Job Search and Saving Pennies: Update

Hey gang.

So I’m hanging tight for teaching around 15 hours a week until around about July time but I have started looking at jobs again. After making a lot of effort and wasting time, I have decided that applying for jobs on LinkedIn or reed just doesn’t work – I don’t know if it’s my CV or whatever, but I’ve applied for hundreds and never heard anything back from anywhere – so I’m taking a bit more of a proactive approach, rather than lazily clicking ‘Apply’ from my app.

It seems that the only interviews I ever really got were through an awesome recruitment agent based locally, so I’ve started looking at recruitment agencies all over the place. Still determined as ever – probably even more so – to move to Brighton, I’ve been zooming my CV to all these lovely recruitment agencies. And what have I heard back?

Nada. I know the job market is tough out there and I’m probably not helping myself by a) being stuck in a contract until the end of July (ish – my employer will let me go during the week, but I’ll still have to teach on a Saturday) and b) not being in the location where I actually want to work. I am pretty motivated to get down there now with the sun shining and my home town getting more ‘TOWIE-fied’ by the second. I feel like I’m ready to start afresh. D’s full time work has fallen through, so now I don’t feel as guilty trying to make my dream a reality, because now it’s more likely that he’ll be able to make the move with me. He’s still working, but it’s nothing as permanent as we’d hoped.

I’ve really started saving for a house, which is another massive bonus and I’m actually managing to save more than I thought I would originally, because I’ve really tightened up all of my spending habits and going out even less. Even this weekend (Easter), we’re doing things for nothing or for less than I would usually. If the weather’s nice, we’re going to a beach with D’s sister, partner and nephew (and Ozzy because he’s never been on a beach before and I think it’s going to be hilarious!). Saturday will be a massive house sort-out day – I’ve still got stuff to throw out before we move to the other house – and Sunday, it’s my birthday, so that’s going to be the only splurge day where we’ll be getting absolutely steaming in the pub.

If I can somehow entwine the two together and manage to buy a house in Brighton with securing a job, that would be the ultimate fluffy cake with frosted icing. D and I spoke about it seriously yesterday and I think it’s more than likely that we’ll have enough money for a deposit on a house by this time next year, if we’re still together - if not, it’ll take me a little longer! Unfortunately, it means major cut backs on the luxuries but I think we’re both determined to do it – I know I am! – so there’s nothing stopping us. I would love my own housing empire and I’d like to think I’m somewhere on track with getting there, now that I’m settling down and not wasting my money on stuff. If I got a full time job, it’ll be easier to save as I’m getting paid as I go so no holiday pay when I go away for ten days next month! But I am picking up extra office shifts, so I’m hoping it won’t affect me too much… I suppose we’ll see when it happens. 

Generally, I’m feeling really positive about the future. I know I need a new job and that this job isn’t forever, because my skin is screaming at me to hydrate it and my hair feels like straw from the remnants of bleach underneath the brown dye. But it’s fine for now and I’m motivated to get to where I really want to be. 

Four Years

I just wanted to share with you all what I put on my Facebook status today. I can hardly believe that it’s been four years since we had to say goodbye to my Dad too soon. In some ways, it has flown by. In others, particularly this year with the redundancy and my Granddad’s stroke, I felt I have needed him more than ever for his advice and rationality. So, today, as a form of therapy and a way of making the day a bit easier, I put the following as my status:

Four years ago, my family and I lost one of the most important role models of my life. Today, I have donated £50 to Cancer Research UK in memory of my Dad.

I remember once, after university, my Dad told me that he had enjoyed being my parent. That I reminded him of himself when he was growing up as I enjoyed pushing boundaries, I was quite outspoken and opinionated – I know some of you might find that hard to believe… Perhaps one of my not-so-thought-out moments was lying to my Dad about a delayed train back from Chelmsford every so often, when he was at home sitting on the Internet, watching the train times… We used to argue SO much because I am stubborn! And, of course, he was always one step ahead!

Now that I’m older, I have realised I share so many more characteristics with him. I am still opinionated and outspoken but only when I need to be. I know when to keep my mouth shut, and I am quiet and patient when I feel the occasion calls for it – I’ve even been known to just smile and nod! I am hardworking, ambitious and have the drive and determination to get to where I want to be. Ultimately, if you don’t think I’ll do it, I will prove you wrong. I am not judgemental, I am thoughtful and you can rely on me at any time of need, even if it’s for a drink and laugh in the pub. I am my father’s daughter.

This year has been pretty (crappily) unpredictable so far and I have felt like I’ve needed my Dad more than ever but I know that he would be proud of all the rational decisions I’m making and he will be proud of whatever I end up doing.

In the words of Baz Luhrman, “Get to know your parents; you’ll never know when they’ll be gone for good.”

“[This red wine is] full-bodied… Fruity… And pretentious – rather like myself!” <3

Time for a Spring Clean.

So the last post I wrote was about how the #100daysofhappy challenge was a sad one because I shouldn’t need an excuse to try and find reasons to be happy, yadda yadda yadda.

I was wrong. WRONG.

I think today would work out to be around day 30 of my challenge and this week, I have been Miss Grumpy. Capital ‘M’, capital ‘G’. I have been struck down with a virus, probably from one of the billions of babies that I teach. Particularly if you’re one of my Facebook friends, you would know that I am THE worst sick person ever. I have moaned all week. Publicly and privately. Luckily, D was awesome at looking after me and just got on with making me feel better. Today is the first time I’ve actually got out of bed, not felt nauseous or headachey. Hooray! It’s meant that I’ve missed out on most of my wage this week as I’ve been poorly. Sads.

ANYWAYS. Why am I writing today? Well, for sort of a mind spring clean, I guess.

I’ve decided to dedicate some more time to my blog. Well, more than I have been. Which actually isn’t hard, as I’ve been completely rubbish at blogging in 2014 so far. Time has just completely rushed by and I have realised I’ve not really done at all that much this year. I can’t quite believe it’s April already and, with the start of Spring, I’ve started to readdress my ambitions this year.

As much as I’m loving my job, I have decided to start actively looking again. I don’t necessarily have any role in mind, just anything that complements both my degrees and my experience, but my next term finishes mid-July, so I am looking for something to start in August. But if I don’t find anything, that’s okay too. As I say, I do love my job and I think that it would be flexible for me to stay where I am, just in case I get to that age where I do want children. I know that the company have an extremely flexible maternity leave process, seeing as it’s a baby swimming company.

There are a couple of issues that I’m having with the work right now, but that will change in May. Firstly, on Friday, I have to travel for an hour to the first pool, teach for three hours, jump in my car to another pool, teach for another hour and a half, and hit rush hour traffic on the M25 at precisely the wrong time, so it takes me over two hours of crawling traffic to get home. Secondly, one of the Friday pools is giving me a rash. I’m not sure which, but it’s affecting my legs. Luckily, I can give these hours up for next term so won’t be in there from mid-May, and I’ll be extending my more local hours anyway.

I really want to buy a home so I’m starting to save for that now like a grown up. I’ve started going out less and impulse buying (something which has been really hard to curb), because my ambition is to have at least a deposit on a house by the end of next year. I am moving back to my old house next month, which my Mum owns and rents to me (bonus!) and it’s relatively cheaper than where I am living right now. And, in fact, the only thing I have left to splurge on this year is my holiday to Egypt in about a month’s time so I should be in pretty good shape from then.

I still really want to move to Brighton although this is looking more like a pipe-dream rather than a realistic target. I did email the Brighton franchise again, but I’ve not heard anything back from them as of yet and, now that D has a full time job in Essex, I don’t particularly want to leave him behind.

Other than that, everything else has been okay. My relationship with D is still going strong – it’s amazing to compare where I was last year to how I’m feeling this year. I have actually started to appreciate myself a lot more. Of course, I still have the weight to lose, but I’m starting to look at myself and realise that I’m not actually that bad and it could be worse. Brand new thought process, people! And, by the way, with my weight loss, it is actually going somewhere and I’m starting to lose a lot more than I did beforehand. So that’s also good!

It’s my birthday in a couple of weeks and I’m going to be 27. That’s late twenties. Why is it, when you’re little, you want to be older, but you only imagine yourself to be around 18 years old?? I’m nearly ten years older than my younger self thought I’d be. I’ll be going to my local pub and getting pretty drunk, as my birthday actually falls on a bank holiday. Woo! Planning on spending that Monday, asleep on a takeaway pizza…



#100daysofhappychallenge Day One

Hello strangers!

Today, I’m writing about a new challenge I’ll be undertaking – the 100 days of happy challenge. The fact that this “challenge” actually exists is quite sad… Why do we need to be reminded to be happy?! Shouldn’t we enjoy what we’ve been given and be happy with ourselves??

Anyway. I’m taking part in this challenge regardless, just jumping on the band wagon really. So today is day one. And what am I doing now, at 11am? I’m in my pajamas, watching This Morning with a sleepy Ozzy next to me. Bliss!

With how manic everything has been recently with work (am I working, am I not working debacle!), I’ve really noticed how important time out and doing the basic stuff is. I’ve decided that being a bum isn’t at all that bad as I thought it would be, although I’m actually working harder than ever for less hours! But again, that’s something I’m happy about and feeling positive anyway :)

This afternoon, when I finally get out of my pjs, I’m teaching my (favourite) classes for an hour and a half, and I always have such a laugh with them. I know you shouldn’t have favourites, but I’ve taught some of these babies for over a year and they really make my job easy.

Tonight, D and I are going out for a date night. D has got a full time Monday to Friday job now, which clashes with my Thursday to Sunday teaching hours, so we’re making the most of our time together when we have it. So we’ll be going out for something to eat and just enjoying each other’s company :) That makes me happy that, even though we’re not going to see each other as much as usual, we’re still making an effort. Even seven months into the relationship! Ha.

so that’s today. Day one of being happy! And that’s worked out quite well :)

Where am I now? A Redundant Update.

So when I last wrote in my blog, I had written extensively about my redundancy and what was happening. And I thought I’d just follow that up with an update of what else has been happening since in my little bubble.

So after the consultation meeting and the redundancy had been decided, I started applying for jobs, left, right and centre (LinkedIn has been amazing for that!), and I’ve been fortunate enough to be getting interviews throughout the last month of my working in my current role. I started including other franchises far away as I don’t have kids, I don’t have a mortgage, so nothing is really tying me down to stay in Essex and I’m getting quite bored of the ‘posey’ culture that TOWIE has graced our county with. So I applied for Brighton, as it’s not too far away, and Exeter, as I have a lot of university friends down there, as well as other roles elsewhere. I actually got an interview in Brighton and was really excited about the prospect of moving and starting all over again. It’s actually the same role that I’m doing now, so it’s a sure thing. Right?

Wrong. Didn’t get the position and actually, for the first time in my life, cried about not getting a job. I really had my heart set on it, as it was what I was doing already and a clean break, but someone had swooped up the position as they lived closer and had relevant experience. Absolutely heart-wrenching.

Ironically, when I started applying for other franchises, my current franchise had decided to backtrack and look at other ways in which they could keep me. They still couldn’t offer me enough money, so I still declined and agreed to redundancy.

On another note, I’ve actually started advertising myself on Gumtree (link here), in the hope that someone will see my advert and offer me a job there and then. Again, this has been quite positive with responses – not overwhelming with emails, but still, I’ve got a few dribs and drabs coming in, which is good as well. My friends have been sharing it all over Facebook, so I’m hoping I’ll go viral. Lolz.

Luckily, although I have nothing to go to, my current bosses have given me some overtime at a Baby Show and have said that I’m first point of call for any swimming teaching cover. So that’s good as well.

During all of this, my granddad had a mild stroke. Thankfully, only mild and he’s getting the medical attention and treatment that he needs, as he’s in the bracket of old people that are prone to getting strokes, albeit only mild ones – he’s diabetic, had pneumonia and generally getting older. The first mild stroke he didn’t even realise he’d had, so this time, it was a little bit more of a shake up for everyone when he’d noticed it!

With all of this, my diet and exercise has gone to shit. Basically, I am the most unmotivated I have been, but I think that’s just because I’m feeling so down about everything. It’s so unlike me – I’m usually the annoying, overly positive person that you hate when you’re feeling crap about yourself.

Immy has suggested that I take a few weeks’ off and just chill out, before starting to stress. I’m lucky in that I have a family who can support me, although I don’t really want to borrow from them. I think I need these couple of weeks as well to just restart restart my diet and go to the gym and just focus on what I want and where I want to be. My applications have been very sporadic within social media, reception, secretarial work and basic administration in so many different industries that I just need to refocus as to where I want to be and what I enjoy doing the most.

Unfortunately, I thought that was the job I’m finishing off this week, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Redundancy: The Outcome and What Next

So, on Thursday, I had my consultation meeting. That means, a meeting to try and create a brand spanking new post for me to avoid redundancy. My bosses outlined what they had already offered me as a counter offer and I reiterated that that wasn’t suitable for me, as it’s not enough money. They suggested that, as they had employees who had been there for less than a year, they could reduce their hours to give to me as all of our instructors are on a zero hours contract. Honestly, that didn’t sit comfortably with me. All except one of our instructors have families with young kids and taking hours from them just isn’t me. I think I’m more morally grounded than that.

Anyway. After about half an hour, to-ing and fro-ing about different options (of which there were loads), we finished with my acceptance of redundancy, but I’ll also be teaching for a few hours on the weekend so at least I’ll still have income (albeit a small one) whilst I figure out what to do next. My last official day at my current role as a client services manager will be on Thursday 13th February, four weeks away, and that means I can keep applying for jobs and going for interviews and actually knowing where I stand.

I’m feeling much more positive about the whole thing. I’ve actually become a Herbalife distributor and wellness coach (please, please ‘Like’ my Facebook page >here<), so I’m hoping that that might generate some income and, again, buy me time in order to find a new job. It might even become my full time job; who knows? I’m really excited about what might happen and what could happen in the future. I’m actually really lucky that I have so many options.

Today, I’m going to be applying for other local jobs within administration, marketing and social media. I might even look at what courses are available to help my case! We’ll see how we go, anyway. Four weeks is a long time to change my career :)