Why you need to quit the job that’s making you miserable 

opinion piece

I get it. I really get it. You stay at that job you secretly despise because you feel you have no other choice. Better to be working in an unhealthy environment than not working at all, right? Right? 

Wrong. It’s all wrong, whatever your preconditioned thoughts on work are. Let me tell you, they are most probably wrong. Inevitably, any of us can end up working a job that we are not happy in. People stay for a myriad of reasons; out of comfort, laziness, financial commitments, fear of the unknown.  

It’s important you understand the message I am trying to portray. I don’t want to inspire anybody to quit their job and end up broke, up to their eyeballs in debt, and quite literally broken. No no no. 

Let’s face it, we spend the majority of our lives at work (assuming full time work). If you spend those days watching the clock, stressed beyond belief, feeling your blood boil; and every Sunday evening you get that sheer feeling of dread. You need to leave and chase your dreams. Time waits for no one. 

Now I do understand the apprehension before leaving a job… you are walking out into the unknown. The act has to be executed, and planned well. Here are my top tips to ensure the transition runs smoothly, and you are promised a happier working life: 

1. Saving face 

If you are staying at a job you aren’t happy in, because of severe financial commitments – this can be very tricky. What I would advise is that you maintain savings as much as physically possible. Set yourself a goal, for example, give yourself three months to save as much as possible and start moving towards your leave. If your bills outweigh your wages, perhaps even try to find a second job (temporarily) just to get you out of your current situation. You could also try selling unwanted items on eBay (believe it or not eBay kept me going when I lost my job a few months ago), having a clear out will also help you to feel more liberated and envigorated. When the time is right and you feel secure, you can hand in your notice and start again. 

2. Temp work 

In London there are so many work agencies that can help you find temp work – and this can be in a variety of industries. This really helps when you are between jobs / careers. It gives a steady cash flow, and you gain experience. You may even find a company that you’d like to stay at long term. Temping is a really great opportunity for graduates and job seekers alike to make up money whilst searching for permanent positions. 

Also, you can be a complete agency whore and sign up to as many as possible. Go with the one whom finds you a role first. 

3. Apply, apply, apply 

Even whilst you are at the job you want to leave, apply for as many positions as you can. If it’s feasible, speak to your manager and explain your situation. You cannot be fired for attending job interviews, you are well within your rights to do so. I know a lot of people feel very awkward about doing this, but I personally feel your manager should respect your honesty. Otherwise, you will continue to do so in secrecy – and this will make attending interviews very difficult. 

Now when I say apply for as many jobs as possible, I think a lot of people misconstrue what ‘a lot of jobs’ implies. I’m not talking about sitting at your laptop and applying for ten jobs. No honey. This is London, there are millions of people competing for job roles. It’s dog eat dog. I would say realistically, every evening apply for 20-30 job roles. 

You’ll start hearing back around two weeks later, this is when you’ll start organising interviews. You’ll also need to filter through and only attend the ones you feel are worth leaving your current job for. There are a lot of fabricated companies / agencies out there that are deliberately looking for staff to exploit. Don’t fall into the trap of leaving your long term job for a short term fail.  

I would advise (and I only know this now after a terrible experience), before attending any job interview to thoroughly research. Research the company itself, and if you have any pejorative gut feeling about the job. Do not go to the interview – they’ll be plenty of others. You see, desperation often makes us deluded, we convince ourselves the situation at hand is fine because we are desperate for a job. It’s important to always keep your cool in this scenario – don’t accept what you don’t deserve. Patience is key. 

4. Part timers 

Another option would be to discuss your situation with your manager, and perhaps have one day off in the week. Or cut down your hours so that you are able to attend interviews – having time off your current role to attend interviews can be one of the harder tasks. Particularly when you don’t get the job, you feel disheartened at losing money by missing work and wasting your time. But you must plough through. There will be hella rejection throughout this process, you have to take the rough with the smooth. 

5. Education is key 

Depending on your situation, perhaps you feel you don’t have enough education or skills to get into the field you want to. Remember you are never too old to learn. If you want to leave your job to study, it’s a great thing to improve your knowledge and skill set. 

Approach your employer and discuss the various options, maybe you’ll leave altogether, or continue to work part time until your studies are over? This really will depend on your personal situation. Another option could be temp work while you study, as there’s little commitment but it’s steady money. 

6. Social security

Now this is going to be an unpopular option, but sometimes it’s necessary. If you do end up unemployed, either by choice or not; remember that the welfare state in this country is there to help you. 

There is such a negative stigma surrounding job centres, and claiming benefits. You have to remember while you are out of work, this is money you are entitled to. It will allow you to have money to attend interviews, you can also claim housing benefit whilst unemployed if you are worried about not being able to pay rent. 

It’s not nice, it’s not glamorous and nobody wants to sign on. But actually it’s a great reality check, and I think it pushes you harder to get a job. 

When you think you have no options, this is always an option. It’s not a fantastic one, but it’s there to fall back on nevertheless. 

Conclusion 

Overall I would say that your health and happiness is what is most important. Chase your dreams, there is no point wasting your time in dead end jobs that make you miserable. I’m only 25, and I have witnessed individuals staying in jobs out of pure laziness, willing to put up with corruption, breaking laws and other terrible misdemeanours that you can’t even imagine. You really have to ask yourself, what am I worth if I don’t have the strength to leave this job, if I am willing to betray my personal morals and make myself miserable, whilst this company grows richer at my expense? 

There is a big wide world out there, and it is scary. But your dream exists out there, ready to be captured. If you don’t chase it, you’ll spend the rest of your life helping others chase theirs. 

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How the Foo Fighters helped me overcome depression 

opinion piece

Yesterday I read an article on post graduate depression; which I have briefly mentioned in previous blog posts (how to deal with rejection), and it is definetly a thing. Infact, it’s a big thing that needs to be recognised. Once you graduate you are thrown into the big wide world, with the expectation that getting a job is not so difficult. And it isn’t really, if you want a job. If you want a career in something you studied – that may be slightly trickier. 

I went through this awful depression, and I know other people that have experienced the same. You feel down, powerless, useless. I got that dark feeling a few months ago. I had just got what sounded like my dream job after graduating – a marketing executive for an educational institution. It wasn’t journalism which I studied, but I vowed to keep my freelance work on the side and save up to enable me to complete internships for journalism. 

I won’t go into extreme detail as I would quite like to leave this subject to a forthcoming blog post; but this new ‘job’ turned out to be a complete and utter facade. The company was built upon lies – I had left my long term loyal job to work for a scandalous agency! I felt so betrayed that I had been manipulated and indoctrinated into thinking I was entering a completely different type of company, compared to the bleak reality. The only way I can describe this place (I refuse to refer to it as a workplace because it is NOT), it was like being in what I would imagine WW2 East Germany to be like. We were in a room with no natural light, in a cellar type environment. Our ‘manager’ watched us like a hawk throughout the day, talking was not allowed. We had cameras everywhere (the reason for this was never confirmed), and we were all pretty much convinced that these cameras had sound. It was terrifying to me that this type of work place exists – continues to exist and that individuals are subjected to these unhealthy working conditions. 

This ‘job’ came to an end after just two months and I was left with nothing. 

This is when it hit me. Like a ton of bricks. Waking up at 5am daily, shaking and sweating in pure angst. My anxiety had reached new levels. I knew what was causing it but I had zero control over the situation. It was the lack of structure to my day, the innate fear that I would never find a job. The utter self depreciation of consistently telling myself I was no good, useless. You will never get a decent job repeated in my mind like a choir hymn. 

There came a point one random monday I was getting ready to attend a job interview, I put my iTunes on shuffle. Foo Fighters came on, I remember the moment so vividly. Because it was the pivotal moment where my attitude took a turn for the better. It was their song ‘The Pretender’ which had been playing. So much feeling within the song, and the lyrics at that point in time meant the world to me. ‘What if I say that I’ll never surrender?’ 

I continued to listen to the band for the rest of the day, their uplifting, reflective lyrics helped me remember why I even started trying in the first place. And why I would never give up. 

The Foo Fighters are a great example of why you should never give up. Dave Grohl started out his music career in Nirvana, after Kurts death he was traumatised – but made the controversial decision to start another band. For which he received a lot of criticism for. Thr band went through numerous members, and numerous dramas. But they ploughed through, Dave never gave up. 

Eventually their efforts and talents were recognised. But if they would have gone and got a day job and given up on the music dream – they wouldn’t be where they are today. And that’s just it, despite my self depreciation and anxious thoughts ripping at my inner confidence – I won’t give up. I really no longer care how long it takes me to get where I want to be. I know that I will be there one day, and that is comforting enough. It’s enough, you are enough. 

How to stay motivated and deal with rejection 

top tips

I feel like after you leave university there is most definetly a lack of direction. And an innate need to find the perfect career right away. Even though we all know it’s going to take ample time, it can be difficult to hang in there. Especially if your current situation / job is making you want to give up on life altogether. 

Personally I continued to work full time after graduating, but even though I have been working (like a dog may I add) 58 hours a week and freelance writing in my spare time (you are right there sparse spare time when you work such long hours but if you have a passion, you simply WILL find time); I felt like a bum because I’m not doing a graduate job linked to my degree or what I have studied. I’m simply working a job to pay my bills, and that’s not what I want. 

So, de-motivated and lacking energy I decided to take charge; scouring job sites for hours on end. Applying for any job even remotely close to what I want to do long term. Spending hours on the phone to recruiters who may have had a suitable position – but I would need to first spend an hour in the evening proving myself to someone I didn’t know. But after all the hours and hours of tedious application. Comes the rejection stage. 

At one point I was receiving so many rejection emails that I was going to save them all, print them out and create a piece of monochrome,sassy art work. But the heart ache wouldn’t allow me to do so. I deleted them straight away, so that I wouldn’t get too disheartened. Even if your story is not the same as mine, we are all in different positions and stages of life. Rejection, unfortunately is something we will all need to deal with. And I think how you deal with it is important. It shows strength of character, it shows that you are not willing to give up, determination prevails and eventually you will be successful. 

I spent four long months applying like a mad woman, spending 100’s of pounds on attending interviews and missing work. But I did it. I got a job with a worthy title. The pay isn’t fantastic, but it’s a role I feel I deserve. 

So with all the rejection, hard work whilst maintaining a full time job.. how did I stay motivated? 

1. Never forget the end goal 

The mind is a strange place, and it can be easily distracted – often when you are attempting something very difficult in life your mind will convince you to try easier routes. Don’t even give in to the temptation. Remember your end goal and stick to it. Even if creating a mood board helps to motivate and inspire you, or writing may help to relieve pressure and share how you feel along the way. Whatever motivates you allow that to positively push you to continue down the difficult, but correct path for yourself. 

2. Surround yourself with positivity

I assure you there will be times where you will have emotional breakdowns. During these times you need strong support systems in order to uplift you, and help you keep going. Whether it be family you can speak to, friends you confide in, or simply crying down the phone to your boyfriend. Let out the frustration and listen to the ones who care for you. They know you will make it in the end, and it’s sometimes easier for them to see it because they aren’t the ones living it. They will remind you to stay positive. 

3. Deal with rejection effectively 

Everybody in the world gets rejected. But you know what, the most successful people in this world utilise it to push them further. Instead of letting rejection get them down, they use it in the opposite way and become even more motivated. Delete the rejection emails and letters, push them to the back of your mind and remind yourself that if this company has rejected you it wasn’t the right place for you anyway. Even after interviews if potential employers don’t even get back to you, just brush it off. Clearly you weren’t right for them. But you will be right for someone out there. 

Happy searching my loves, I hope this post reminds you that you are all worth it. Always strive to be the best and achieve your goals, no matter how difficult. 

Dysfunctional socially: living with functioning anxiety 

top tips

You can often be in a room full of people but feel completely and utterly alone. You can be in a social situation, with a huge grin on your face; eyes wide, speaking and laughing confidently. But inside, your heart is beating so fast you think it possibly may burst through your chest, your hands are clammy, and you can’t stop fidgeting. Your legs are shaking, tapping. Tapping to an unknown beat only you can hear in your mind. Tap. Tap. Tap. 

Living with anxiety is far from easy. And having panic attacks at any given time can be nerve wrecking to say the least. But I feel there’s a lot of people out there who live day to day with functioning anxiety. Meaning, you have anxiety to an extent – but you can still socially function. This is perhaps a blessing and a curse. In one sense, the fact you can socialise can be a positive distraction. But it’s always a curse in the sense that people who don’t understand how functioning anxiety works – can often assume your ‘anxiety’ doesn’t exist. Simply because you still have a life, and try to enjoy it where you can. 

I just wanted to clear up some common misconceptions for those who aren’t aware of functioning anxiety, and give some helpful tips for those struggling. 

  1. Deception – it’s hugely deceiving for people who aren’t aware of your mental state. Depression is often a side affect of anxiety (or a common mental state which goes hand in hand with anxiety). Meaning that you have ups and downs. Just because you still socialise alot of the time and appear ‘normal’. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are stable, if you know deep down you need help. 
  2. ‘She’s just saying that for attention’ – others who say this about you may do it for a number of reasons. But you know yourself whether you are ill or not. And the everyday struggles you face. Ignore this type of comment, and comtinue to try to combat your demons. 
  3. Talk the talk – sometimes sharing your problems or just admitting something is wrong can be the first step towards recovery. 
  4. Light at the end of the tunnel – although it may not seem like you will ever recover. You can do it. You have to be mentally strong and learn to control your condition. Until it no longer exists. It won’t be easy – you will no doubt, have several break downs along the way. But you can do it! 

So next time you assume someone is ok just because they function in a seemingly normal way. How about you don’t assume anything? 

Because you don’t know what that person is going through. Maybe their mum just died of cancer and they are battling depression, but their way of dealing with it is to go out and drink with friends? 

Everybody deals with their problems in their own ways. What we need less of is judgmental behaviour. We need to raise awareness of the importance of mental health, and start discussion. Because discussion can often lead to cures. 

Why females need to stop shaming each other 

opinion piece

We’ve all been there. Scrolling down your Facebook feed and you see a funny meme, it’s a little below the belt, but fuck it. You re-post it. ”Real men prefer curves” with a depiction of a skinny woman. For whatever reason it struck a cord with you, perhaps you were aiming it at someone you hate? Or maybe you are just highly opinionated and want to air your views. 

What I would like to understand is the pyschology behind posting ignorant, and most of the time, bitchy memes/indirects. 

Whatever your self justification may be. Any type of shaming is wrong. Just recently on social media I have noticed a lot of girls shaming other girls. Whether it be body shaming, slut shaming or even make up shaming (yes this is totally a thing now, and it’s just plain mean). It needs to stop. 

How can we expect men to respect us as a gender? When all we do is slate each other. 

If it’s because your insecure, jealous, or generally angry about something. It still doesn’t make it right. As a level headed person you need to deal with that internally, and discretely. Social media is not meant for airing your dirty laundry. 

Fair enough, I understand not everyone agrees on everything. We all have our individual opinions, and that’s fine. But spreading memes which shame others – particularly on attributes they cannot control / superficial attributes. It’s petty. 

And FYI. It makes you look like a mean girl. 

I believe we need more positivity between females, to encourage each other to grow, progress and succeed. Negativity creates boundaries, and segregation. Positivity unites. 💕