How to deal with an Office Bully

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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

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

My Gym Gear Feat. Daisy&Co

 

Now that I drive, you can find me hitting the gym 4 times a week, whether it be a relaxing yoga and tai chi session or a high intensity boxing class! And now, more than ever, I seem to live in gym attire, so it’s massively important I have clothes which fit, are functional for sweaty sessions, and, of course, make me look and feel great!

Following on from my ‘dress to impress & dress for success’ post with work-wear, I strongly feel it is paramount to wear whatever makes you feel not only comfortable, but good about yourself too. How can you push yourself and achieve your personal best, if you’re wearing ill-fitting see through leggings and a sports bra that offers no support?!

If you can afford it, I highly recommend getting the best that’s out there, but if not, I highly recommend H&M gym wear. Considering the price, they are surprisingly good, offering sweat-wicking running tops for approx. £14!

I’m always keen to try new gym gear and, recently, was given the opportunity to test out Daisy & Co London‘s latest range. Their new active brand was launched earlier this year I believe. New to the game, they have black sportswear with their logo, and outrageously bright purple options too. They are incredibly high quality and are lovely and soft against the skin.

They arrived in the post and honestly, first impressions were that both items would be too big for me. I’m normally a size xs and these looked huge! However, I was wrong. After trying both on, I realised that the fabric was super soft and high stretch, perfect for sweaty hot yoga or even HIIT classes. The gorgeous detailing on the back of the black sports bra allows for extra movement, which isn’t always apparent in other brands. Often, most sports bras are rigid and thus, limits your movements. I tested these out last week and was really impressed by them!

The purple top isn’t something I would normally opt for, as I tend to go for blacks and greys at the gym, but they go really well with an all black outfit. They would be perfect for summer days, especially as I often do yoga outside when it’s warmer & sunnier!

What I’m wearing: 

Top: Daisy Pansy Print Keyhole Vest

Sports bra: Black Cross back

Leggings: Lululemon Athletic 

Trainers: Asics from Sweaty Betty

 

What brands do you wear to the gym? I hope you enjoyed this post & let me know what you think in the comments!

Love Career Girl

 

xo

 

PS items marked with * were gifted for promotional purposes yet opinions are definitely mine! 

 

 

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

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

New Mantra: Trust the Universe!

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So the past week, and, well, month, has been pretty shitty. I’ve been stressed, I’ve put a tad bit of weight on, have felt like an unmotivated, worried and depressed SLUG if I’m being perfectly honest. Those who know me well will know why… but it has enabled me to think A LOT about everything really.

It’s made me realise a lot about friendships, amongst other things. When the chips are down you find out who your real friends are, the ones who will defend and fight for you in your absence. The friends who, no matter whether it 3pm or 3am, are there for you when you’re crying down the phone, sad. They will tell you how it is, be brutally honest but unbelievably caring.

I have wonderful, quality, vivacious, inspirational and hilariously sarcastic friends who I am so lucky to have. Regardless of whether we text daily or whether we sporadically spend the afternoon and evening chatting away over a cocktail, or several, the fact I know they are there makes me so happy. Such a shame all my college and university friends are dotted all over the globe, but it makes me appreciate the fantastic friends that I have, of which I can count on my fingers, even more I guess.

Facebook friends aren’t the be all & end all

It’s remarkable how when I was younger and more naïve and consumed with wanting to fit in, I was obsessed with the number of Facebook friends I had – at one stage I had over 1000! I’m 22 and although I’m not exactly old, I feel like I have grown up so much since then. I have deactivated my Facebook and prefer to spend my time and energy on my ‘real’ friends, the ones who have been there through thick and thin. A year ago I made a conscious effect to abandon the negativity, the fickle friends and the ones who used me for personal gain, invites to parties or to bail on me at the drop of the hat for a better event, their boyfriend or whatever the flavour of the month was.

Only recently have I felt truly ‘myself’ you know? And I have my lovely, supportive friends to thank for that!

Ridding Fake & Fickle Friends

It hasn’t been easy letting go of childhood, fickle and horribly fake friends. There comes a time when there is no longer much say, less things in common and life goes in different directions. Sometimes, the one person who you thought would be there for you, you’re best friend, who once knew everything about you, is merely a stranger now.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that sometimes, things happen for a reason. The fickle friend teaches you to seek out better quality friends. That boy who mistreated who you makes you hunt for a loyal and loving guy, and working a job you hate can propel you to find your dream job.

Everything happens for a reason and sometimes, it may not work out now, but it will soon. So trust the universe!

Love Career Girl,

xoxo

So You’ve Graduated! Now What…

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Graduate or soon to be graduate?! Congratulations! Now the hard graft really starts!

If you are lucky enough to have already bagged yourself an internship or job – well done! But if you haven’t don’t worry. From my experience, I don’t know anyone who really achieved their dream job straight out of university.

Many graduates will post the perks of their new job on social media, portraying a perfect working life, but behind every beautiful promotion is a struggle which isn’t splashed all over Facebook or Twitter.

Finishing university with an amazing degree is life changing. University is a roller-coaster with many ups and downs with  friends for life made. Being a Graduate, you feel euphoric, you can conquer the world right?! Yet what many of my friends and I didn’t bargain for is the reality of life after Graduation and entering the big wide world of working 9-5.

Life After University

After all the Champagne Celebrations & Graduation Gown selfies, life after university is very different!

Being at university is definitely a surreal experience whether you enjoyed it or loathed it. However, the readjusting to living back at home with your parents (so lame right?) combined with societies pressure to ‘get a proper job’ mounting and university debt and lack of funds is a daunting prospect and a tad depressing.

The change of living independently on your own terms to living under the parents roof; with a dramatic change in social life (I live in a village and it’s hell!) and facing rejections from jobs you’d kill to have is challenging to say the least!

It’s not unreasonable to assume given you’ve spent 3 years studying your craft; gaining experience, knowledge and skills, that you’d receive a job matched to your skillset…. No?

Unfortunately, the reality for so many of my friends and I is that, unless you’re really, really lucky, for quite a while after leaving university, the jobs you accept might be far from desirable! Even if your first job after graduation is working in a bar, restaurant or even retail, at the end of the day, a job’s a job and it’s all vital experience!

I worked in one job that I hated but managed to pay off my (horrendous) overdraft in 2 months. There’s a silver lining to every shitty situation! Just kept hustling!

Love Career Girl

Xo