We regret to inform you…

ImageI remember leaving university – almost two years ago now. I was bright-eyed, confident, enthusiastic, and really, really naïve. Great, I thought – can’t wait to join the real world and start my career now I’ve got my decent degree from a decent university. LOL.

Cue almost two years of slowly losing my confidence, slaving away in the hospitality industry*, envying the ‘real life’ people with their ‘weekends’ and ‘holidays’, as it slowly sank in that I wasn’t going to be hired just like that.

Oh don’t worry, said so-and-so, my friend applied for 100 jobs before she got hers.

My uncle applied to 500 before he was hired, and he doesn’t even like his job!

Great guys, thanks. Try applying for 1900 jobs and being rejected from every. single. one. I’ve figured out that snazzy bit of maths by multiplying the average amount of jobs I was applying to per week (around 25), by how long I was searching for (a long time).

So, I’ve compiled my top five tips and experiences from my venture thorough the horrible, unapologetic current job market.

I’m not saying I’m an expert – after all, I was rejected from 1899 jobs, before landing the 1900th (my dream job – good things are worth waiting for, everything happens for a reason etc etc etc) but I just thought I’d share the most common scenarios I experienced whilst striving to land that job.

Some interviewers are just absolute dicks

I was once rejected from a role because I was dressed too ‘trendily’. Excuse you. I was wearing dress trousers, a blouse, flats, and a River Island fitted blazer. I was told, in a hideously patronising manner to go down to M&S and buy a nice two-piece trouser suit. Get a grip. This was a non-customer-facing role for a company describing themselves as ‘lively and fun’ on their website, for Christ’s sake.

Also, I learned to hate being interviewed by women, and would always hope for a male. This was because sometimes I was shocked with the way some of the women interviewers looked at me during the meeting, especially if there was more than one of them. We all know that some women can be absolute cows, but making someone feel uncomfortable like that is so unprofessional.

Another interview I had when I had just started out, I was woefully unprepared for – the job description had said it was a customer service role (it wasn’t). Although the fault may lie with me, the interviewer basically traumatised me, taunting me with questions filled with jargon that he knew I’d have absolutely no chance of answering. Afterwards, he said we’ll let you know in the most sarcastic manner, and I just thought – what was the point? Did you get off on that?

Just know that not all interviews/interviewers you have will be professional and straightforward. Sometimes you’ll walk out and think wow. I do NOT want to work there.

They will ask you if you have any questions for them – have some prepared

Just have a few generic ones stored in your head if you can’t think of any during the interview. Things like ‘why has this role become available?’ and ‘will any training be provided?’.

It’s so awkward when they ask you and you’re like…nope…


Don’t set yourself up to fail, but be realistic

Go on reed.co.uk, and have a look at the number of applications already submitted next to the job role. On less specific job roles, this number is generally always 100+. A HUNDRED people. That’s the first hurdle – even if you get an interview, you still have to have a second one before they will make the offer. You’re up against so much. The mistake I made in the beginning was taking it personally. But these people don’t know you personally. So don’t.

Don’t sit by the phone waiting. Something that used to really piss me off was them saying that they’d let me know by a certain day, then not calling on that day. Or worse, not getting back to you at all. Rude.

I remember every heart sinking moment when I received yet another rejection email or telephone call. I’m ashamed to admit it, but tears were shed, and wine was drunk.

After a while, I began to expect the rejection. I don’t mean by being really pessimistic and just assuming – I just became more realistic. If I applied for a job, I looked at the amount of people who’d also applied. If there was more/less people, then I assumed I had less/more of a chance. Somehow, this cushioned my disappointment each time I got another rejection.

This way of thinking made getting my current job all the sweeter. I’d really, really wanted it – and really hadn’t thought I’d even be considered let alone be brought in for interview. Again, tears were shed and wine was drunk – this time for an entirely different reason!

Think about expanding your job market ideals

I did my degree in English Language and Journalism. I began applying for journalism work non-stop. Soon, I had unpaid internships coming out of my ears, and hundreds of emails saying get back to us when you have some experience.

I decided to expand my net a little, because I was really limiting myself by what I was applying for. This is how I found and fell in love with PR. It took me a while to realise that just because I’d got the degree in journalism, didn’t mean I was bound to it for life. Realising that opened my horizons to a lot more opportunites.

Sometimes all the tricks and the tips just don’t work

You can smile all you want, bring along a pen and paper, have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the company, be dressed in the best bloody two-piece suit M&S have to offer, and you wont get the job. It’s rubbish, wah wah. Whatever. On to the next.


I really don’t mean to sound pessimistic and I’m certainly not trying to put anyone down. This was my personal experience, and whilst yes, most of it absolutely sucked, it’s made me the person I am today.

I’ve finally got my job, and I’m deliriously happy, and I really hope I’m doing well so far. It’s such a cliché, but I do agree that everything happens for a reason.

Keep at it, honestly.


*RE: the hospitality industry – I did enjoy my experience in the restaurant/bar industry because of the things it taught me. The reason I hated it so much was because it wasn’t where I wanted to be, or what I’d set out to do, and I felt like I was wasting my time, getting more and more stuck. In hindsight however, I realise that I learned so much – about communication, organisation etc that I can now transfer these skills to the career I really want.

Stop the Snore!

UnknownMy first experience of snoring was when I had to sleep on the floor in my parent’s room for some reason (I think we had guests). I woke up in the middle of the night, terrified that there was some kind of giant bee buzzing around, just waiting for an opportune time to attack with its massive stinger. Nope. It was my Dad, snoring in a bee-like manner. A few weeks later we had my Grandmother to stay, whom I shared my room with. I actually ended up sharing the dog’s bed in the utility room, as I couldn’t stand the noise reverberating around the house (soz, Nan).

I’ve always found it hard to drop off. My ideal conditions are complete darkness, and complete silence. The most noise I can deal with is some relaxing rain. I can’t fall asleep well if I’m at someone else’s house, and definitely can’t fall asleep on a car/train/plane journey.

Luckily, my nights more recently are mostly unbroken. My partner and I curl around each other in the most comfortable way, and are both very quiet and still sleepers.

However, this is not the case for all. Snoring statistics are often contradictory, but it has been suggested that up to 30% of adults are guilty. A study by the National Sleep Foundation found that about 24% of snore-suffering couples sleep in separate rooms and many couples who sleep separately are reluctant to discuss it. They also found that more than a third admit that their partner’s disruptive sleep habits have affected the quality of their relationship. 17-23% (two in five) indicated that their intimate/sexual relationships had been affected because they were too sleepy. Someone I know has to sleep top and tail with their partner, like a weird sleepover, because of the noise.

There may be a light at the end of the tunnel. If a foghorn in your ear constantly blights your nights, you may soon be able to frog march the offender down to the hospital to get a matchbox-sized ‘widget’ implanted into them.

This could be the end of snore strips, CPAP machines, or just a good old elbow in the ribs. A wire, threaded into one of the veins near the phrenic nerve (it starts in the neck and leads down via lungs and heart), sends an electronic memo to the diaphragm department, reminding it to contract, and thereby regularise the implantee’s breathing pattern.

I can hear the keyboards clacking already, with hollow-eyed partners trying to find the nearest backstreet-butcher to shove this thing in their partner. That’s it though, isn’t it? A majority of snorers don’t know they’re keeping anyone awake.

On a rare occasion when I might have to hiss ‘shut up!’ at my other half, he will usually just turn over, but sometimes opens his eyes and says sorry. He never remembers in the morning. So, technically, it’s not really the snorers problem, is it? Unless snoring is a health-risk, in the case of chronic sleep apnoea, then the person who’s doing it doesn’t care less. They’re asleep!

So, the question is, would you be willing to go through surgery, just for your partner’s sake? Would you ask your partner to have the surgery for your sake?

Although at the moment I’m a lucky girl, sleep wise – I’m for this little magic widget. I had many sleepless nights during a previous relationship and remember how frustrating it was, and how at times I felt so helpless over not being able to sleep normally. Everyone should have the right to a good night’s sleep. Yay for widget!

Facebook is LISTENING?!

listening-glass-630Facebook is to release a new feature on its mobile app that ‘listens’ to what music you’re streaming or what you’re watching.

Oh god, I can hear the paranoid already: “It’s a trap! The government is watching!”

Apparently, it is an opt-in service, can be turned off at any time, no audio is stored, and the device cannot pick up on any background noise or conversation. Be that as it may, I’m not really comfortable with it.

It’s just the way it is sold: ‘your device uses microphones to ‘listen’ to any nearby TV or music playing’. It’s like personifying my phone. When does it decide to ‘listen’? Is it ‘listening’ all the time, just hoping for a snippet of the newest Sam Smith tune?

When the device recognises a song or TV show, the user has the ability to share the information with the rest of their Facebook gang. They can either choose or have it automatically posted. However, automating the service has left some users cold. One Facebook user said: “I have no interest in Facebook ‘observing’ what I’m up to. I feel like there’s no trust anymore.”

As well as this weirdly intrusive new feature, Facebook has finally begun making posts automatically private for naïve new users. In the past if you signed up to a new account, all of your ‘personal’ details, i.e. date of birth, where you’re from was deemed private immediately. However, all of your status updates, pictures uploaded of your Gran or your breakfast were automatically shared as ‘public’. This meant you had to go into your privacy settings and change everything to ‘friends only’. Not rocket science, but many users didn’t know about this, not realising everything they posted was posted to the whole world.

I’ve been caught out a few times. I used to make some posts on my feed ‘public’. This means that when someone searched for me, they could see only my profile picture, the fact that I’m female, and any posts that I had made specifically public.

BUT. If I posted something as public, automatically everything else I posted afterwards was public, unless I remembered to change it back to ‘friends only’. I’ve had a few messages from my mother (who is a privacy fanatic) saying: “Your Facebook is open to the world again!”

I love keeping my Facebook ‘exclusive’. Keeping my friends list down to people I actually like, and speak to. I’m still searchable though, and although I’m pretty careful these days, some of my family members have taken it to the extreme, unable to be found unless they choose to be.

How anonymous can we be on the internet?

 Think back to the days when we all first started getting the internet in our homes. This was before all the (correct) worry and panic about predators on the net, and chatrooms were commonplace. I started using chatrooms immediately, and I believe I was about 10.

Make up a user name (something like xxxcoolgirl2003xxx, come on, I was 10!), and the messages start flooding in.

‘A/S/L?’ – age, sex, location. In other words, who are you? I always said I was 14, from America. Nothing sinister ever happened, but I do remember speaking to many older men. Regardless of the fact that I was hiding behind my username and fake information, they still knew they were chatting with someone who at 14, was underage.

I did feel anonymous though. Nowadays, our digital identities are more adhered to our real lives. Linking accounts, logging in to something ‘via Facebook’, and updating in real-time. I believe we leave much more permanent imprints online today than we ever did in the past.

I don’t believe you can ever be anonymous on the web. The apps promoting anonymity, such as Whisper, Secret could still identify you if they needed to, I reckon. It’s a marketing gimmick – you can’t really advertise something as being ‘semi-anonymous’!

Just be careful, don’t give away too much! Tighten your inner circle, get rid of so and so from 10 years ago who keeps asking you to play Jelly-bloody-Splash.

And DON’T ever be as ridiculous as this girl:




Determination gives you the resolve to keep going in spite of the roadblocks that lay before you.

Dennis Waitley

I’ve done it! I’ve stressed and strived and have finally landed myself a real-life job, in my preferred field, utilising my degree. To say that I’m over the moon is an understatement. I am bursting with energy and happiness. I am so appreciative of all of the people who have supported me during my search, and who have kept me going when I got low. I start in a week. My own desk – a nice pantsuit – a LUNCHBOX!

I’ll keep you posted.


Why Do I Love True Crime?

My partner and I have an ongoing disagreement over my obsession with true crime documentaries and books. I can’t count the amount of times he’s given me a ‘look’ after hearing, once again,  the dramatic voiceover of the latest real murder documentary I’m watching. Or a sly: “Oh, are you reading another death book?”.

I get it. It’s morbid. Why would I immerse myself in someone else’s misery? Why don’t I read a nice chick-lit, or even just a good classic?

Since I’ve had my Kindle, I’ve been able to gain access to a huge amount of different genre of book. I’ve found I enjoy memoirs and true accounts most of all, so true crime was an easy transition to make.

I’ve read dozens of true crime and true account books, as well as multiple documentaries. A lot of these are well known crimes like The Soham Murders, Jaycee Lee Dugard and the mystery of the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. Others are less well-known – a serial killer in a tiny American town, or a poor Nigerian girl forced into a marriage with an older man. I find all equally fascinating, but am always aware that I am not ‘enjoying’ reading about horrific acts that have happened to others.

According to author Gary Provost (1991) the essence of true crime is ‘…normal people, who commit abnormal acts’ and readers of the genre constantly question their own potential for such behaviour.

This is something that makes perfect sense to me. Many times have I pondered over someone’s character after reading/watching their horrific act. Did they know they were going to commit that crime? At what point did they lose it? Could I ever, in a million years, get so messed up that I’d feel like stabbing someone? Or kidnapping a child?

Researchers conducted studies to try to determine why women are attracted to true crime.  Their conclusion was that women are drawn to true crime books out of their own fears of becoming a victim of violent crime.

According to the researchers, women are drawn to true crime books for these reasons:

  •  To learn how to prevent becoming a victim
  • To learn how to survive being a victim.
  • To learn warning signs to watch for.
  • To learn escape tips and survival strategies.

In 2012, crime lecturer Judith Yates compared reading true crime books to riding a roller coaster, suggesting that we find both experiences equally titillating and thrilling, albeit slightly scary. She concluded: ‘Crime is real, guttural, and nasty – but perfectly safe when you are curled up in a chair reading’.

It’s the age old misconception of ‘that will never happen to me’. Have I been reading these books and watching these programs, densensitised? Focusing on the hard-hitting story but forgetting about the people, real people who were affected. Someone’s mother, daughter, father, son. If something happened to me or my family, I’m not sure I’d want to be on someone’s reading list for the reader  to plow through before moving onto the next exciting murder mystery.





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