Are You Poorer Than Me?

Writing

I’m so sick of being poor. Yes I may have a roof over my head and food in my fridge but when you can’t decorate your rooms or make meals beyond tins of soup and sweetcorn then what’s the point? I might aswell be living in The Amazon, atleast then I’ll avoid the council tax and eyewateringly long queues at the supermarket checkout. 

 

Yes I may be whinging about a first world problem but I believe this is a key reason for my upheaval in the first place. If I did infact live in a tribe in a forest then I wouldn’t know what I’m missing necessarily. How can I miss the sight of some dope dealer sporting the latest balenciaga’s, or the gluttonous geezer buying the ‘extra special’ range in Sainsbury’s when I wouldn’t have the foggiest what either two of these concepts were? You can’t miss what you’ve never witnessed I guess. I would be comfortable and content with my relationships and my tribal lifestyle. 

 

Perhaps that’s just it, in the society I live in, less emphasis is placed on the value of social relationships, instead these are sidelined for the stars of this farcical pantomime I call life – materialism and capitalism. The terrible twins. They are the children you grimace at and purposely attempt to swap at birth, only to find them crawling and clambering their way into your back pocket as you exit the hospital. 

 

My experience living in London has made me reevaluate my perspectives on numerous things, none moreso that the value I myself place on money. Putting it short and sweetly, I now understand why some people may force themselves to do things others may deem shameful. For example, we can all hold our heads high, point our noses in the air, as we scoff at the single mum shaking what God (or her surgeon)  gave her in a strip club. But you put yourself in her 6 inch stilettos for merely a second and maybe then you would begin to empathise and understand that she may have a young mouth to feed on her own. Why? Because the dad walked out as soon as he found out she was pregnant. And let’s face it city ‘living wages’ need to be rephrased as city ‘suffocating wages’. Unless you are in the finance sector or as old as time itself then I’m afraid for the rest of us, youth and inexperience comes as a pretty big financial burden. 

 

I ask myself – why did I move to this city? A question which is becoming worryingly frequent. I’m from a small town in the middle of Northern Ireland, the rent I pay in London could have me living in two places twice the size back in a rural setting, so why am I here? 

 

The old line of ‘there’s loads more opportunities’ is becoming undone, fraying and feeling further from reality. Yes, there may technically be more ‘opportunities’ but let’s face it, no one’s going to throw me a wad of £50’s to take up the opportunity to soak up a West End show, or meetings with top CEOs. Unless ofcourse I turn to sugarbabying, which is a completely different can of worms I wish not open in this moment. 

 

Today, I’m feeling sorry for myself, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who wards away threatening voices in their mind’s eye, tempting them to smash open their piggy bank into a million little pieces, only to find not much more than a hundred little pennies in the remnants of Mr piggy’s once round stomach. Financial hardship makes itself known to all of us at some stage in our lives, I have no doubt, but I say it has outstayed its welcome. So my question now is, how do I kick them out?

Rid them from my minimalist overpriced matchbox flat, where the walls lay bare out of fear that I may maim it’s clinical appearance with so much as a smudge of a marker, or stain from a sticker. Landlords in cities like London make Sherlock Holmes look like a babbling unobservant buffoon when it comes to hunting down the most miniscule of marks on a tenants leaving day, wouldn’t you agree?

 

And with this thought lingering I wonder whether I should indeed make myself scarce of it’s confinements, escaping the financial restrictions once and for all and bid this city goodbye. 

My Mystery Dining Experience

Writing

Sherlock Holmes eat your heart out for I think you’ll find that I’m the true detective when it comes too all things ‘mysterious’.

Well, atleast when it comes to secret dining that is. Having recently signed up to a mystery dining program in the last couple of months, I’ve had the pleasure of casting my judgmental beady eye across all sorts, from bitching waiting staff to rather greasy grub and everything inbetween.

‘Mystery dining’, if you’re unfamiliar with the term, is the task of eating free food and whinging about the customer service of the waiters. Just kidding, it’s much much more than that. It involves adopting an analytical eye, if you’re a natural people watcher then this job will be right up your street. You basically go out for a meal, acting as you would normally do and then write up a short report at the end of it noting the obvious stuff like the quality of the food and friendliness of the staff. Although the scheme I’ve signed up to doesn’t pay you,it does reimburse you, it isn’t about the money! It’s about improving the standards for the hospitality industry, right?

It’s a good means of enjoying meals out while doing something good for the industry on the whole. Who hasn’t had a bad dining experience? Wouldn’t it be good if you were a part of making this a more rare occurrence than it may currently be?

With dining under the spotlight, let’s have a look at some of the internet’s most shocking alleged dining experiences:

Unsanitary napkin

Liam: That would be the time I pointed out my dirty fork to the waiter. He picked it up along with my own napkin, rubbed the fork, then plonked both items back down and asked if we wanted starters.

Read more: METRO

This diner was disgusted to find maggots in a meal he had ordered at a restaurant - and he was still forced to pay the bill

Read more: Dailymail

One former restaurant worker recalled that cockroaches and flies were commonplace - unbeknownst to the diners

Read more: Dailymail

HOT TO THE TOUCH

“A few years ago, I was at a Mexican restaurant with some friends.

The waiter brings our food, and warns everyone that the plates are very, very hot.

So, of course, the first thing I do is touch my plate.

I burn my thumb on the hot plate, and my automatic reaction is to stick it in my mouth so it will stop hurting.

Just then, the woman at the next table starts yelling at her five-year-old son.

‘Stop sucking your thumb, Bobby! You’re a big boy, and big boys don’t suck their thumbs.’

The five-year-old points at me and screams, ‘They do, too!

He sucks his thumb! Look! He sucks his thumb!’

Everyone in the restaurant turns to look at me, and I try to vanish behind my menu.

Read More: Oola

 

 

Have you ever had a bad dining experience like these? 

 

 

Change

Writing

I feel like I’m in such a weird space at present, no sooner have I moved flat than I’m trawling the jobboards of everything from Indeed.com to Craigslist (ok maybe not Craigslist).  Being a seasoned veteran on these job sites is not something I’m proud of, frequenting them so much that Google ads now pop up with ‘need a new job?’ as I’m downloading a voucher off Groupon for a pair of discounted leggings.

What’s going on with me?

I just have this inbuilt element of restlessness, like the kind you get when you sit on a computer chair for too long and your ass starts getting really itchy. I have to get up and move, find something different. I truly think there’s something not right with me, I honestly get bored of things too frequently and too quickly. Tell me I’m NOT the only one who feels this way?!

This attitude has seeped its way into every aspect of my life, from where I live to what I eat. I’m a glutenous pig for chips, but I just can’t stomach any other food item repeated more that twice in a row.

This element of ‘change’ has sprung to mind in more recent times as I think about how much change I’ve actually went through since moving to London. Change to me is like a flame to a moth, I’m attracted to it but with dangerous consequences.

Jobs, housing, hobbies, hair colour! I’ve done it all! I seriously ask myself if I’m having some sort of identity crisis, a quarter life breakdown, perhaps? But these frantic thoughts and feelings are swiftly pacified by a session of binge eating and multiple episodes of ‘Botched’. But  I guess you can only suppress your feelings for so long, sooner or later they creep back out from under the woodwork. Manifest themselves in mysterious ways. If you’ve ever found yourself getting annoyed at the checkout lady in the supermarket for not scanning through your groceries fast enough then maybe it’s actually a sign that you’re internally annoyed at yourself for something. or if you find yourself crying after impulsively ending the short life of a housefly which landed on your homemade Victoria sponge, maybe it’s time for some self-reflection.

At least this is what I’ve found in my own life, frustration in myself can wrongfully be taken out on those closest to me. One thing I get frustrated about is this sense that we have such little time on this planet and it’s as if I change what I’m doing a little too often because in some subconscious way I have massive fomo (fear of missing out). Life is short I want to try as much as I can, I guess. But is this really the best attitude to have?

There’s really no point getting worked up about time, I know that but sometimes you can’t help it. When you see people your age travelling or enjoying certain experiences you can’t help but wish you had those too, right? That’s why I think social media on the whole isn’t a good thing for people’s mental health. We are being bombarded by a plethora of photoshopped pictures, and rented out rich lifestyles. Photos and opinions are liked and disliked, all of it a facade at the end of the day.

Apologies, I feel like I’m going off on a bit of a tangent, I just wanted to share with you this element of change I’m going through currently. I wonder if I’m alone with this, or have you went through change as frequently as I?

I’ll leave this with you, the words of Greek Philosopher Heraclitus (terrible choice of name):

change is the only constant in life.”

 

 

 

 

And So It BEGINS

Writing

They say as one door abruptly closes another is but slightly ajar, waiting for you to unwelcomingly force your way through it. 

 

Atleast this is how it feels when it comes to the jobhunt for me. 

 

Coined the ‘portfolio generation’, I ask myself, is there really anything wrong with having more jobs than I’ve had hot meals? The sane amongst us may think yes, but who really aims to be prudent with their short time on this planet anyway?

 

Off I go again, diving into the deep dark murky depths of the unknown. More sweaty handshakes and shaky throats await me in the not too distant future. That is ofcourse if I even manage to muster up the might to make an application. And even then if luck would have it, I be summoned for a session of scrutiny before the inevitable ‘no, you’re sh*te’ is sugarcoated in the all too familiar automated rejection email. 

 

With the thrill of opening my monthly jobseeker’s allowance packet ripe in my mind, I thought there’s no better way to keep the humiliation going than with a few common blunders that others have experienced on their quest to sell their soul to the rat race:

 

Resume/CV Mishaps

 

  • Candidate stated the ability to persuade people sexually using her words.
  • Candidate wrote résumé as a play – Act 1, Act 2, etc.
  • Candidate wrote “2001 summer Voluntary work for taking care of the elderly and vegetable people”
  • Candidate wrote “I’m intrested to here more about that. I’m working today in a furniture factory as a drawer”
  • Candidate included family medical history.
  • Skills: “I have integrity so I will not steal office supplies and take them home.”

Source job mob

 

Job Interview Mistakes

1)Interviewer: What’s your greatest weakness?

Candidate: Women. That’s kind of why I’m looking for a new job. I had an affair         with my boss’s wife.

2) Interviewer: What makes you think you’re right for a job? (McDonalds – burger flipper). 

Candidate: Well, I’m great with animals.

3) “I had a video interview for a very large company. The computer would ask a question and record your answer to send to management.

You had 30 seconds, no more no less, to answer the question.

For one question, I ran out of things to talk about so I decided to stand really still and not blink for 15 seconds to make it look like the video froze…

4) While I thought I wrote “I can hardly contain my excitement about the possibility of working with your organisation,” auto-correct changed “excitement” to “excrement.”

Source Coburg

 

*I hope you haven’t made too many blunders on your career quest!

When Will This Nightmare End?!

Writing

I feel like the whole world and its dog has chewed me up, sh*t me out and then sh*t on me that little bit more this last month. Yes, I  don’t just want you to cue the violins, I want you to cue the whole damn orchestra.

 

I think we all have times in our lives where life itself can momentarily get ontop of us. August has been a fine example of this for me. From moving homes, to fallouts with foes and everything inbetween, if ever I believed I was cursed, this past fortnight has been the time to prove it. Honesty, I thought this to  myself on several occasions inbetween the grossly overt wailing I would sporadically and wholeheartedly break into throughout random moments of the day. Sometimes even waking in the middle of the night to shed but a tear on my bedroom pillow before falling back to sleep by counting on my fingers the amount of money I owe relatives who pitied me in my debt-stricken days of 2019. 

 

Have I walked under a ladder, looked at a black cat the wrong way? I really wondered wtf have I done? You may think I’m being overdramatic but, you try having a month of the following:

 

Dusting Away Cobwebs Is Costly Work

Can I just start by saying this is animal cruelty, anyone who wants to whisk up a cobweb with a feather duster like it’s candyfloss on a stick needs to check themselves. Anymore cleaners try and eradicate the spiders, I’m calling animal rescue. You’ve been warned!

So basically having recently moved out of the other property I lived in for 2 years, we had to pay for professional cleaners, which definitely wasn’t my choice, but a contractual obligation put in subtly by the landlord and co. 

Anyhow, I know I’m not the tidiest but one thing that can be said is that I did everything humanly possible apart from clean the floors with my tongue when it came to making the place we were leaving look ‘presentable’. With this thought ripe in my mind I get a report and invoice quote from the cleaning squad or shall I say money launderers (hehe see what I did there).

In summary, the main issue with the cleanliness of the flat came down to ‘dust’, and the bill was over £350. I’m sorry but the last time I checked, a bit of dusting may give you a touch of tennis elbow but it certainly doesn’t warrant making you £350+ richer! Can I just add, before you start thinking I’m some filthy tramp, that dust was a common feature of the flat. This was due to the fact that, how can I say this, in comparison to this flat you would say there’s more ventilation in a vacuum. I’m surprised my lungs haven’t collapsed yet from the lack of air, thanks to the shitty perspex panel which basically prevents the opening of all bar one window in the living room. Hence dust gathers. You could dust the place at 9am tomorrow and by 1pm it’s looking like Pompeii.

Not because you’re a diabolical duster but because dust bunnies love a lack of oxygen. 

So at the mo I’ve basically got the boxing gloves on against the money launderers, demanding they reduce the cleaning fee. Wish me luck with this one, will ya!

macro photography of brown jumping spider

Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com

Late For Work Everyday This Past Fortnight

It’s one thing being late once or twice while trying to figure out your new route to work when moving homes, but it’s another thing making a habit of it. It’s not like I’ve actively went out of my way to sashay into work 20 mins after I should’ve for atleast 8 of the last 10 working days. I just didn’t realise that I’m such a slow (stroller) walker when it’s a sunny day and my route to the station involves a meander through a leafy park. I definitely need to pull my finger out with this one or I won’t have a job much longer. Then I definitely won’t have time to stroll through that pretty park as I’ll be queuing at the job centre instead seeing the not so pretty sight of the unpolished bald head infront of me in line. 

 

woman wearing white tank top sitting on bench

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

How The F*ck Do You Work The Hot Water?

One thing I hate more than loud neighbours when moving into a new place is trying to figure out how to use the heating system, be it for radiators or hot water. The manuals make me more confused after skim reading them than before. When it comes to electricity and bills I always have this unshakeable paranoia looming over me, like a dark cloud, that if I fondle one too many buttons on this heating system I’ll be forced to sell a kidney on the black market just to pay for the bill I’ve racked up by somehow setting the system to ‘on 24/7’.

 

My hair has never been as greasy, honestly it felt like I’d dipped my head in a vaseline tub for the past week. But not to worry, I managed to get the hot water working, I dont think its working correctly but at least I got hot water out of the boiler. Can’t wait to see the number of noughts on the electricity bill at the end of this month. 

Image result for royalty free picture of surgery

Good Will Jobhunting

So I’m currently doing maternity cover, from March this year till December. Great timing I must add, just in time for Christmas. Which means my family are getting f*ck all from me this festive season. 

Back on the grind I go, making my CV look painfully eager in demand for attention to match an overtly egotistical cover letter.

I don’t know what the most challenging element of the jobhunt is. Is it wording a good lie to make it semi-truthful on the CV? You know the one we all do like – ‘I spent a week watching others make pie charts on excel in my aunt’s workplace‘ that somehow evolves to the suped up statement on the CV of ‘advanced proficiency in all microsoft packages including excel, powerpoint and word.’ Hahah we’re all a bunch of Bullsh*tters! Or is it the cover letter which catches you out more? It’s one thing writing big bollocks sentences in bullet points onto a pdf, but it’s another finessing those words into a narrative which screams as the tinder version of the job world –  ‘you want me’.But before you make your choice, let’s not forget the old faithful to alot of employers – the job interview. Asses clenched, palms sweaty, we’ve all been there. I always hate when they ask – ‘so what attracted you to the role’ – ‘eh money you f*ck’ we all think to ourselves as we force out the blatant lie that we have a deep subliminal connection with this no-name startup.  

 

Speaking of awkward job interviews, I came across this poor geezer’s excerpt on reddit saying the following:

 

 “In a job interview I shook the employer’s hand and said ‘Hi, how are you?’ (exercising my assertive social skills) which would’ve been fine except that I said it at the END of the f–king interview.” — brend0ge

I mention this one and others on my radio show, if you wanna check those embarrassing stories out click here.

So as you can see from the above, life is going swimmingly, yes swimming in treacle really is a great way to pass the time. The above scenarios are  just the tip of the iceberg, and I’m sinking faster than the Titanic, infact faster than Jack did in the Titanic as he let go of the floating piece of plywood (we all know he could’ve held on let’s not kid ourselves). 

I hope your life is going well, that you aren’t in the middle of a job hunt or worse racking up a heating bill that forces you to sell your soul to the devil in a months time! I really do!

 

The Most Anticipated Movies Of 2019

Writing

We’ve already had Aladdin, X-Men and Rocketman set the bar high for this years siverscreen scenes, but wait, the year is by no means over, just check out the movie heavyweights to come:

 

Joker  (October 2019)

I just caught a glimpse of the upcoming Joker movie and it definitely gave me something to smile about. Noone could replace Heath Ledger, yet I’m pretty sure Joaquin Phoenix will give us his own equally engaging take on this superhero supervillain.

 

The Lion King (July 2019)

Truly nostalgic, I personally can’t wait to experience this one on the big screen. Something tells me I won’t be critiquing the CGI too harshly, although the cartoon original version will always hold a special place in my heart. WIth an allstar line-up including Beyonce, Donald Glover and Seth Rogan, you’ll be playing the game of guess the voice actor instead of admiring how cute baby Simba looks in the opening scenes!

 

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (August 2019)

Margot Robbie, Leonardo Dicaprio, Brad Pitt……Is this a move or model casting? Whether the film is good or not is secondary, all I want to do is stare at their perfectly formed faces. I know Tarantino is a bit of a marmite director,  I personally find him rather interesting and I’m a fan of his work so really looking forward to seeing his latest piece.

 

Frozen 2 (November 2019)

We just can’t seem to let go of this winter wonderland fantasy by Disney. I wonder how many more infectious songs will come from this sequel?

 

The Irishman (month tbc, year 2019)

Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci. Did someone say mob ties? Directed by Scorsese. Did someone say Oscar? Rumoured to have cost $125million and containing 300 scenes, this epic gangster film will definitely be a highlight in Netflix’s catalogue this year.

 

 

The Newbie In The Workplace

Writing

Let’s face it, noone likes being the newbie at work. You know the second you walk in the door you’re being judged by every single person’s beady little eyes. Small talk about the weather at the coffee maker only gets you so far as you fast realise you need to step up your conversation game.

 

The Dress Code & Awkward Intros

 

We’ve all been there, worrying about what to wear on the first day, dress code – ‘smart casual’ so we wreck our brains the night before questioning whether that’s code for casually smart or smartly casual?! The worst part isn’t even the fact that you decided to don the stained off white shirt with clashing suit trousers, instead it  has to be when your line manager decides to raise your blood pressure before lunchtime by briefly and awkwardly introducing you to everybody in the department. You smile and nod, pretending to remember each individual’s name only to find yourself forgetting your own in the midst of internally being an absolute nervous wreck.

 

Newbie 4 Life

 

Another question I ask is for how long do we ride the newbie train for? Are you still the new guy 2 months down the line or 12 months until the newest recruit trots through the door?Are you then jealous that or you are no longer the freshest face on the floor or relieved that you’ve now bedded into the background?

 

Probation Problems

 

I ask these questions as I’m currently the newbie on my floor, I’ve been in my job as a music coordinator for 3 months now and perhaps you still feel new even to yourself until you pass the ever dreaded judgment period of performance known as probation.

 

I’m quite bad with names in general and I think joining quite a large department doesn’t help the matter yet instead dooms me into referring to almost every person as ‘that lady with the red top or man with the mullet….’Yeah, please pray for me in making it through probation. By the sounds of things I’ll need it.

 

If you’re new to your job do you feel the same way or do I just have a serious bout of bad luck?

Best and Worst Christmas Decorated Offices

Writing

Related image

What’s going on here? Bunch of Scrooges.

Related image

Cute.

Image result for The Internet's Worst Christmas Presents Ever Received

Which way is up?

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Christmas or taxidermy?

Image result for The Internet's Worst Christmas Presents Ever Received

OK.

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Yaaassss, picture + frame combo.

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I’m not going in. You can’t make me.

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Someone has too much time on their hands, obviously.

Image result for worst office christmas decoration

Perfect.

Image result for The Internet's Worst Christmas Presents Ever Received

Haha love this.

Does your workplace match any of these above?

Poem: A Job Is A Job

Writing

Knees buckled beneath me.

Feet gnarled, toes curled.

The whole world’s up against me.

Yet still I spin, I twirl.

 

Counting pennies until it defeats me.

I’m sedated by my lost dreams.

It seems the past always repeats me,

A path of unraveling seams.

 

Whispered regrets always greet me.

My childhood career was not what is now.

If only my parents could see me.

In dismay, they’d ask me ‘how’?

 

Does your work make you happy?

Is that the aim of your job?

If you’re not in absolute misery,

Then what’s the alarm?

Are We Trapped As A Society To Work For Money And Not Passion?

Writing

Are we trapped as a society to work for money and not passion? For status and not enjoyment?

“Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius.

But this is exactly my point, do we really have a choice?

My short answer, in my opinion, is yes we do. But I didn’t always think this way, and here’s why.

Childhood

Life as a child is so short and so blissful. Children are full of innocence and curiosity for the world surrounding them. I remember days when making sure I ate all of my lunch and coloured in the full picture of a tiger were my biggest concerns. Fast forward 10 years and I’m 15, choosing my subjects for my first set of career decision making exams, which in the UK are called – GCSE’s.

It was at this stage that I realised that freedom was slipping out of my grasp, with my career’s teacher pining in my ear about how unemployable I’ll be without choosing a Science careerpath and with an older brother naturally adept for Bunsen burner lighting and nitrogen peroxide creating I figured I had to follow suit.

If you would’ve asked me what I truly wanted to be at 15, I may have had no clue. But would that have been necessarily wrong? I think back fondly and daydream about choosing to be a dancer or linguist but it makes me a little annoyed so I don’t do it often. I don’t mean to sound bitter towards an institutionalised system, I can’t blame them wholeheartedly for the decisions I made afterall. But there is something that has to be said for the influence of a teacher at these crucial stages of a child’s career choices. I remember a friend of mine, despite wanting to then be a doctor deciding not to choose biology because the teacher she had was incredibly rude to her. So already at a tender age, the schooling system has us in a choke-hold for what it means to be successful and for what it means to be socially squeezed out of a careerpath you may at one stage desired so greatly.

As I moved through the education system my subject were filtered evermoreso until I reached the point of finishing my grammar school at age 17 with 3 science subjects. At this stage it can be argued that regardless of the subjects I now had, I could go and be that dancer if I wanted to, sure, I could. But the linguist? My point being , I already chosen my fate. Out of passion, NO. But instead, out of fear. I’m not trying to put down science – I will always have an interest in it but just not as a full time career. Nor am I wholeheartedly putting blame on anyone else for my career choices, although I feel as a child, growing up, you are highly influenced by the adults around you. Adults of which, in my case, made me fear the idea of not being employed without a ‘respectable degree’.

I feel there is no better example where it is the stick over the carrot than in career choices for alot of us. “Oh it’s fine, it’s not what I love but it pays the bills.” We try to convince ourselves in the precious time left outside of the 9-5pm haul that we can make up for lost time by enjoying this period to the max. With the money we earn. This is where I wonder is money the carrot or the stick? More money  more enjoyment or more money = more pressure?

I truly feel if money didn’t exist and we all pursued a career we were truly passionate about then productivity and performance levels would surpass the imaginable.

Is money the motivator in your career choices? Do you believe career choices for the majority are driven by fear (unemployment, status, quality of life) over passion?

Career Switch Like These 7 Celebrities

Writing

One trick ponies aren’t present in the stables today judging by the 7 celebrities below:

Donald Trump – whether you love him or loathe him you can’t deny he’s had the career jump worthy of a pat on the back so big it partially exorcises his demonic spirit from his body (only temporarily though). Not that he was doing that badly before as a multi-millionaire businessman but obviously the title of President of the United States has a better ring to it.

Drake – Who would’ve thought this cute Canadian teen who made squeaky clean TV would become one of the biggest music artists of the charts. Too sweet to be a hardcore gang banger, yet can still crack out multiple expletives with such finesse. Drizzy Drake take a bow.

Martha Stewart – Stewart hasn’t had a bad run of career options in her life, modelling for fashion houses such as Chanel in her early 20’s and as one would naturally do, she jumped right into the world stock brokerage aged 25 at some little known named location – Wall Street. And because making lots of money from money can become lack lustre, Martha re-invented how we watch TV by offering a smorgasbord of her television personalities in various shapeshifting forms ranging from food to gardening.

Christopher Walkin – Lion tamer turned Hollywood actor. Not bad for the resume. Describing one lion affectionately named Sheba as ‘very sweet, like a dog.’ What kind of dogs has he been around? Inbetween his circus life, Walkin trained as a dancer before moving on to Broadway and film.

Ellen DeGeneres – Having experienced a range of roles before stand up comedy took her to stardom, including waitressing at TGI Fridays, paralegal clerical duties and oyster shucking. It’s therefore safe to say she’s done it all (except make me laugh(kidding))!

Pope Francis – Bouncer turned preacher. Any shape throwing sinners would have surely felt his wrath on the backdoor’s of the bouncing Buenos Aires clubs in his early days.

Whoopi Goldberg – Funeral makeup artist. How can you go from powder puffer on the face of a corpse to singing nun in Sister Act? The Pope needs to have words with you Whoopi! (Whoopi’s getting an ass whoopin’ (sorry bit far)) Did I mentioned she was also a garbage collector before turning to stand – up comedy and acting? Her transition into the world of entertainment has definitely been an interesting one.

Career change - best books to read 2018 wordpress blog

Career Change?: 7 Books You Need To Read

Writing

The 7 best books to inspire and guide you through career change

Making the decision to change career paths is no walk in the park. I myself have found structure and strategy  in making career decisions through a range of literary sources. Below are 7 books I would best recommend to anyone who, like myself at a stage, may be confused, cautious or just curious the bringing the steps to a career change  into fruition.

  1. How To Find The Work You Love – Laurence G. Boldt

It is estimated that the average person will rack up 90,000 hours  of their life in a job so is it really that wrong to like what you do? No. Infact, I believe you should love what you do. Boldt addresses the need for courage to start the search for a new career, and offers strategic advice on how to tap into our own resources to figure out what we are good at and what we would really like to do. This is an incredibly important point as I feel so many of us just rush life and get lost in the hustle of the day, the demands of the world around us and don’t really take the time that’s necessary to think of what’s best for us as individuals. Surely we owe it to ourselves to put research into something which takes up approx. 1/3 of our lives?

  1. Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway – Susan Jeffers

Perhaps you  already know what career you would like to pursue, step 1 in the list is ticked off, but even with a passion for a role you may be still tentative to make the change. Will you enjoy the new role? Will your friends and family approve? What if the new role isn’t actually right for you, will you be trapped? Susan Jeffers perfectly uncovers the inner workings of our minds and why making decisions especially life changing ones such as a change in career can prove so challenging. She then flips this mindset on its head by offering  a ‘no-lose’ model to make the process of decision making a win-win regardless of whichever choice you make. Sounds too good to be true? Give it a read.  Jeffers shares additional food for thought on fear across a range of areas in our lives.  She touches on the destigmatization of positive thinking, how it isn’t as unrealistic as society would have us belief. How simply changing a few words in your self-talk can transform you from victim to a place of power. And so it can be agreed that this  book is not only relevant to our working life but every aspect of life which requires us to face fear.

  1. Black Box Thinking: The surprising Truth About Success – Matthew Syed

Although this book is not career based at its core, the extremely effective method of intertwining real life examples of when humans have screwed up  with core principles of psychology make for a book I just couldn’t put down. So how does failure link to a career change? It’s exactly that, will I fail at even finding a job, will I fail at the job itself? These questions are daunting and Syed couldn’t explain any better in his book on why failure is essential in life. Even if it means you get fired, this is still a poignant moment for you to learn and persevere.  His go to reference throughout the book is the  comparison between the attitude of the aviation industry vs that of the health care industry in facing failure. With the former facing it head on and with honesty resulting in one of the lowest mortality rates of any industry, the latter in contrast, focuses on hierarchy – a surgeon’s pride compromising honesty when operations go wrong, nurses feeling inadequate to speak  up against doctors. Syed’s core take home message is that in order to learn and grow we must fail. And that by trying to avoid failure you are infact worse off than if failing in the first place. This book can be applied to how you may feel when facing rejection letters, fear of interviews and fear of disappointing those around you. It definitely changed my attitude towards failure. Infact I look forward to failing (ok maybe I’m a bit carried away).

  1. Elon Musk – Ashlee Vance

A man of the moment, SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk knows a thing or two about changing career paths. A ‘.com’ businessman during his entrepreneurial infancy, which in the tech company’s  selling could’ve left Musk with a fat cheque and enough snorkelling holidays to leave him permanently pruned.  But oh no, for he’s the ultimate risk taker. Investing millions and pushing it into fields he wasn’t initially experienced in – aerospace, renewable energy and car industries. Through Vance’s eyes, Musk’s ballsy go hard or go home approach in pursuing passions and making change on scales much bigger than himself makes for an interesting read to say the least. Surely sending off your application on Indeed.com takes a little less effort then trying to get humankind colonizing the red planet, no?

  1. Man’s Search For Meaning – Viktor E. Frankl

Everything can be taken away from us except the ability to choose our attitude in any given circumstance. This is the core message Frankl emphasizes in this truly thought-provoking read – a Viennese psychiatrist who was held captive in both Dachau and Auschwitz concentration camps. The relation I make between his book and in changing a career is that so many times we base decisions off of the opinions of others or rely too heavily on external situations. Will my family approve, will they fire me? If your family don’t approve but from your perspective you love the job then that should just be accepted. If you get fired from the job you will learn skills on how to find another route into the career of your choosing. One’s own perspective on a situation can leave them feeling the victim or the power holder. And in no truer a situation than in the one of pursuing your career can this mindset be incorporated to bring the outcome of most optimal success.

  1. Get a Life, Not a Job: Do What You Love and Let Your Talents Work For You – Paula Caligiuri

With the message that ‘ employers no longer show any loyalty to their employees, it’s up to you to take control of your own destiny’, Caligiuri provides a very hands on and intensive approach to gaining the career of your desires. Practical steps including exercises and questionnaires in the book help dismantle the stigmatized airy fairy idea of ‘following your dreams’ and instead cements dream chasing as it as an achievable goal so long as effort is put in. For anyone who doesn’t want to be just a passive listener, this book should kick start you into action.

  1. Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type – Paul D Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger

Built around the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator (MBPI), this book plays matchmaker between personality type and job fit. So chances are if you’re of a nervous disposition then maybe bounty hunting isn’t for you, in contrast if you like using tax payers money to buy new sinks plugs and paperweights at the cost of a small family car  then perhaps take up politics. Either way the authors aim to take it to a personal level so you can show the world your true talents in your ideal role.

 

So there you have it, 7 and not 8 books which will get you in that dream job by Christmas (potentially). As you’ve came to the end of the article you may be thinking that several of the books chosen here aren’t strictly career focussed and that I’m taking you on some monk-like journey of self-discovery. To me, I see a career  as such a big part of my life that the intertwinement of self-discovery and career cannot be divided. So if you don’t like my cushy self-help books then stay in your miserable job!!!!! (joke(not)). In all seriousness, I know job-hunting isn’t easy, I got fired from my very first job at 21, so I can empathize. So I wish you all the best in your career endeavours, you can do it.

Why Being An Adult Isn’t Fun

Writing

Gone are the days when finger painting and daytime naps were as common as the cold. Instead , replaced by finger tapping and continuous bouts of the common cold! If only we knew as tiny humans, the pure agony that lay before us in the adult world. Let me list just a few for you:

  1. Bills Bills Bills

Anyone who gets giddy at the sight of a £10 decrease in their electricity bill because they forced themselves to have ‘luke warm’  instead ‘hot’ showers all Summer knows full well that they have reached adulthood.  Having to pay your rent, water, electricity, mobile and Wi-Fi bills every month means giving up a tiny piece of your soul with every transaction. A tough trade off but then again who really can live without Wi-Fi?

  1. The Rat Race

Remember at school when you felt a long day was waking up at 10am and finishing at lunchtime? Didn’t your heart just sink to your stomach the first time you experienced the dreaded moonbeam illuminating your face through the office window? Yes, that’s right ‘the dayjob is just so I can get enough money to really enjoy myself with the little time I have to myself’. Just keep telling yourself this.

  1. The Cardigan

You were going so well up to this point. You kept on top of the latest fashion trends, you even set a few of your own but then the adult moment hit you like a lightning bolt and since then you’ve resorted to the tatty woolly throw over which would pass as your dead grandmother’s favourite shawl if worn in just the right light. The point being you now dress like an old crow since the first sign of crow’s feet set in. Word of advice, if you want to stay fashionable then get some damn wrinkle cream because heaven forbid the granny cable knit cardigan moment strikes you when you’re vulnerable!

  1. Topics Of Conversation

You now find yourself conversing on why you prefer courgette over mushroom in your spaghetti Bolognese, where instead in the midst of your youth, you’d be out getting laid. It also now feels weird to use or hear other ‘adults’ use slang words such as  ‘dope’ and ‘amazeballs’ (who uses this last one anyway?).

 

I guess there is one thing to look forward to when you reach adulthood. Retirement.

23 Things learned At 23

Writing

1. My quarter life crisis is just around the corner (that’s at 25 for all you fraction phobics).

2. I can no longer sing the lyrics of Wheatus’ – Teenage Dirtbag without shuddering with guilt at the fact that am no longer a teenager.

3. My first silver hair has sprung out of nowhere, hopefully it doesn’t get a neighbour anytime soon.

4. I’m now eligible to start using wrinkle creams (atleast that’s what the drugstore is saying).

5. Getting asked for ID at clubs and pubs is greatly lessening.

6. Drinking does not do a body good.

7. 32 is not the new 23. I may not be a teen but I’m no old crow just yet!

8. Getting giddy about buying new curtains for the bathroom marks the loss of my youthfulness.

9. By this stage in life you’re either fresh back from travelling and stuck in an office job or dead in a ditch (from travelling or having enough of your office job).

10. I now get money and vouchers as birthday presents instead of fun days out and colouring pencils.

11. All my colleagues at work are atleast double my age.

12. Trying to figure out the necessity of a pension is like trying to figure out the necessity of wasps in our lives (they don’t make honey)!

13. My friends are now either engaged, married or popping out their second child (first one being due to an accidental teenage pregnancy).

14. Being single at this age scares my aging parents.

15. I’ve finally came to the realisation that I’m not going to grow any taller.

16. Too young to be taken seriously by men in suits, too old to be taken seriously by youths.

17. Education never prepared me for the conditioning needed to skilfully brew the perfect cuppa for the work colleagues.

18. The parents miss me but not as much as they use to. (Tears of sadness when I left for uni at 18, tears of joy when I leave after visits at 23).

19. If I was a tree I’d have 23 rings!

20. If I was a dog I’d be 〖94〗_2^1 years old!

21. If I was a cat I’d be dead.

22. 23 in French is ‘vingt-trois’ (vahn-twah)!

23. Age is but a number!

Pig Out

Writing

My stomach rumbles with a 10 on the Richter scale, and that’s after I’ve eaten breakfast. So can you imagine my woes when the clock is fast approaching that heaven sent 1pm mark on the office clock?

Feasting time is well and truly upon us, but wait, what to have I hear you ask? Shall I go boring with the trusty club sandwich, stink the place out with my salmon fillet and veg combo from last night or just drown myself in glasses of tap water until the grumbles in my stomach becomes underwater fart noises?

That’s right, you guessed it. I’m famished so choose to have a glass of water. And why’s that? It’s because I can’t goddamn decide on what to eat! Oh but you’re hungry, you’ll eat anything! No. I. Shant.

I’m a fussy eater when it comes to lunchtimes only. I blame the parents, see, I use to be the kid who’d have the slimy ham sandwich while the rest of the sprogs got hot school meals. Ingrained in me from a young age that lunch time dining was the equivalent of chewing shards of glass, I hope you can begin to feel my pain.

No I’m not a kid nomore, mum doesn’t make me below average pack lunch anymore (thank f*ck) but then again neither do I. My idea of cooking is throwing everything into a wok and praying that I don’t get food poisoning. It must be in the genes, any wannabee pursuitors out there, fyi,  I can’t cook. So that’s probably a deal breaker. So I can’t cook, I’ve accepted this, but not without a fight. There was a while where I would cross unchartered territory and stick my nose in a book of student basic recipes or troll cooking sites online. The only problem was, I couldn’t afford an ingredients list the length of my arm for their version of posh beans on toast! But even when the recipe was pretty simple, I always managed to f*ck it up.

Take for example a bulgur wheat salad. Sounds healthy, it’s slightly more exotic than just tomatoes and an iceberg lettuce so I thought here goes, I’ll give it a try. Verdict: bulgur wheat – it’s an ugly name with an even uglier taste. If you ever wanna try cardboard without trying cardboard force a spoonful of vulgar wheat down your guzzler. It doesn’t help the fact that I’m not a fan of dressings, they make everything soggy, so no wonder I almost had the coroner saying ‘death by suffocation’.

If it’s not the recipe at hand which I have a problem stomaching it’s the monotony. Yes, yes, routine is good in certain areas of life but if you give me chicken soup for a third day in a row it’s going round you. I’m just a nightmare when it comes to lunches! Still to this day, I wonder what the solution would be, why can’t I just be normal and eat a jacket potato like everyone else?

These are the questions that keep me up at night.

4 Reasons Why You Secretly Hate Your Job

Writing

 

  1. The Commute – morning breath is a thing, and I’m going to say it, evening breath is definitely a thing too! Not saying I’m immune either but carry a goddamn mint! On that note, you’d be lucky to find enough air to breathe on the sweaty trains, trams and buses that we all find ourselves having continuous asthma attacks in.
  2. The Annoying Guy – we all know him, he lurks behind the printer at around 11.47 am every Wednesday. He’s the loud typer, the constant cougher, the one who smacks when he eats and proceeds to talk with his mouthful thereby peppering you in his salami and mozzarella baguette. Oh the joys of the modern day workplace.
  3. Your Boss – the massive twat. With some people you give them an inch and they take a mile, you give them the title of manager and they believe they’ve just been anointed with immortality. Not saying this for all bosses, oh no. But definitely my memorable ones are the kind who love to shout at you for arriving 1 minute late all because you helped an elderly lady across the road. What did you expect me to do, trip the old bag up?
  4. The Task – don’t get me wrong, aligning bullet points to within a millimetre of their little lives is what really gets me up in the morning. But there are some days I just wish I could be the one reading out that tidy bullet pointed presentation!

So I think it’s timely to end my rant now, although this list could be exhaustive, the truth is we all mustn’t hate our jobs that much, right? Or else we’d leave them? Oh wait, society has our hands tied, either we follow our dreams and die of starvation or eat well and die in our eighties from a life lacking inner fulfilment. Decisions decisions, I guess the only quote that I should leave you with is:

 

“I would rather live a short life of glory than  a long one of obscurity.” – Alexander the Great

 

**Please note this article is intended solely for ERIC Mag, and I will link to the article on their site if/when it becomes live.

Earn That Wonga

Writing

5 ways you can make a little extra cash online

Times are tough when the 9 to 5 just isn’t paying enough, but fear not, that extra bit of wonga will fingers crossed come flowing in with a little help from the list below:

  1. Online Tutoring

Some people will pay any price to see that their little darlings can recite the alphabet as fast backwards as they can forwards. And this is where you come in, finally that GCSE in chemistry will come in handy as you set up Skype to teach a 12 year old what a Bunsen burner look like (or not – safety first). You can start tutoring by putting your adverts up in around your local area or online. Examples include Skooli and Tutor Hunt

  1. Sell your old sh*t

Those textbooks from uni didn’t come cheap, so atleast make some of the money back by flogging them on Ebay or Amazon. Why not sell other belongings, perhaps furniture you had at uni but have now trailed back to the parents e.g. lamps, side tables, desks. Everything but the kitchen sink basically!

  1. E-book Narrator

If you fancy serenading the world to sleep with your dulcet tones, why not read them their bedtime story through  E-books. Check out Audible for example for more detail into this money-making opportunity.

  1. Online Surveys

They may be boring to fill out at times but less so when it comes with a price. Sometimes rewarded in money and other times vouchers, there’s a chance that you won’t go empty handed when companies need your vital opinion. Sites include I-say and Populuslive.

  1. Ad-Marketing

If your social media is gaining quite the following, companies may sponsor you to advertise a specific product or service of theirs. Unlike the other options above, this money making method may take time but it’s not impossible to get a really high -paying sponsorship which may even mean you could leave that 9 to 5 (fingers crossed)!

We all know money doesn’t grow on trees, yet I do hope that these 5 tips of mine helps your bank account grow nonetheless. Happy money making!

 

**Please note this article is intended solely for ERIC Mag, and I will link to the article on their site if/when it becomes live.

How To Get A Full-Time Job This Summer!

Writing

As I reminisce about the times I slogged over a computer screen instead of sipping on an ice cold drink while sunning myself, I think of how fond I must’ve been of self-torture at the time! Sacrificing the great outdoors for the great world web day after day required discipline and persistence.

No1.  Be persistent – for every hour you aren’t applying for roles is an hour someone else is. And guess what, that someone else WILL get the job! I’m not saying every waking minute of your day needs to be spent job hunting but your chances of getting hired do increase with the more applications you make.

No 2. Network – it’s coming up to summer, more mingling events will be happening around your local town or city. Go to these events, get to know who’s who, this may lead onto internships and work experience which will help land you the full-time job. Or you never know, they may even offer you a full-time job themselves!

No. 3 Work experience – Summer for many industries is their prime money making time, for this reason they will be on the lookout for free labour, it may not be ideal but you can be in with a higher chance of a work placement when the demand for more staff is high. Some examples include nature reserves, coastal and watersports centres, tourist attractions, hotel staff, event promoters.

No 4.Internships – certain companies offer internships and graduate schemes specifically in Summer in order for soon-to-be graduates to get a feel for their potential place of employment in the future. Keep an eye out on company websites in particular or sites such as indeed.com, prospects and here on ERIC.. Companies with ongoing summer schemes include: UBS, L’Oreal, EY and Rolls-Royce

No 5. D.I.Y. – Start your own project to build up your own work experience. Getting internships and work experience is challenging so why not use your own initiative and build make your own e.g. if you wanted to be a full-time events planner then Summer is the perfect time to plan small events in your local area, perhaps a fashion show or charity event at the town hall? A charity fund day or even a fun run. The ideas are endless. Just start!! If someone isn’t bringing it to you, make it appear yourself.

I hope these 5 tips are useful! Please don’t your entire Summer job hunting, afterall, once you get a job you’re Summer will be no more haha (kidding)!

 

**Please note this article is intended solely for ERIC Mag, and I will link to the article on their site if/when it becomes live.