Hair Regime feat: Natural World

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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.

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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!

The Redundancy Rollercoaster

bestis yetAt 22 years young, the one thing I never anticipated, happened to me. One Friday morning I was made redundant. I think it was amazing to  my colleague and me that I didn’t cry when told! Instead, I calmly left and proceeded to wander aimlessly, like a zombie, in disbelief wondering what the hell I was going to do. It’s funny, it’s the situation you think you’ll never find yourself in. It happens in movies, to other people, but me?!

After allowing myself one day to wallow in sadness and cry my eyes out, I decided to set to and find another job. For someone who has always worked since the age of 14, to be out of work with no income, mounting debt and bills, was pretty scary! One of the first things I did when I arrived back home was hit Google. I stumbled upon an article which really sums up the surreal Rollercoaster emotions of Redundancy. This blog post is my experience of it, how to deal with it, and how to bounce back!

Shock 

Initially, my first response wasn’t actually to cry. Instead, I was completely stunned. Fortunately, it didn’t come as a massive shock, (read my Redundancy Warning Signs – up soon!) due to a multitude of reasons; I had a hunch it would happen.

Anger

I was surprisingly furious with everyone… What did I do to deserve this? Why me? I was devastated. Did I deserve to be treated like this?! In fact, I was so angry that I often lashed out at the ones who love me the most, and were there for me when I was sad. I turned really ugly towards my parents, who have always had my back.

Depression

Right now, I’m alright. I’ve had a lot of time to relax, think and pursue what I want, and I’m happy. At the time, it was a completely different story. People offer kind words like ‘when one door closes, another opens,’ which is lovely. However, in no way does it compensate for how borderline depressing it is. Going back to the drawing board of applying for jobs, interviews and being rejected is no joke! I felt a complete failure, my confidence and outlook on life was rock bottom. I put on a brave face to friends and family, often laughing about the shitty situation. However, deep down, I was upset. I had many sleepless nights and cried an awful lot. Also, because I was in this state, I refused to socialise with friends which, with hindsight, was probably counter-productive. For days on end I would suddenly become so teary, so wobbly and, because I was so ashamed about the situation, I didn’t really speak to a lot of my friends about it. Sounds terribly selfish, but the last thing I wanted to hear was how amazing their jobs were when I no longer had one. It was an incredibly stressful time!

Relief

I mentioned my situation to friends, family and strangers too, and they have all been surprisingly encouraging. Some gave me hope that this could be a blessing in disguise, giving me the freedom to pursue what I really want, with the knowledge and experience that I have gained thus far. Others have offered their own experiences of redundancy, how they dealt with it, and, that sometimes it propels you into something better.

I will never forgot that feeling of hopelessness, being unemployed is a horrible predicament to find yourself in. I am a true believer in trusting the universe. Sometimes it takes extremes like this to re-evaluate your life, focus on what you want, what benefits, excites and challenges you, as that is what you should pursue. A quote from Em Sheldons‘ blog, “Rainy days make flowers” is scrawled on a post it note above my desk, which really helped motivate me. Things do work out for the best, and if it hasn’t yet, there’s still time.

Have you ever lost your job or been made redundant? How did you cope? Can you relate to my experience? Let me know what you thought of this post in the comments below.

Love Career Girl

xoxo

Dealing With Setbacks

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Guess who was the butt of jokes from both friends & family?! After multiple failed attempts, a hell of a lot of money spent, numerous tears shed and many setbacks, I have finally passed!

Why on earth did it take you so long?! Well, I wanted to focus on A levels and my degree, so postponed learning to drive until I was more settled, with fewer distractions. Summer 2015 I began my search for driving instructors and stumbled upon Darren’s* website. I was blown away by the incredible ratings, many of which were given by people I knew. Although expensive, I decided to go ahead as the reviews were so good. I mean, you get what you pay for, right? I was wrong.

The first Lesson

Of course, like many inexperienced learner drivers, I was awful! Like walking, it is paramount to learn the basics before you can run. My first lesson involved driving on national speed limit roads, with roundabouts etc. I was thrown in at the deep end, which isn’t ideal! That first lesson, many expletives were directed at me. I swerved, stalled, cried and nearly had numerous accidents. It didn’t really get much better after that.

Once, with tears streaming down my cheeks, blurry eyed, borderline hyperventilating, I raced at break neck speed up to a very busy roundabout. I managed to hesitate, then stall spectacularly, right in the middle of traffic, causing many cars to screech to an abrupt halt to miss hitting me. My rather po faced examiner was far from impressed!

Failure isn’t an option

Third time lucky? I wish. After driving so well I was certain I had passed, and overcome with emotion I managed to exceed the speed limit in the last minute and failed, of course…

I improved marginally but was told, repeatedly, just how fabulous a driver I was and how I should pass my test in no time. My poor dad also gave me lessons (which I don’t advise, purely because you can fall into bad habits, not adhering to ‘test’ conditions!) where I picked up conflicting information and methods of doing things, eg. parking! So, after a few months of appalling driving, I was rushed into a driving test which of course I failed MAGNIFICENTLY! The funny thing was, although I knew deep down I wasn’t ready and with parents concerned that I wasn’t up to standard, I didn’t think to cancel it. When you are repeatedly told how great a driver you are, you start to believe it!

Trust Your Gut

I had more driving tests, more failures, more shouting, swearing and conflicting advice from Darren, my driving instructor. Darren was bad tempered, rude, impatient and often made me cry. The perfect example really of how not to teach pupils. My driving lessons always started late. He was incredibly unreliable. On one test day, he turned up 30 mins late, cutting short my practise time beforehand. On another occasion I told him 2 months in advance I had found a test date, which he agreed to & gave me the appropriate lessons. Then, a week before, Darren states he’s double booked. Because of staff shortages and increased demand, I had to postpone my driving test for 3 months. Pissed off? Yeah. By this point I was more than test ready.

Perfect driver & rock bottom self-esteem

6 months later I was a perfectly good driver. However, much to my annoyance, nerves got the better of me, ensuring I made mistakes I would never normally make! Psychologically, I associated that test centre with negative thoughts of failure. I even contemplated hypnotherapy!

New driving instructor, different test centre & positive outlook!

I decided I needed a change pronto. Armed with a friend’s recommendation, I found a new driving instructor, Patrick* who was an absolute breath of fresh air! He retaught me a few things, instantly put me at ease, knew my confidence was rock bottom but quickly and effectively built it back up! I failed again in a different test centre due to nerves. I was in a state; I cried halfway through the test, but my driving was near perfect! A month later, I passed!

I was inspired to write my experience after reading oxjane – who failed 7 times. The thoughts and emotions she expressed, the sadness and the frustration really propelled me to carry on. It motivated me because, believe me… I was very close to giving up! Living where I live, transport links aren’t the best. The lack of freedom meant it was so much harder to organise socialising with friends, going to the gym and being spontaneous!

I hope you enjoyed reading this. I would love to hear your thoughts, experiences and advice in the comments below.

Love Career Girl!

xoxo

Get Hired Via Email!

Email

I remember when I graduated and I have blogged about this multiple times before, but it is totally normal to find the process of job hunting online boring, frustrating, time-consuming and somewhat depressing! Our parents tended to job hunt in person yet, increasingly, new jobs are being advertised and processed online via online job applications. You may have to uploaded your CV and cover letter etc. and wonder why you hear nothing back…

Beat the Applicant Tracking System

Well it’s probably because no one sees it! That’s right, a computer sifts through all those hundreds, if not thousands of CV’s searching for specific keywords within your CV; and if you pass the ‘Applicant Tracking System’ process only then will a human – aka the HR department, actually read your CV!!

The thought process understandably is that one person cannot deal with the overwhelming surge in applications and so the computer system takes over, saving time. However, in my opinion, great, talented candidates are put off by such lengthy and inhuman processes, so will look and apply elsewhere.

Potentially, there are ways to beat the system so to speak. By inputting keywords into your CV in white (so they are picked up but not shown up) or even formatting your CV better, the list goes on. But is it worth it?

You may be the perfect candidate and incredibly talented but if you don’t specify specific keywords outlined in the job description, (& it’s pot luck to receive one) your CV won’t be selected!

Dream job is an Email away!

As the title of this blog post suggests, it is possible to bypass those pointless job applications that disappear into the abyss. Just use email! Believe it or not there are jobs out there that don’t require you to fill out pointless applications!

Even if there are no vacancies advertised at your dream company, it is always worth sending prospective emails with your CV attached. Start by introducing yourself, outlining your past and current situation, experience, why you should work at the company and what you can bring to the table, also know as ‘pain letters’. The worst thing they can do is ignore you, but you have a much better chance of being noticed with your CV being read and also are more likely to be considered for future roles too! Also, make sure to include contact details and a link to your LinkedIn profile in your signature!

I hope this helps!

Good luck!

Love Career Girl

xoxo

Personal Branding

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You know what the greatest brand in the world is?! That’s right… YOU!!

Graduate, job seeker, or industry expert going through a career change, although there may be a multitude of jobs out there, it’s not always easy to land that dream job. As some of you know, I graduated class of 2015, yet since then, I have been trying to forge a career. I find the whole process of job hunting possibly the most frustrating! Specifically, applying for roles online and having to almost write your whole life story, how much of a superstar you are and how amazing you’d be at the role; to then receive an automated thank you email super disheartening. Not cool.

Reject Online Job Hunting

I am not a fan of time consuming job applications and screening processes that are often used today. I think there is a massive over reliance on technology. Okay I digress. Back to personal branding!

Job hunting is hard but if you attack at all angles, you will have a much better success rate. Apply for jobs. Send emails. Network. Optimise your Linkedin & Google yourself. Competition is fierce and especially with social media and word of mouth, why not market yourself?!

Invest in Yourself

You may have the best qualifications, experience and be super likeable, but so are many other people. Which is why it’s so important to play to your strengths and use whatever skill or asset you have to your advantage. Good at Art or Photography? Create a portfolio. Great at Graphics? Build your own website. Love writing? Start a blog. You get the picture. Think of yourself as any other brand and project yourself in the best light possible. Now more than ever your online presence matters. Employers can and often will Google you and your social media profiles. If you want to keep social media private, double check all of your privacy settings to ensure there are no incriminating or embarrassing photos etc. Otherwise, link all your social media profiles together and cross promote.

Your next job might be a tweet away!

Take the plunge and go to networking events and collect business cards. Better yet, create your own personalised business cards, as it’s so much more professional to hand out a card. It can demonstrate to others that you take initiative, are organised and self-motivated. Stand out and you’ll be remembered.

It’s important to be authentic and passionate – do you! You’re great and no one can be you. We are all different with various skills and life experiences and that is why building your personal brand is essential.

So, what are you waiting for…. Go out and create your brand!

Disclaimer. I am by no means a career coach or guru, but want to inspire myself and others to take charge in their job hunting. To not be complacent and to actively go after what you want. I have been inspired by many successful woman who have created a brand around themselves! We got this! #GirlBoss

If you are job hunting I hope this is helpful, and if you have any tips, tricks or advice I would love to hear! Do you think you will start your personal brand?!

Good luck,

Love Career Girl

xo

Ibiza really does ROCK!

So those that know me well are aware I’m a little bit obsessed with the beautiful white Balearic Island that is Ibiza. I recently took a friend to the island who’s an Ibiza virgin. And although this was my third time going, it’s hard to get bored of the island when there is so much to offer. It is definitely a party island, however, there are so many stunning, virtually untouched beaches and hidden gems which, if you go, you need to explore!

Below are my recommendations on where/what and how to go about exploring the island based on my time solo & with friends…

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Ibiza Rocks Hotel – Best Hotel Ever!

Best place to stay?

Ibiza Rocks hotel without a doubt. I have always wanted to stay there as friends have raved about how amazing it is and they weren’t wrong! After being delayed for over 2 hours we FINALLY arrived at the hotel to be greeted by the most lovely welcoming hotel staff or ‘hosts’. If you want to be in the heart of the action, you need to be based here. Found in the middle of San Antonio, it’s walking distance to Eden, Es Paradis, the Westend (dirt cheap drinks & a right laugh) and close to bars, restaurants and the buses etc.

 

Stay up late…

Watching the sun go down on the sunset strip is beautiful. We took Cider and sat on the beach, however if you’ve got the dollar sit and have dinner & drinks at Cafe Del Mar/Cafe Mambo. Either way, the DJ Plays music right from Dusk – the atmosphere is glorious! In terms of nights out, Ibiza doesn’t really get started till at least midnight! Want cheap drinks? Head to the Westend, where you will find bars and (small) clubs with ridiculous drink deals – the best place to pre-drink! Here you will also spot a fair few strip clubs & kebab shops – the ideal place for hilarious stag and hen dos. I prefer the big clubs though. Ease yourself in with the smaller clubs like Sankeys, Es Paradis or even Eden – Judgement Sundays is a relatively good night. Yet, don’t go to Ibiza without going to the superclubs. Entry fees are steep, but in my opinion totally worth it and make clubs at home seem insignificant! Be prepared to pay €50 to €80 depending on the DJ. Also best to pre-drink as drink prices inside these clubs are a rip off! My favourite club is Pacha, it’s a little bit more glamorous. Yet all of them are pretty insane and a little bit intimidating as they are so HUGE! Opening & closing parties are not to be missed! Get to the clubs using the party bus, found at San An just behind the ‘Egg’ roundabout. Party buses cost €3 euros each way and stop at all the major clubs and run throughout the night, which couldn’t be more perfect. Pool parties, head to Ocean Beach & for the best boat party ever? Well Ibiza Rocks the Boat was AMAZING! However, also worth checking out Platja d’en Bossa & Es Vedras – which unfortunately I ran out of time to do!

Get Up Early…..

I discovered Formentera island while I stayed in Ibiza on my own. From chatting to the most wonderful ladies on the flight over they recommended hopping on a boat and heading to the Balearic island – and I am so glad I did! Set your alarm and head down to either Ibiza town port or San An (a bit cheaper), catch a boat and spend all day exploring! From 10-6pm the return boat costs €29 but expect to pay a lot once you arrive. If you love more of an authentic experience, of hippy markets, barely touched & unspoilt beaches, some voted the best by trip advisor, then this is heaven!

Head to Old Town Ibiza (Eivissa), stroll around Dalt Villa, Castle ruins and climb to the top to see spectacular views of Ibiza. Same spot is where the International Music Summit (IMS festival) is held, last time I went I missed out on seeing Rudimental. If you can, get a ticket! Buses and taxis in Ibiza are generally cheap, €2 euros from San An to Ibiza Town. You’ll find on the left of Dalt Villa a great spot for soaking some rays & they do the best mojitos, sangria and tapas!

This is only the start, there are so many areas to explore… I arrived in England to 12 degree heat after leaving the lovely 25 degrees heat! I’ve already got itchy feet to be back!

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Love, as always, Career Girl!

Xo

Bitchy Bosses & Manipulative Managers

managers

We’ve all had that boss from hell, right?

Many of the horrible bosses I’m about to describe are from personal experience! These individuals have taught me so much – mainly, how not to manage people! The individuals described below have had serious complaints made about them, resulting in eventual dismissal. Rightfully so! However, it is staggering just how many are still in a position of power. Having studied Occupational Psychology & covering aspects of it within my dissertation, I find it interesting, but also slightly depressing!

People may hate their jobs, but hate managers more

I think it’s so true that individuals don’t leave a workforce as such, they leave because of their manager! The results from my own research were alarming, 100% of my participants HATED their job!

In the past I have definitely hated some jobs because of a manager! Sometimes it’s not really their fault as such. Some individuals unfortunately just aren’t born leaders. Incompetent managers seem to be pretty common. Some don’t seem to have a clue how to do their job, others are unable to make a rota a week in advance. Few just don’t command respect, and view work as play and muck about in front of customers, which is incredibly childish, embarrassing and unprofessional. Some managers are plain detrimental to your career and personal well-being!

Bitchy Bosses

I once had a boss called Betty*…. who was a BITCH! Why? In Occupational Psychology we touched on this aptly named concept, coined the ‘Queen Bee’ boss. Having a female boss is probably worse than having a horrible male boss. Possibly (from my experience anyway) because girls are a lot more subtle, shall we say. This particular boss was very charming to individuals, almost too nice, whilst later, gossiping and spreading nasty rumours. Other traits of the ‘Queen Bee’ bitchy boss include being dishonest, micro-managing, manipulative and two-faced.

I have had female bosses shout and scream at individuals for making minor mistakes, which is ironic, considering just how incompetent some managers are. From relying on other staff members to carry out the bulk of the work and later taking credit for it, to manipulating situations to her, or a favoured co-worker’s advantage, all created a toxic atmosphere. This kind of game play and favouritism is unbelievably unhealthy for everyone involved and makes for a very unhappy working environment.

The Machiavellian Manager

Possibly my worst manager, let’s call him Mick* made me cry a number of times! On first impressions this guy was funny, charming and incredible nice. However, as time got on, his mask started to slip. This guy was not only verbally incredibly aggressive, but would swear, shout and publicly mock and humiliate staff members for making minor mistakes. Providing unachievable targets and tasks, and belittling comments can seriously take its toll! At the time I was 17 and incredibly naïve with regards to working life. It sounds silly, but I had no idea you could say ‘no’ to a manager. Whilst still at college I was expected to work shifts at a drop of a hat, although I was already working about 30 + hours a week! This really stressed me out. I remember at one point being called a ‘F@$king Idiot’… amongst other things! A barrage of insults and accumulating incidents eventually plunged my self-esteem to rock bottom. Turn outs this manager got fired with immediate effect.

Karma’s a Bitch.

If you have ever encountered similar treatment, I would love to hear from you. This kind of behaviour doesn’t happen everywhere, there are good people out there. I have met and worked for the most charismatic, honest, trustworthy, hardworking, capable and inspirational managers too. If you can get out of toxic environments, I urge you to do so. The stress, pressure and borderline depression which can occur from nasty bosses and situations can take a toll on health and well-being and it’s really not worth it. From now on, I vow never to tolerate a bitchy, manipulative toxic manager!

 

*These names have been altered to protect the individuals concerned. Many of these names are an accumulation of attributes from several different bosses. Also check out journal articles on ‘queen bee’ bosses!