolutions is to learn and create more.

My first ever post was Over Qualified & Inexperienced, I was a newly certified BSc Psychology graduate. I was frustrated with the job market and how our generation really does have it the worst, with crippling debt, trying to stand out and get hired in a world which favours keyword rich online job applications and rejecting candidates using generic, scheduled, email blasts. I started this blog with the hope that chronicling my career experiences, musings and observations it would help support others and that it would inspire each and every person who lands on Career Girl Site to for motivate themselves to land the job of their dreams!

It’s amazing to see how far my blog has come and all the fabulous experiences I have achieved through it, from meeting awe inspiring, sassy, hardworking blogger babes, collaborations and cool invites, to learning more about the backend of a blog and improving SEO… It’s fantastic to see where I have started and all the things I want to do! I have since updated and upgraded my blog and incorporated the option to sign up for monthly emails, a round-up of the latest tips, tricks, research findings and life hacks to get hired! Sign up if you haven’t already!

img_4758

SO, to celebrate, and as a thank you to each and every lovely person who has followed, liked, commented and shared the love, head over to my Twitter to enter my Giveaway!

I have gathered all the beauty products I love, and think you’ll enjoy using too!

Brands featured in the giveaway are: Dr Lipp, Givency, Skinfix, Palmer’s Formula, Nuxe, Rimmel, Charles Worthington, Soigne, Benefit, Oribe, 7th Heaven, St Tropez, Coach, Red Cherry, Trilogy, The White Company and Rodial. 

All you have to do is REPLY to the Pinned Tweet with the worst job you have EVER had using the hashtag #WorstJobEver to be in with a chance of winning! Open to 16+ and UK only.

Competition ends 13/3/2017 so hurry up, get replying and good luck!

 

Love Career Girl xoxo

 

LFW palmer//harding with Glo&Ray

After having a lovely catch up with some blogger babes at the wonderful Blogosphere Valentines Tea Party and meeting the man behind the Glo&Ray makeup brand, I was kindly invited to the palmer//harding London Fashion Week presentation.

Now, although I wouldn’t say I’m a fashionista, I do love so many different aspects of fashion, from the history, to the designers, the models and the media frenzy. I find it so intriguing and so loved the chance to explore what it’s like from seeing the presentation to chillingbackstage.

I first discovered Glo&Ray as their orangey lipstick was featured in a rather dreamy Sheer Luxe & Latest in Beauty collaboration beauty box a few years back. The show solely used Glo&Ray cosmetics, such as their lipstick, eyeliner, etc. My current favourite, apart from their lipsticks, is their brow pencil, which also features a brush, perfect for shaping my eyebrows.

img_4680The model on the left is sporting the look created by Glo&Ray, influenced by the designers youth, aspects of goth with pop colour. Right is the lovely Nancy – go check out her blog!

Head to my Insta to watch a snippet of the show!

The presentation was a frenzy whirlwind. The creative installation was influenced by nature, the designer’s childhood, 80’s and 90’s rebellion and goth-glam. We were able to check out backstage, chat to some of the models and makeup artists, and catch the stylists preparing for the show. The actual presentation was set to a soundtrack of grungy trance with all the models snaking around the room. Unlike a catwalk, this presentation was super intimate, allowing you to get up close and admire all the details of the clothes.

Known as the ‘shirt boys’ the designers excel at creating shirts with a difference. In fact, shirts, dresses and coats were all beautifully cut and draped on the models effortlessly. Some items were cut simply, others had a more elaborate construction with gorgeous open back detailing. They were pieces I instantly fell in love with, would wear and they wouldn’t date. In my opinion, the style was androgynous with subtle hints of feminine qualities. The palette was timeless with easily wearable shades of white, nudes, and darker natural colours reflecting bark, grass and all forms of nature.

xxx

Thanks so much to the guys at Glow&Ray for having me and to Palmer for taking the time to chat about the presentation and inspiration!

Excuse the blurry photos! I hope you liked this post, let me know your thoughts in the comments,

Career Girl xo