Where I See Myself In Five Years

Where I See Myself In Five Years

Hi folks! I was on Twitter asking all of you what you think I should write about on the blog and the lovely Simon suggested I do a post about where I see myself in five years time. So here it goes…

In five years time I’ll be 25.Which is scaryyy. I’m not sure what will happen with my career, but I know I want to continue freelancing for now. I’d love to eventually work as an editor, and maybe even a staff writer.

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In terms of my blog, I hope it’s still going strong and that I haven’t given up on it! I hope to eventually move to my own domain so hopefully by five years time I won’t be too stingy with those dollars.

In terms of my personal life… I’m hoping to patch things up with my family, but if they don’t believe the truth, it’s going to be hard for us to get along.

I always said I was going to have kids at 25 and to me that doesn’t seem very far away and that scares me. The whole idea of childbirth and parenthood terrifies me.

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I have no idea if me and Oli will be married by then, but whatever happens I know I want to be coming home to him at the end of the day. We have said we want to move to New York, but unless we win the lottery soon (which we won’t, we don’t play it), that won’t happen for a while. Maybe we will be over there by the time I’m 25. All I know is I don’t want to live in the UK forever. I’m starting to get stir crazy in this country!

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If we haven’t moved to America and I’m not a big shot editor working at the New York Times in five years time, then I can definitely see us having our own little flat somewhere near London and us still working hard to move oversees. And I can definitely see us traveling a lot. Hopefully in five years time I have ticked off the places I want to go to such as Italy and going to Africa on Safari.

I’m also hoping they’ll be some type of furbaby in the future…Probably not a dog though (insert crying face here). But definitely a hamster or rabbit. Possibly a cat.

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So… There’s my predictions(?) for 2024. Let’s see what happens…

How To Promote Your Blog

How To Promote Your Blog

As you may know, I switched over to WordPress early on in the year from Blogger. I gained over a 1000 views in my first month and a half. I’m really happy with how my blog has grown and that I’m still doing it. I’ve never had a “hobby” last so long. So here are my top tips on how to promote your blog.

Platforms

Promoting on social media is essential if you want to gain an audience. I primarily use Twitter and Facebook now, and get a few views here and there from Instagram. A lot of my views actually come from WordPress Reader now though. Which means my followers are reading and liking and commenting on my blog. So I urge you to try to grow your followers as much as possible, as well as giving your blog its own page on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook has hundreds of blogging groups, from promotion ones, to niches such as book blogging or travel. Sharing your posts to these groups will help you immensely when wanting to gain views.

Community

If it wasn’t for all my blogging friends, I wouldn’t be where I am today. They all help me and vice versa to promote my blog posts. From one retweet to commenting on my blog, it all makes a difference.

Make sure to interact with the people who have been through this blogging journey with you from the start. They will always have your back so make sure you get into the blogging communities on Twitter.

Hashtags

Hashtags aren’t just useful for gaining likes on an Instagram pic. They’ve helped me get into free events and receive goodies from publishing companies. I use the #Bloggerswanted hashtag on Twitter to get free products, free events and more. These give you great exposure because not only will product reviews or gift guides get your blog views, but if the company who gifted you something, share it on their website or social media, you could gain more followers and clicks.

Guest Posts

Guest posts always help me promote my blog because they will usually link back to your blog and social media handles. It’s a great way of making friends in the community while also gaining exposure. It also helps to host guest bloggers on your site because chances are they’ll want their followers to read what they’ve written and share it.

I hope these tips are useful for you, whether you’re new to blogging or a pro!

Why I Hate Apprenticeships

Why I Hate Apprenticeships

Now, I know a lot of people will disagree with me and that’s obviously perfectly fine, but this is my experience and it’s been a bad one. These are my reasons I hate apprenticeships.

Salary

Let’s talk about salary. When I was working as an apprentice (I’ve been in three apprenticeships) I was getting paid £3.50 an hour. How ridiculous is that? I know apprenticeships are a great way of getting into work if you have or haven’t been to university. Some may say it’s better than volunteering since you get nothing with doing that. But when you’re working 40 hours a week for just over £500 a month, it starts to become shitty and tiring. I used to spend an hours pay just getting the bus so I decided to save my £3.50 and walk 2 hours each day. When we moved further away it was even worse but I still refused to use a bus.

On Fridays, although I felt guilty, I would buy myself a Costa and then get the train after work to Oliver’s. That was £40 each weekend. Basically, I couldn’t save hardly anything (although I did manage a little here and there thank god) and by the end of the month I was surviving on a tenner.

Apprentices do the same, if not more work than full time employers. My colleague was on three times more than me, even though she worked 3 days a week and I worked 5. How does that work? Oh that’s right, because these employers don’t give a shit. If you find an apprenticeship with nice people, average pay and a decent workload, then good on you. But I’ve never met someone who has.

If you want to earn respect from your employees, pay them enough so they can afford to buy themselves dinner.

Workload

In my first apprenticeship, I was given so much work to do but very little reward for it. I know a lot of employees do a lot of work, but expecting someone to manage everything for you while paying them £3.50 an hour is a joke.

In one apprenticeship, I overheard a phone call between my boss and my colleague. My boss said that he wanted me to be his PA (all five staff members left within the first two weeks of me being there). So I asked how much I would be paid and my colleague told me I would be a PA and admin on apprenticeship wage. When my boss found out what my colleague had said this to me, he was furious as he wanted me to be below minimum wage doing a PA job. I’m not that stupid I’m afraid.

Overview

It probably won’t surprise you that I never finished any of my apprenticeships. I always left, whether it was a boss being a dick, not getting paid enough or the place went bankrupt. I haven’t had luck with any of them jobs. If you do find one, I urge you not to take any shit. You’re below minimum wage doing a full time employee’s job. Take. No. Shit. Don’t do what I did and put up with it.

An Open Letter To My Former Employers

An Open Letter To My Former Employers

Dear Former Employers,

There’s been a lot of you, there’s no doubt about that. Some of you have been kind, some of you have been awful and a lot of you, I didn’t stick around to get to know.

Every single one of you taught me something about myself. My first, you taught me how to work in a busy environment and I’m glad you gave me so much work to do. But in the end, you’re still a condescending person.

One of you taught me to work hard but play hard too. Thank you for the late nights staying up behind the bar celebrating a successful night with all of us. Giving me that job let me spread my wings and fly the nest.

One of you was deceiving. You made me think I was delusional when I told you I was being bullied. But, I learnt to stand up for myself in the process. Ironically, being one of the worst jobs I ever had, I stayed there for seven long, tedious months through the bullying, hard family life and little pay.

My last employment, which lasted three short months taught me the most: I don’t want to work for anyone ever again. I decided to look for freelance gigs and left before I found anything else. After two months I found my full time freelance gig.

Thank you all for teaching me I can do whatever the hell I want and no one is going to stop me, not even you. Vee x

The Pros and Cons of Being Freelance

The Pros and Cons of Being Freelance

In some ways, freelance can give you a sense of freedom that you don’t get with being on a contract. However there are some downfalls…

Pros

  • You can manage your time better when you aren’t being nagged to do something by a colleague sitting right next to you. You can take your time and work on your own terms and hours.
  • You can sit in your pajamas all day if you really want to!
  • You can eat whenever you want without Susan sitting in the corner judging you for snaffling three twix bars in a row…
  • You can have as many clients/gigs as you can manage.
  • You’re effectively your own boss.
  • You avoid the commute in and out of work meaning you have that precious time to yourself.
  • You don’t have to work with people you dislike and who just watch you out of the corner of their eye.
  • You don’t have to worry if you’re a bit sick to go into work, you can probably work from home! (Unless you have the flu…)
  • You can take as much holiday when you want.
  • You can work however much you want with no cap.

Cons

  • It can get lonely being at home all the time.
  • You aren’t guaranteed to be kept on with some clients.
  • You have an uneven amount of money from working odd hours.
  • You don’t get paid sick pay.
  • You don’t get paid holiday or bereavement pay.
  • You have to work out all aspects of your business, including the dreaded tax.
  • Having multiple clients wanting things done at the same time.

Do you think the pros outweigh the cons? Would you consider going freelance or staying employed on a permanent contract? Let me know in the comments! Vee x

Why Your Job Will Never Make You Happy

Why Your Job Will Never Make You Happy

Did I get you with the clickbaity headline? Good, now I have your attention, let’s dive in.

Now, I’m not saying you’ll never be happy with the career you’ve chosen, the people you work with or some of the tasks you do. But, in my experience, no matter what job you’re in, there’s always bad parts that come with it.

I have waitressed, worked in retail, in marketing, admin, social media and volunteered. When I was in retail, I hated it, I wanted to move and become a waitress. But then the hours were shit so I moved back home and became an apprentice on little to no money. Again, I moved, worked in marketing and had to work with women who didn’t like me. While I was working this marketing job I was looking into becoming self employed because I had wanted to make the leap and become my own boss for a while.

I knew that because of my mental illness and the negative experiences I’ve encountered over the years, that I didn’t want to ever experience it again. So I delved into freelance work and left my job.

Now, freelance is great. You get to work from home, choose your own hours, answer phone calls in your PJs. But the harsh reality is that you may still have to work with people you don’t like. Or you’ll have to attend meetings with pretentious people or work on weekends. Unfortunately, no matter whether you’re self employed or work full time in an office, as a waitress, in retail ect, you’re always going to encounter issues.

I was naive when it came to becoming freelance. I didn’t realise how lonely it would be, the amount of motivation you have to have and the amount I’d have to deal with.

I just want to tell you not to have high expectations for every job because there will always be something to make you upset. It’s unfair, but I’m learning that that’s the way life is. There are hard parts, but the hard parts are outweighed by the good.

The advantages for me are that I get to spend time in the place I feel most comfortable in; I don’t have to ask if I can eat or use the bathroom and I don’t feel like I’m doing something wrong if I finish work early. I get to spend more time with my partner, have more holiday and control my future. And that makes me happy. What makes you happy in your job?

Why Having a Career is Overrated

Why Having a Career is Overrated

I know what you’re thinking, she’s lured me here with a click-baity article that I now have to skim read in order to find out what she means. Well, you are right, it is click-baity but also relevant. You’re probably thinking to yourself “oh what a hippy, she doesn’t work and believes we shouldn’t have to.” Well, you’re partly right, I don’t believe we should but that’s a subject for another time. What I mean by this title “Why having a career is overrated” is that we shouldn’t put pressure on ourselves – or our children – to pursue one type of career.

I was watching the Real Housewives of New York the other night where one of the wives was putting pressure on her 12 year old to go into acting, forget about her education and decide what she wants to do in life. At 12. She also wanted to get her into the family business so made her child go into the office on her day off school. It’s a no from me. Yes, teach your child a good work ethic but do not be pushing them into a career.

What I used to love when I was younger was when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I used to say all the obvious answers, such as I wanted to be an actress or a vet. I could have done those things I suppose. But when I got to the lovely age of 15 and 16, the dreaded question would come up, but this time more serious. “What do you want to do with your life?” “You need to decide what you want to study at college in order to have a career.”

First of all, no, you don’t. You do not need to decide what you want right now, or ever, in fact. Having one set goal for a career is unrealistic. I’ve had so many ideas for what I want to do in life, from writing, editing and animal care. I have been in countless jobs. I’ve worked in retail, I’ve been a waitress, I’ve worked in an office and now I’m self employed as a social media manager.

I am perfectly happy right now and I don’t know what the future holds. I just know that I will only ever apply to jobs that I want. I will only ever do what I want. But you know what? All those jobs I hated got me to where I am now. I appreciate the people who work in retail because I could never do it again. Some people enjoy their jobs or have to do their jobs to live. But as long as you have that experience and you work a lot of different jobs, the right one will eventually come along. You’ll appreciate the hard times you had as a waitress under stress. You’ll appreciate the customers being snotty because now you have a backbone. You can learn so much from different roles so that’s why I think it’s important to experience everything. Don’t set goals because your path could end up anywhere. Go with the flow as they say and see where life takes you.

Why I Didn’t Go To University

Why I Didn’t Go To University

This week’s post is slightly different. I’m going to talk about the reason I didn’t go to university, or college for that matter!

I was homeschooled up until the age of thirteen, when I decided to go into high school (I know, biggest mistake of my life). I went in and felt like I was in some sort of chick flick. It was full of bitchy girls, some of whom were supposed to be my “friends” who insisted on being nasty pieces of work.

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I had anxiety before going into school but it was nothing major. Then the panic attacks started in class. I needed to get out. I raised my hand in class and asked to leave the room, however, I couldn’t get up from my seat, I was too petrified with everyone looking at me.

This awful ginger headed girl who’s name escapes me (school bully) put her hand up and offered to take me to the nurse (so she could get out of class). So I was taken to the nurse who passed my anxiety attack off as needing something to eat so she basically watched me force feed myself. My mum was called and I was taken home. I never went back.

That’s when it all started. The panic attacks eventually led to me not being able to go out by myself. I was at college one day a week at the time studying a BTEC in animal care for teens aged 14-16. Something that I found exciting turned into a dreaded nightmare. I hated it. I couldn’t go anymore. I couldn’t see my friends or the animals I cared for. I was a shell of the person I used to be. I never really got back to who I was. I just reinvented myself.

I managed to get through my GCSEs on my own without any teachers, just myself. I had panic attacks in the exams but even with that I managed to get a B in the most important subject to me: English. I’m really proud of myself for getting through that year in my life.

I didn’t go to university partly because I didn’t have the qualifications, but I also wanted to just work. I wanted to start off a career straight away because I knew I wanted to save for a future with my partner.

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I managed to get a traineeship with a digital media agency and after three horrendous years in so many different jobs, I’m now a freelance social media manager. I’m living with my partner and we’re saving for our very own place. I’m excited about the future. I didn’t think I’d get this far.

I just want to say, if you’re struggling, let this be your sign to keep going. I did. Vee x

International Women’s Day!

International Women’s Day!

In this week’s post I’ll be telling you what I’m doing to celebrate International Women’s day and what you can do to celebrate.

What is International Women’s Day?

On the International Women’s day web page, it is defined as: International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Prior to this the Socialist Party of America, United Kingdom’s Suffragists and Suffragettes, and further groups campaigned for women’s equality.”

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How I’m Celebrating

I was invited to “The Last Straw – Trash Talk” this Friday which I’m really looking forward to since they have a panel of female influencers talking about sustainable living.

“On Friday 8th March 2019, WeAreWaterloo in partnership with The Young Vic will bring together a panel of female influencers to inspire and motivate Londoners to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.

The Young Vic

Earlier this month, Pinterest reported that searches for ‘sustainable living for beginners’ were up 265% from last year. With more and more studies pointing to a growing consumer interest in sustainable living, particularly among Millennials and Gen Z, on International Women’s Day, a panel of female influencers will discuss how people can embrace a more sustainable lifestyle.

Headed up by Sustainable Stephanie with panellists including Laila Woozeer, Sophie Benson, Sophie Davies and Liv Andersson, The Last Straw: Trash Talk, will include practical tips to help attendees easily adopt practices within their personal and work lives.”

How You Can Celebrate

  • Host a slumber party with your girls and host a little bake sale to raise money for IWD
  • Share your favourite female authors or actors/celebs/inspirational women on your blog
  • Join in on an event in your area
  • Host your own party or talk to celebrate
  • Write your own article or blog post celebrating IWD and what it means to you
  • Donate to your local women’s refuge
  • Raise money by selling your art or crafts
  • Post on social media using the relevant IWD hashtags to raise awareness
  • Celebrate the women in your life by doing something kind for them

I hope you got some good ideas on what to do this IWD! Have a great one! Vee x