lashesoflifestyle

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Work Experience – The Money Debate

Should people really do unpaid work experience?

Does this mean the company won’t value the work you do for them?

Will managers take advantage of having someone doing unpaid work experience with them, giving them all the jobs they don’t want to do?

Preparing to do unpaid work experience, the planning and research through to budgeting, does take time and a lot of consideration. Money being a huge factor – especially if you’re supporting yourself, like I am (AND living in London).

In September, after 5 months as a resourcer in PR recruitment I decided that the career really wasn’t for me. It was boring, and I found myself doing the same tedious jobs day in-day out. That wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I considered waiting until the new year to do internships/work experience, so that I could book holidays and use my time off, meaning I wouldn’t be out of a full time job. But that was going to take too long, and I realised that from the 20 days a year holiday we received (5 of which had to be used over Christmas), I would not be able to do enough work experience to actually get a new career off the ground.

I made my leap of faith at the end of September (Well, more of a pre-organised, budgeted and well planned jump). I saved all the money I could during September and researched where I could carry out work experience, from October, even if it was unpaid ( I put all my prejudices to the side and thought I would give it a go; in the worst case scenario I would have to do hospitality work until I could sort something else out) – I needed the experience! I e-mailed and spoke with a few PR agencies (being selective about where I wanted to gain experience), and also applied for part time jobs, in anything I could find (I hit oxford street for retail jobs, and also looked online for any waitressing jobs I could find).

I knew working 7 days a week would be hard! But, it’s actually quite fun. I have met a lot of people from my time in work experience placement at, so far, 3 different agencies, and also from having a part time job in a west-end retail chain. The money is tight, and yes I am on a tight budget, but I am hoping that it will all be worth it!

I have learnt so much over the last month and a half. Initially I was worried about going into another career, as I knew I had already tried one and found it not quite right for me, I didn’t want to jump straight into something else. Doing work experience has allowed me to explore my options, whilst not being tied to anything .

I used to be against unpaid work experience. I used to think what a lot of people think, “I’m not working for free”. But it really does give you lots of experience and opens many opportunities – And no you aren’t just making tea or stuffing letters into envelopes if you do work experience. Companies will get you to try everything, and they do really appreciate the work you do for them. I would recommend it to anyone -obviously you do need to plan it all out really well, especially if you’re supporting yourself like I am, but it can be done.

When you know what you want, put your mind to it and Go for it! Don’t let anything hold you back. Especially your prejudices about working unpaid. Doing unpaid work experience, doesn’t mean you’ll be working unpaid forever!

Good Luck to everyone doing/thinking about doing work experience! But also HAVE FUN!

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Wakey Wakey, Rise and Shine!

Alarm goes off… (This week it’s constantly set for 6.50am, but it depends on where I’m working that week, as currently doing work experience); Then comes the big decision, as I only just reach consciousness…Do I snooze?

Does snoozing really make you feel worse? I always debate with myself in the morning whether I really need to snooze, which probably takes the same amount of time as a snooze, so really I’m just delaying the process of sticking my feet out of the duvet, and dragging the rest of me from my cosy bed! Once I’m up it’s never too bad, and I suddenly have a burst of energy whilst getting ready, even though it’s still dark outside.

bedroom pic

I leave the house and the fresh air hits. Love that feeling first thing in the morning. Taking a deep breath, I attack the hill up to the bus stop, and wait for the bus. This is where I sort my morning journey…the music! Plugging my headphones in, blocking out the world, I  notice how much I’m missing my hiphop sessions (stupid budgeting whilst on work experience!)…My body and head start bobbing and moving to the beat without thinking about it, and I start smiling to myself…to the outside world, I must look like I have something wrong with me! But I don’t really mind, I may never see these people again, London is such a big place. This definitely sets my mood for the day! Even when I get off the bus or tube, my speed picks up, my walk a little bouncier, and I arrive to work in a great mood (shining!) ready to take on the World! – perhaps with a coffee too!

I realised recently just how moody and depressed Londoners look in the morning. Is life really that bad? And will I turn out like that once I’ve been here for a long time? I hope not. I understand that being packed like sardines into a metal carriage, flying to the next stop, and having people jostle past you to get on or off this creation which saves so much time in the morning, obviously isn’t the most amazing way to start the day. But even on the bus, and on the walk from the bus stop/station to work, people just don’t seem happy…It’s almost like walking through some zombie apocalypse.

Zombie_2013229b 5153426_fast_london_555x203(Pics from (Top photo) – http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02013/Zombie_2013229b.jpg; (Bottom Photo) – www.bbc.co.uk)

This morning I made a conscious note to self. Sat in Costa drinking hot chocolate for my friday treat (with the new toffee nut syrup in it, which is my favourite), deciding to write my new blog post about the mornings in London…

costa

…I am making sure I never change the way I am in the mornings.Perhaps work isn’t great that week, Or I’ll be having a day where I’m shattered. But everyday is a new day, and as long as I start it right to put me in a great mood, I can make anything happen!

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To Blog or Not to Blog?

Soo here goes my first blog post…

When I started reading blogs, I used to wonder how everyone had so much time to blog everything. I mean, I used to waitress (Over 50 hours a week! – Yes I was mad. But was great fun!), I used to go to the gym in the morning, and by the time I had finished work all I wanted to do was relax watching some rubbish on the TV, and try to shut my brain off…My brain was already mush at the end of a long day! On my days off, I didn’t want to be inside sat in front of a computer…I wanted to be out making the most of my days off.

Doing work experience in PR, and contacting blogs for specific campaigns/projects made me think once again about getting into blog writing. Some of the blogs out there are great…sooo creative and funny to read.

I love writing…especially when it comes to sharing new discoveries/reviews with the world! I love telling my stories…and knew that I could use my creativity in writing blog posts to share with you lovely people! I thought it would also be a great chance to record things in life so I could also look back in future – Just like a time capsule (Although hopefully with no hidden message like “The Knowing”- you know the one with Nicholas Cage, or anything weird like that!)

Knowing

If anyone ever asks my opinion on blogs, I will always say they are a fantastic idea – for personal expression, so you can look back on life, and so you can share your awesome experiences and new discoveries with everyone else. They also make such a big impact in life nowadays, with lots of people reading blogs, they can be very influential (My psychology side kicking in – I wonder how much impact they have on social norms..hmmmm).

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