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

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Optimize Linkedin to Your Advantage!

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Linkedin is yet another method of job hunting online.  However, done well, it is so much more. It’s a great place to network with Industry leaders and connect with inspirational people, receive the latest industry insight and voice your opinion; take it a step further and you can showcase your writing skills by publishing articles on a given topic. More importantly, you can advertise the best brand ever…. YOU!

Think of Linkedin as an online CV which you can really have fun with. It should contain everything that’s on your CV, and then some. This is a place where you can let loose to an extent. Don’t be afraid to describe your career, life journey, hobbies, passions and your goals for the future!

Do – Upload a clear, professional photo. First and foremost, this is a job-site where future employers are scrutinising your online presence. So no Bikini selfies or pictures of your drunken antics etc. Think head and shoulders shot in smart attire and if you can spare the cash invest in a professional headshot.

Don’t – Be afraid to ‘connect’ with people you don’t know as such. That fancy hiring manager? Connect! It is a great way of getting that person to view your profile, at the very least! If they don’t want to connect it doesn’t matter, but chances are they will accept. No spamming though. Quality connections over quantity.

Don’t – Instantly send an inmail asking for a job to that hiring manager… From personal experience it’s better to build rapport rather than go in for the kill. The point of having recruiters/hiring managers as connections means you will hear of job openings a lot faster.

Do – Buy Linkedin premium, if you can afford it! This means you can see who has viewed your profile (and profile views are paramount by the way!) and if you are applying for a role, you can see how your skills and experience compare with other applicants. It also bumps you up the list of applicants, portraying you as a ‘featured applicant’, increasing your chances of being viewed & remembered.  Plus, depending on the upgrade, you can inmail tough to reach individuals.  Otherwise, take advantage of the month free trial of Linkedin premium.

Do – Proofread. Just like you would a CV. Spelling mistakes and poor grammar will turn a great profile into a mediocre one!

Do – Update your title. If you are unemployed, don’t be shy! Write that you are looking for a particular role or work experience!

Do – Write a blurb about yourself but keep to the point. This should include a short summary about yourself, including aspects from the past, present and future. Discuss qualifications or experience, what you are doing/hoping to do and what your career goals are.  Make it as catchy as possible. Avoid writing in the third person and stating over used phrases like, ‘I work well independently and within a team’. What is YOUR personal unique selling point?!

Don’t – Use Linkedin as you would Facebook! Got wasted last night? Hooked up with some guy last night? Facebook may care but Linkedin certainly won’t. Keep it professional and informative. Talk about the latest news or innovation within a certain industry. The pitfalls of e-commerce or the advantages of virtual reality.

Do – Cross promote! Link all your social media together, unless you want to keep professional and personal social media sites separate.

Do – Google yourself to see how you may be perceived by a future boss! Clean up your social media presence! Don’t let an embarrassing photo ruin your chances of getting your dream job!

Do – Add your accomplishments, certificates and examples of your work, whether it’s a website, best essay, blog or even upload your CV.

Do – Use Linkedin to prep yourself before an interview. If you know the hiring manager or interviewer, research them! See blog post ‘Ace The Interview!’

Do – State your best qualities, abilities, talents and experience. At the bottom of your Linkedin profile you’ll find endorsements. Good at researching? State it. Endorse others on their skills and you will most likely be endorsed too – just don’t badger people! In addition, write recommendations. Helping others will help yourself!

I hope this helps!

Good Luck

Love Career Girl

xo

Bitchy Bosses & Manipulative Managers

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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!

 

Staying Motivated & Positive Throughout the Job Search

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Don’t you just hate it when your parents & friends constantly enquire about the status of your job hunt?! “Have you had any interviews, how’s the job hunt going, got the job of your dreams yet?”

I’ve been there and it’s frustrating as hell. Gone are the days when you could just walk into a job and be set for life. Today, you’re battling with millions of other just as good, if not better graduates, combined with (pointless) online applications & selection criteria; in addition to horribly stressful interviews.

Psychometric tests & situational tests… for what?

I remember in my quest last year to get a job, I applied to work at a well know supermarket chain (so glad I didn’t progress!) Cue personality tests & situation tests, passing this a phone then a group interview. All to work for a little bit above minimum wage, essentially stacking shelves. Crazy in my opinion. There is no way you can gauge whether someone is fit for the role, intelligent or even passionate for the job if this is what you have to endure to get to the final face-to-face interview. I also read somewhere that CV’s are gone through a screening process (applicant tracking system) & often discarded way before a human has even seen them! Certain tag lines within your CV are scanned to filter them out. So take it with a pinch of salt if you apply online & never hear back.

Months and months of searching, applying & being constantly rejected can seriously take its toll. I have shed many a tear of frustration. I found it incredibly depressing, stressful and hard to stay upbeat & motivated!

So this is what I did…

Get a job, even if it isn’t your dream job.

Hey, it’s all experience and you never know, network and you could achieve the job of your dreams. It is much easier and less stressful to look for a job if you already have a job. Having an income is great and it gives you a hell of a lot more to talk about in your interview.

Network like there is no tomorrow

You never know who might be hiring so it’s always worth striking up a conversion, even with a stranger. Many companies and hiring managers do advertise; but a staggering 95% of jobs* are never advertised!!!

Dream Job Lists

Write down a list of company’s you want to work for or roles that you see yourself doing. Write some job goals, things you want to get out of that job, whether it is to save money or career progression. I desire a job where I’m always learning & constantly being challenged. Focusing on what you want will help drive you in the right direction. Trust your instinct and do a job that feels right for YOU!

Also, Linkedin is a great way to learn about jobs. It also has a great feature where you can instantly apply for a job, complete with your CV & Linkedin profile. Once you get Linkedin and know how to use it to your advantage, you’ll be fine.

Attend Interviews

It sounds insane & a waste of time… but hear me out! If you are offered an interview for a role – even if it’s a job you’re not interested in, GO FOR IT. If you can afford it, I highly recommend attending as many interviews as possible because gaining experience in a variety of interview settings will prepare you for so much!

Job hunting is stressful & tiring so don’t forget to treat yourself! Go out with friends & have fun. If you have a job, jam pack your days off with things you want to do.

*This stat is based on my own knowledge & experience!

Good Luck!

CareerGirl Xo

Wondering Why You Never Got The Job? There Never Was One…

rawpixel-com-340966.jpgAnd if your dream job is advertised, be cautious!

Summer of 2015 I religiously applied to jobs online. I spent hours perfecting my CV and Cover letter and successfully completed numerous online applications. So, you can imagine my shock & annoyance when I received many automated responses saying the vacancy was filled weeks ago. This isn’t the first time it’s happened to me and sadly won’t be the last… Since then I have spoken to many hiring managers and HR personnel and this is surprisingly common. In another case I applied online for a role and went to the interview, only to be told that they changed the job specification!

The point I’m trying to make is that, from my experience, you should take rejection from roles you’ve applied for with a pinch of salt! Due to this, I highly recommend networking or, at the very least, really researching the job role in depth, who the interviewer is and exactly why there is a vacancy in the first place.

I naively didn’t realise when I first started job hunting just how devious some hiring managers can be…

Jobs are posted then never taken down

This happens a lot. I’ve been sucked into applying for many jobs, only to find out they were filled months ago but no one bothered to take the advert down!  This especially occurs on places like Gumtree but also on big brands own website, whilst their current jobs take forever to be posted, if at all.

‘Fake’ Jobs are posted

Often, it tends to be recruiters who do this, but supposed job postings are advertised in the hope of attracting lots of candidates. These candidates CV’s will then be kept on file for recruiters generating a huge pool for future use, should there ever actually be a job later. And sometimes, individuals will copy your CV – so been careful

Internal Hiring / transfers

Although a vacancy is advertised, what goes on behind the scenes may be very different. Many employers and hiring managers will post a job advert, go through the motions of selecting and interviewing candidates; knowing full well they won’t hire you. Effectively, they are wasting your valuable time and energy. They may have already organised hiring internally, or nepotism might be at play…

Hiring Freeze 

Some companies will advertise and interview candidates knowing that a hiring freeze is imminent, but want to gauge the talent that’s out there. The interviewer might actually love to hire you but hands are tied and money in the company is tight so can’t afford to take you on, so don’t feel disheartened.

It’s a shame many employers don’t offer feedback or say who they finally hired and why.

Let me know if you have ever experienced this! As always, good luck in the job hunt! Let me know if there is a topic you want me to discuss 🙂

Career Girl xo

Ace The Interview!

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Although I’m only 22, I have luckily had so many jobs & even more interviews! I’ve also chatted with hiring managers and graduates. I have compiled a (long) list based on these discussions and my own knowledge and experience. From what to wear, to how to act – this blog post will cover almost everything you need to ace that interview. Ranging from casual conversations and phone interviews, to super-duper stressful 3 hour group & panel interviews, I’ve experienced it all. I know exactly what it’s like to be in the hot seat for an interview, with nerves sky high! So here’s my advice….

 

Knowledge is Power!

Before any interview I highly recommend researching the company or brand. Try to find out everything, from how they started, to where they are now and their goals for the future. Look at their website, LinkedIn, all other social media sites and Google them. Read any relevant articles. If the job is Retail for example, try to explore anything that has changed buying habits e.g. e-commerce! Find and remember some statistics or offer an opinion on current trends. If you are lucky enough to know who the interviewer will be – research them too! Find something in common to use to your advantage.

SWOT was that?

That’s right. Do a SWOT analysis. Examine the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of the business or company. This knowledge can also come in handy right at the end of the interview. Any questions? You can wow them with your insight, and ask a question in relation to your SWOT analysis. This will impress them.

Relax & Make Them Laugh!

No matter how impressive your answers are, if they like YOU they will hire you! Easier said than done. I know, I’ve been there, but relax. Have fun and be yourself. Smile. Look on the bright side of every situation. So what if you don’t get the job, you’ll get another. My mantra is Trust the Universe – you may not realise now but there is a reason things happen!

Fake It Till You Make It! 

You may be a nervous wreck but don’t let on. Practise walking confidently, head up, smiling and thinking positive thoughts. Believe in yourself! Have a firm handshake and maintain good eye contact.

Location Location Location! 

Where’s the interview? Make sure you allow more than enough time to get to the interview. Arrive early and go to a nearby coffee shop or wherever to calm down and compose yourself. Go over your notes relating to the company and industry in general. Nothing is worse than feeling frazzled, or worse, late for an interview!

Dress to Impress!

These hiring managers are like most humans. Many will judge you the minute, the second you walk in. Sounds cliché but first impressions really do count, especially in this competitive workforce. So dress to impress and dress well. Regardless of your bank balance, wear clothes that fit you and make you feel fabulous! For me, this a tailored classic blazer – I feel I can conquer the world. Also, hands and feet are important. Beautifully manicured hands and good shoes are paramount IMO. Scruffy shoes & chipped nail varnish? It matters.

Sell Me This Pen!

No matter how prepared you are, some hiring managers want to test you under pressure. Once, I had 10 minutes to prepare a 5 minute presentation, then present it right there and then to everyone in the group interview. Don’t panic though. They want you to think on the spot and see how you cope with stress. Think in advance about your favourite subject or something you feel passionate about. Often in Sales or Retail jobs you’ll be asked to sell them something – so practise!

Feel free to ask any more questions or advice in the comments section!

 

Good Luck!

 

Career Girl Xo