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Graduate trying out life on the other side of the world.. stay tuned.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Less of the "morbid"

Okay, so a friend has recently said my last CV-related blog post was "morbid". (You know who you are, ED). 

They pointed a few things out to me:

That a) I have a job which provides me with excellent experience, and my boss has put a hell of a lot of trust in my so called managerial abilities in starting up a new venture. For which I am eternally grateful for.

b) if all else fails I could always go back to AQA in the Summer, giving me a "great summer and loads more time to apply to more stuff"

c) That if this does happen, in future interviews; "when they ask you at an interview for an interesting fact you can say you got knocked out by an exam paper".

Now never fear I will explain these things in due course. The thing is, my wonderful friend- annoyingly, is actually right. Now, no matter how shoddy I think my CV is, I am lucky enough to have a job. According to my trusty Metro reading of a morning on the godforsaken 86 bus, 1 in 5 of all recent graduates are without a job. (*prays to the Gods of Metro for this stat*) I mean, c'mon, this is a rather RIDICULOUS state of affairs isn't it? We go to university to better our chances of getting a job and totally think that the money we pay year on year is a sound investment, and utterly worth racking up 20K (minimum) worth of debt- but right now, I'm not so sure that it is at all. I think we will see a new turn in people opting for on the job training. (Of course, this providing the funding is there..) My Dad is marvellous at what he does- fair enough, I am his (fabulous) daughter and will inevitably have the utmost respect for him anyway- but he has worked hard for where he is now, and is, admittedly, doing darn well- all without a university education. If that isn't an example of what hard work (and a fair bit of play and real ale drinking on the way) then I don't know what is. It begs the question- is it really worth it anymore??

On my part though- actually- I went to uni to prove a point- to prove to everyone that I am worth my salt and to show that I'm not just another girl with a great collection of handbags and shoes- but that's besides the point.

Secondly- I have options. Yes, going back to AQA (exams board) which provided me with a summer job for the past four years would, for me, be a huge step backwards- BUT- there are always ways of getting out of sticky situations, without digging yourself a perpetually deeper hole, until you've pretty much made to Australia. (In which case- who gives a damn, you'd be in Australia, SCORE!!)

Thirdly- I have a sense of humour. I always think the ability to laugh at yourself is a seriously underrated quality. Yes, I did get knocked out by a huge bundle of English Literature exam papers. If you took your English GCSE last year- there is a good chance you effectively hospitalised me. But the fact that I can take the piss out of myself and laugh about the really quite bad times is what makes you human. It is what makes you YOU, and what makes your closest friends and family love you (again, enough of the soppy bullshit I hear you cry- apologies). Plus, 80% of the time if you didn't laugh, you'd end up curled into a ball in bed crying into your Kleenex complaining about everything from the Government to the fact that you hate the smell of the new deodrant you thought you'd try on a whim.

So reflecting on my previous post- I didn't realise I was being so pessimistic- there is always something to smile about, or be proud of yourself for. It's just that quite often, it's trying to remember what you can smile about that is the problem...

Sunday, 23 January 2011

My CV is better than yours...I wish.

So it's Sunday night, yet again. I hasten to add that I did indeed post one of thoses hideously standard (in fact sub-standard would be more inappropriate here) 'weekend has gone far too fast' Facebook statuses. I hang my head in shame. But the fact of the matter is that it's true. I live for the weekend these days, and it makes me mourn the university days when the weeks and weekends all just rolled into one long and lovely existence. The saying that uni days are the best days of your life really is true, and I think fits rather wonderfully with the ethos of this blog's title.

This got me thinking- why on earth didn't I make the most of this time? When I think of the time spent at uni 'studying' and watching endless re-runs of Come Dine With Me (which, for the record I adore, pure unadulterated, guilt ridden television gold) I could have (almost) taken over the world. Or at the very least used the time to enhance that ill-fated thing, the CV. Now, don't et me wrong- I did get my act together in my final year but I often think this is too little, too late. I did volunteer once a week at the Mines Advisory Group doing those menial tasks- one day I licked envelopes for about three hours. (I'm not even exaggerating.) This was not done for the 'greater good' (cue Edgar Wright enthusiasts and Hot Fuzz fanatics knowing exactly what I'm talking about here) but purely out of hedonisitc reasons- to make myself feel better and think I'm doing some good. Also for employers to think I'm the best thing since the invention of smartphones. (I heart my Crackberry.) But in reality, all I got from it was an incredibly dry tongue from all that envelope licking, and one measly line on my CV for employers to look at and think, 'hmpf' and move on to the next mind-numbing line of said CV.

One of my close friends is actually the best thing since the invention of Smartphones. He actively got involved about a gazillion volunteering activities- he not only volunteered where I did for a longer amount of time- but also became a driver for the university's many many do-good endeavours. He also became heavily involved in the STAR group (a refugee action group)doing stay overs and fundraisers and such like. And dare I even add that he managed to bag himself a first class honours degree. (Fair enough it is in Colouring in, aka Geography) Now if that doesn't make ourselves feel like lazy layabouts I don't know what will. (GET OFF YOUR BUM, YOU LAYABOUT- NOW.) So it is fair to say that his CV could rival, well, I don't know whose CV, but some really experienced dude.

Now fair enough, we all thought he was crazy. We all do think he is crazy and thought he had too much time on his hands. When in fact he actually made use of his time giving something back. My idea of giving something back nowadays is paying my taxes, and buying the Big Issue.

Then again- I've just realised, I DO do some good. I only work three days a week so spend the other two working at a charity, Business in the Community. They are fab. (shameless self promotion here, admittedly. Google them- do ittttt) But, even then I'm doing it for selfish reasons- CSR is something I am deeply passionate about and want to revolve my career around this wonderful concept. So that doesn't really count does it?? (dammit.)

Ask yourself this- when you are moaning about not getting a job and think you've got loads of experience- look at your CV from a totally outside perspective and really see what makes YOU stand out from the crowd.

Because, mine sure as hell doesn't. Ideas on a postcard much appreciated.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

The graduate: Older but never wiser.

Go on, click, just one click, you know you want to...!
The graduate: Older but never wiser.: "So, on Sunday, it is my little sister's birthday. She said to me she feels old, but, boy, does it make me feel old..Man, imagine how old it ..."

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Older but never wiser.

So, on Sunday, it is my little sister's birthday. She said to me she feels old, but, boy, does it make me feel old..Man, imagine how old it could make my parents feel! My sister means the world to me- we have had our ups and downs, like any sisters do, but we have grown up together and are strong as a result of that and I feel safe in saying she feels the same. *cue the END of the soppy crap* (don't worry this sort of stuff normally makes me vom..) it's the same with my little brother. Fair enough, he is fifteen and thinks he's all that. But we will never let him forget that he IS the youngest.

Anyway, I digress. The point of this post is that I doubt we ever learn or mature, no matter how many more candles get added to the birthday cake each year. It's starting to get to the point where I think I may refuse birthday candles on my cake as it just visually demonstrates how I'm not getting any younger and not even a tiny bit wiser..! Then again, I am still young, just graduated and got the world at my feet, right? I just need to keep telling myself that (whilst totally avoiding looking at how little of the cake I can see on my birthday because it's becoming immersed in candle wax).

Thing is, no matter how many candles we have on our cake, I refuse to believe the old cliche of older and wiser. After all, we are only human. We will always make mistakes at the age of 8, 18 and and reckon, even at the ripe age of 80. From making mud pies in the garden with your Mother's best saucepans (age 8), to wishing you never sent that text whilst in a drunken stupour at 3 in the morning (age 18), to thinking that maybe apple and onion crumble wasn't quite a Nigella standard recipe (age 80).

Plus then again, thinking that we never get wiser is perhaps a little harsh on ourselves. I think we probably do mature, in fact we DO mature. But maturity doesn't equal wisdom. I can accept that and accept that we will never be perfect and so I can quit putting so much pressure on myself to be 'little miss perfect'. Isn't that nice.(Plus my favourite character was always little miss sunshine. Perfect.)

Sunday, 16 January 2011

simple things in life.

Why is it that no matter how many shoes and bags and beautifully extravagant things you buy in a mad consumersitic style they never cease to make you feel as good as it does when you pop over to see your family and that first hug from your parents? Or watching your mother make a lemon meringue pie and trying to get the sugar syrup at just the right temperature in the attempt to make a meringue that would rival Nigel Slater's?

Don't get me wrong- I <3 the amazingly beautiful things in life- take one look at my wardrobe and ever growing shoe collection and you will soon see, and they can bring an added sparkle to the most gloomy and depressing days in Manchester (anyone who has lived in Manchester will totally empathsise with this, WHY DOES IT RAIN SO GODDAMN MUCH?!) This is the excuse I tell myself before handing over my plastic at the till whilst absolutely and resolutely avoiding looking at the total cost of my Topshop addiction, but do you not think there's something missing from the feeling you get when you get home and parade around in those sky scraper - ankle breaking Kurt Geigers?

I think there is- however- there is NO WAY in hell that I would ever not go shopping after a truly horrific break up, or make sudden last minute New Year's resolutions to get my nails done once a month (HELLO there Jessica Manicures!) after said break up, as to coin a phrase from a supermarket I actually detest, 'every little helps'. But, spending time with the ones who will be there with you, through thick and thin, through disastrous relationships, bad haircuts and hideous fashion mistakes (I'm thinking the noughties look is a prime example- wearing 'floor sweeper' jeans as my Dad named them probably wasn't the best style choice I've ever made- especially when it rained.)

You can probably tell that I just spent the weekend with these people in my life. Everyone from my parents, to my great Aunt Audrey to my Uncle Nick (who gets through a bottle of red quicker than you can say Cabernet Sauvignon). I am incredibly lucky to have such a lovely family, who gets on so well. Yes, we have our ups and or downs and we may go for longer than we care to admit without seeing one another, but that small thing of having a drink with these people always does the world of good. Its the small things, the camerarderie between family members that makes you smile wider than you had done all week.(For example- my sister proving she could fit more than three scotch egs in her mouth all at once to win a bet with my uncle, classy bird.)

These are the people that will never tell you you are 'too nice' or pick at how one can never seem to make a decision, but they are the ones that will take you as you are and love you through thick and thin- and in my case- through the 'floor sweeping' jeans look.. Can a pair of shoes do that? Doubtful. But they do make you look and feel damn fine, which is half the battle I reckon. (And that gives me the excuse for guilt free shopping, for at least a fortnight before having to rack my brain for another to excuse the fact I've just blown my week's food budget on yet another pair of shoes.)

Monday, 10 January 2011

Is there anything such as privacy any more? Doubtful, very doubtful.

Now, this morning my housemate said something to me that got me thinking. I will say at this point before I delve into this matter that I'm no expert and am simply just thinking away.. there was a story making headline news about a footballer having to apologise about posting a picture on Twitter of a referee wearing Man United's (I think) strip. Fair enough that Twitter is a public site and as a well known figure, they should have to take some reasoning when publishing posts to thousands of people who follow said person.

Now I feel this is a little ridiculous. I could bring in the whole freedom of speech argument and hammer that until the cows come home. I will mention it but I won't go on and on about it.. but seriously now, who would complain about a chuffing picture that really has no relevant effect on how the world goes round on a daily basis, or has any great impact on our lives? If people have complained about it and are reading this, then do yourself a favour and get. a. life. Please. Cheers.

Going on from this, it could be that this guy thought it would be a bit of a joke and accurately showcase his feelings towards whatever it was he was getting all het up about. Fair enough right? I think so. But! no matter how private you can make something people can ALWAYS have access to the info you put out there. I am always mindful of what I post on here- i'll never mention where I work or what I do, names of people or where I live. That's common sense, as this is a public site- and god knows who will be looking at it. Yes, I decided to put where I am based, and a picture, but I do that as I know that I am happy for people to know the bare minimum about me and nothing more. Besides. I like that picture!

But do we ever think about what we put on our Facebook profile? I know I forget constantly that I have a number of friends on there that I havent spoken to in going on 5 years and I doubt I'll ever feel the need to talk to them ever again, yet they are my virtual 'friends'. Going on this they are virtual strangers, yet they can get access to my employer, phone number, check out my new hair cut and get the goss of my incredibly boring life. (And I KNOW that is my own doing- I put them up there after all..for the same reasons I have a LinkedIn profile.. networking..) Facebook stalking has become widely accepted as the norm, but hasn't it made us all into the socially un-acceptable peeping toms?! I'm as guilty as the next person when it comes to this kind of thing- stalking ex boyfriends, ex best friends, family, and that girl you always hated but yet have a strange desire to know what the hell she is doing these days, then there's the looking of people's ugly babies. (a whole different kettle of fish. And harsh, I know. But nobody will ever know, right?! And don't act like you've never done it!)

I think its clear to say it's not the twitching of curtains and nosey neighbours we need to be aware of, but its our virtual friends and 'tweeps'...

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

I feel it in my fingers.. I feel it in my toes..

Today I got this sudden feeling, that I am on the cusp of something big. Like monumental, Empire State Building big. Problem is, I have no idea what this something is. Nor, frankly, I have got a cats chance in hell of knowing what this is in the next few weeks.

Then this got me thinking; this 'feeling', for it to actally materialise it is going to take some effort on my part to bring it about. Going back to my post yesterday, trips, job hunting, is all it takes for this to actually happen. Then again all these require effort, and why bother if you happen to be sitting rather comfortably on your sofa with a glass of delicious red wine? 

The answer is this: to be actually happy and satisfied with everything in your life and the direction it is taking.
 Whilst many people never actually get this, I know I want it. It comes to the point that I know that what I want to be doing will never pay me the big bucks- but surely this doesn't matter when the satisfaction gained from doing said job will give me much more joy than seeing many, many 0's on your paycheck every month? This may mean that I will have to re-think the second mulberry bag purchase this year, or in fact, ever.. I'm not sure this is a sacrifice I'm willing to take though.. Then again, I will be just falling into that same trap that countless, cubicle stricken employees have fallen into before me.

Like I said before, big decisions are to be made this next year. Question is, am I up to them? Stay tuned.

Monday, 3 January 2011

onwards and upwards in 2011- better to say that than new year, new start..

Now, I hate that saying of, new year, new start, I had to find a better way to say something along the same lines, and indeed something better suited to my thinking at this time of year.

I didn't have the greatest of starts to this year, it's fair to say- but it has made me find my new years resolution.. I usually stay well clear of such things however this one is called for, and should be easy enough to maintain. It's not one of those 'I WILL lose weight resolutions' because I personally think they never work- sometimes you are just setting yourself up for failure. I however, just love carbs too much, and certainly commit the ill fated word 'carbicide' daily. Anyway, it is to say, enough of the bullshit. To get out there and do it, to just say fuck it and go with what I want. Hence, the trip to Dubai is on the cards, possibility of Sweden, mini breaks with wonderful friends. Also considering the future and my career. It's fair to say I will have a lot of thinking to do in the next six months and I have no idea where that thinking may take me at all, all I do know, is that to maintain my new years resolution, and to avoid the inevitable disappointment that goes hand in hand with making such (and often, I think farcical... think me, perhaps vowing to never touch a french baguette in the year 2011) resolutions, I ought to keep it up.

Someone dear to me once said, 'I never regret anything, but this thing I do regret'. I know that this person will have thought this twice in, say, the past month. Slightly heart wrenching I have to say on the second time, however I hope I never have to say that to myself or indeed anyone I hold close.

So in fact, I guess that makes two new years resolutions... enough of the bullshit, and to never say 'I regret that'.

I know they're kinda serious, but hey! give me a break I'm in a pensive mood.. But maybe I'll add a third to the list (When in Rome..) that being, to purchase my second Mulberry handbag..