Work: Why you shouldn’t settle

You should never settle when it comes to working. Think about how long you spend at work per week. Then think about how long you’ll be spending working over your lifetime. You might be comfortable due to location, accessibility, colleague friendships but what about ambition, goals and the question of what if which we all ask ourselves. 

To not settle you first need to have a goal set and understand your worth. When I first graduated I use to apply for jobs between £15-20k, non-managerial, no experience required because I was so use to seeing ‘unfortunately’ emails when I applied for anything else. I had experience in what I was applying for and due to University, I had the knowledge but the one thing I didn’t know was my worth. It took me years to build confidence and know my worth and that was due to constantly bettering myself with qualifications and by having the right colleagues in my corner to motivate me. “What do you have to lose if you apply for a £30k job”, one colleague said to me and it’s true. The con would be another ‘unfortunately’ email, whereas pros would be they see something in me to move me through the interview stage or even offer me the job. 

Until I meet my goal, I never get comfortable in a job. I constantly search to see what jobs are out there. I don’t necessarily apply for them all, but it’s good to understand when during the year more jobs are available and to see what companies are doing in comparison to where you are now. As I said above, it took me a while to know my worth and now, as long as the position looks right for me and the money (including benefits) looks right for me I will shoot my shot and apply. I will only be holding myself back if I don’t.

There will be times when you know your worth and where you wish to be in life however, you might not be ready at that moment in time and that’s ok. If you think you want to be promoted or you want a certain managerial role however you’ll be readier in 2 years, do what you need to do for your CV and character to stand out in 2 years. If you hit the 2-year mark and the promotion isn’t available or there’s no job within that company you want, don’t be afraid to move on. Find a place that is willing to offer you exactly what you’re looking for. That could take a long time and out of anyone I know this, but sometimes you need to leave a position, take time out, wait and soon enough the right position will come along. If not, think about what is missing. Maybe you need a certain qualification to stand out, or maybe you are looking for work in the wrong location.

If you get to the stage where you have got everything you can out of your job and the company, ask yourself why you’re not pushing yourself further or ask yourself what your next step is. It’s easy to stick to what you know and to get comfortable within that environment. If you’re content then do what you need to do, however, if you’re sitting at work and you feel like something is missing that could be your mind telling you it’s time for a change or to be your own boss.

Plot twist:

Be aware of who you confide in at work. Not everyone you smile at is your friend. Just as you have an end goal, someone else you work with does too, and it might just be that your goals are the same. Sometimes healthy competition is needed at work however don’t let people take advantage of you and don’t get left behind. I’ve met some genuine people in previous roles, some I now consider my closest friends, but I have seen people get double-crossed and I have seen workplaces go from sweet to sour. Keep reminding yourself work is work and home is home. Focus on yourself and remember your journey.

Equality, Diversity & Applying for a job

Life of a blogger: Q&A

Leaving College Soon-Now What?

University? Apprenticeship? Work? Unsure?

It’s ok to not know what your next step is. Even when I was at University I didn’t know. I didn’t know whether I made the right choice, whether I should have got a job and worked my way up the ladder or if I was good enough for the career I wanted. When leaving College you are guaranteed to have teachers, family, friends, even social media telling you what you should be doing. My clear and blunt advice to you is this: Don’t listen. Leaving Sixth Form, I was young and did what was expected of me; to go to University and leave with a degree. Especially being in a black household, University is seen as the only choice, as if it makes you elite. I always wondered what my life would have been like if I did what I wanted to do.

I strongly advise you to think about what you want to do with your future and work backwards. Sounds strange right? People around you will back off if they know you have a plan in place. For example, if you want to be an English teacher, do your research on what qualifications are needed and what routes you can go down. There’s always more than one way of getting to the end goal. Talk to other teachers and people within the education sector. University is not the only route for this role. Keeping with the example, you may look into Apprenticeships, Vocational courses, Volunteer work and Internships. Alternatively, you can take a year out and teach abroad (look at Gap 360). Spend time understanding the role and if its truly something you want to do. If you need to take a year out in order to find out what you want, that’s ok; you need to find your feet.

If you are thinking about University, think about the variety of courses around your chosen field. I ended up graduating from a Hospitality course but there were hundreds to chose from, from BA Event Management to BA (Hons) Travel & Tourism; some Universities offer more than others. Picking the right University for you is very important. You need to think about whether you would rather stay at home and commute, move out, go to University or do Open University. There’s so much out there. Whatever you choose, once you settle into it you’ll be looking for a sense of belonging. I went to two Universities. At my first, I was surrounded by people I already knew, loved the nightlife but I was commuting from home and felt no connection to the course or the career possibilities it would provide. When I changed University I found my sense of belonging. I knew no one there but left with new life long friends, lived on campus, got into the different nightlife and environment and loved every moment of it. The University you pick will shape your future however, like me and thousands of others you can transfer and put your studies on hold if you need to.

Be open to all options and opportunities. I’ll repeat again, start with research and stop listening to what everyone else wants from you. Be selfish and focus on yourself; only you can create the path for your future.

If you need a mentor/coach based on the topics above, please contact me directly via Let’s Talk or Instagram Solobutterflyy.

If you need assistance creating or changing your CV and with Interview techniques, please contact Mimi’s CV; Instagram mimiscvs or email mimiscvs@gmail.com

Graduating Soon-Now What?

Graduate scheme? Job? A black hole?

The time of the year when every lecturer and parent is making it seem as if getting a job in your chosen field is a piece of cake.

The uncertainty after University is real. As soon as University is over we are expected to find a role within the subject we have graduated in. If you graduate in Business Marketing, you are expected to at least be a Marketing Assistant; if you graduate in Hotel Management like I did, you are expected to run a Hotel because apparently, it’s that easy. It is so easy for every adult to say what you should be doing because it sounds like a good plan to them. Well, let’s just say, even at age 24-25, 90% of graduates I know are still trying to find their place in the world. Some have chosen gap years…that have lasted 3 years, others chose to push back adulting and do Masters Degree due to not finding work or not knowing what to do. I started applying for work and graduate schemes two months before I left University. I believe I applied for well over 200. Unfortunately, no Advisors/Staff on campus informed me or my intake that we were applying for graduate schemes at the wrong time. In my head I thought ‘ok it’s March, if I apply now I could start in the Summer’ but that wasn’t the case. By the time I started looking at graduate schemes I had missed deadlines and would have had to wait another few months to apply for the next group intake.

Point– Research graduate schemes and find out the opening and closing times for applications.

Fortunately, I was pretty confident back in University and instead of waiting for opportunities, I emailed companies directly. This led to me finding paid work experience in Central London, starting the very next day after completing University.

The truth we need to take into account when searching is: the location we are looking to work in, the economy and timescale. We must also question what level/role we want to start in. Even today, with all my qualifications and years of experience I still tend to pick entry-level roles because rejection plays heavily on my mind; entry-level roles provide a sense of security.

I advise you to start thinking about your career towards the end of second year. Gain knowledge, base your dissertation on the area you are interested to go into. The research you find for your dissertation we show how you actually feel towards the role you are looking into; whether you are passionate, find it boring, find some hidden statistics. Make use of your career advisors on campus and network amongst lecturers and students. There’s always one lecturer that you click and have banter with. Question them. Ask what they have done in their career, who they know, what they think about your career plan or lack of career plan so far. Network on social media as there are always people looking to hire or collaborate.

You don’t have to go straight into a career. Think about travelling, work experience/internships or simply combine the two and work casually abroad. Give yourself enough time to work out what path you want to go down and write out your plan. Don’t be afraid or feel guilty to change/amend the plan multiple times.

If you need a mentor/coach based on the topic above, please contact me directly via Instagram (Solobutterflyy) or the Let’s Talk button.

If you need assistance creating or changing your CV and with Interview techniques, please contact Mimi’s CV; Instagram mimiscvs or email mimiscvs@gmail.com