Sunday, 25 November 2012

Extraordinarily Routine

Routine is well and truly embedded within my life at the moment. Monday to Friday, leave the house at 8.15am and return at 6pm. It never seems long before 7.30pm comes around and usually we've already been shrouded in darkness since around 4pm. I notice these things every day even though it does seem that each one goes by faster and faster.

I am currently at home and my weekend is nearly over already. It's the 25th of November and with exactly one month to go before Christmas, I have already purchased the majority of the Christmas presents for my friends.

The great shopping trip started in Warrington one night after work and continued into Manchester, The Trafford Centre, Bolton, Bents Garden Centre, Wigan and even Tatton Park. I have enjoyed the hunt for presents, the search for something special, something personal which I just know my friends will love. The best bit is when you know you've discovered something extraordinary.

Only the parents have yet to be ticked off the mental list. Dad has got himself an iPad and treated Mum to a Kindle Fire. I was planning on getting Dad a case for his tablet but he got one combined in the price of his iPad. Back to square one. Mum's always difficult to buy for and so is Alex. The challenge is still on for family but I have longer to complete it.

The Randomers Christmas Do is next Saturday, this follows the work Christmas party on Friday, It's going to be one hectic weekend but luckily, pay day strikes too and it's the end of a 5 week wait for wages. Sounds good so far. The week ahead may also deliver a Kindle Fire HD but this time it's for me!

Work decided to give the operations section of the business an incentive to work hard. It was voted that a handful of people would receive a technology gift of their choice to the value of £100. I couldn't believe it when I actually managed to win one!

For some time I had been lamenting that my love of reading was falling by the wayside. It always seemed that there wasn't much time for it somehow. It was taking me months to read a book which at one time would have lasted me just one week. With my new Kindle, I hope to be able to dispel this habit because it will afford me the ability to read on the move without bent covers and dog-eared pages. I am especially pleased with the prize, not just because of the nature of it, because when my name was drawn and before it was voiced, the finance manager smiled and said 'she really deserves this'. Those words mean more to me than winning.

So, even though the everyday is nothing to shout about, it just goes to show that working hard pays off and your life is as good as you make it. It's been over a year since I finished uni and, even though it's been tough here and there, I feel that I am building something to be proud of by getting the experiences I need.

(and there are a few people I can thank for that!)

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Still waiting for Summer

It may have been hot today but it's not good hot. It's that uncomfortable stickiness which means you can't get very far without feeling very icky indeed. It was so warm that we contemplated going for a bike ride for all of 2 minutes before deciding it probably wasn't a good idea. We resorted to sit ups instead.

Yes, I'm trying to be healthier. I can't see much of a difference but that doesn't surprise me, I've been the same weight for a few years and it doesn't appear to shift very easily. I would just like to tone up, I'm not interested in becoming a size ten or anything like that.

It's all part of a new lifestyle I now have. It's very much like a uni lifestyle but without the lingering thought of coursework deadlines that need to be completed. I say it's like being a student again only because I'm living at Tom's house during the week and returning home on the weekend to see my family. This is how my three years at uni went down. Except, I can happily say that I no longer need to dread Saturday mornings and the additional working day added on the end of my week. I now have a 2 day weekend like everyone else and this is for the first time in six years, it still feels strange but I like it.

I am employed on a full time basis. This is obviously a major milestone for me but I am already eyeing up my next one. Driving. It's something I never really needed before. Whilst at college and uni I could get everywhere I needed to be on public transport or on foot within a reasonable time frame. This is starting to change.

I am limited as to what I can do and where I can go during the week. It's easy to stay on the train into Manchester and spend the evening there but you have to stick around for a bit to make it worthwhile and
you need the money to entertain yourself. I have the option to go home from work when I need to because Stacey goes through Walkden every day but I don't like to take this for granted. It takes a while to get home on the bus.

My motivation for this summer is therefore to get as far with driving as I can and also try my best to stick on a healthy route. When Tom gets his student loan and can figure out his finances I may have a gym buddy, I sure hope we get to take it up! We'll just see where this summer takes us! The next time I post could be after I've been to Devon with the randomers so I should have plenty of stories if Newquay is anything to go by!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Kirsty 2012

I’m writing this using Microsoft Word because my connection to the internet has failed today. This means that I don’t know exactly when it was that I last posted, but I know that it was probably before Christmas.
We’re now in March and, once again, my situation has changed. I no longer work at Reed, it’s quite possible that I didn’t post whilst I was there either. I took on my first role with them as an Administrator back in October, the day before my 22nd birthday in fact. I did 5 days a week there from 10am-4pm. I was responsible for scanning candidate documentation and creating CVs using a bespoke system developed for the company; I also used to look for job leads so that the consultants could chase them up.

   Gradually, I gained more responsibilities which included chasing bounce back emails. They would be forwarded to me and I would ring the companies to try and establish why the details were wrong. This could be anything from a misspelt name to the recipient having left the company. It was always a challenge to try and establish who had taken their place; some people were unwilling to reveal that kind of information. Towards the end of my internship, I was given the chance to help choose my successor. It was interesting for me to analyse a CV, I was looking for the qualities I felt a person would need to undertake my work. During my time there I saw a large quantity of CV’s. It gave me an insight into how different people present them and it also helped me to realise what goes in to making a good one.

Back in the September, I had applied for quite a few positions. There were two which I really wanted. Reed was one of them and I also pursued an email from my university who were advertising on behalf of a company in Warrington; they wanted a Graduate Marketing Assistant.

Since the final careers talk we had at university (which will now be about a year ago!) I had wanted to go into PR or Marketing. I was disheartened to learn that many of these positions required me to have a degree in Business. I even lost faith that my English degree would find me a job in the field I wanted. This frustrated me because the ladies in the career talk specifically said that creative writing is a huge part of marketing itself, which I could see in the example job descriptions they gave us.

When I opened the email from Edge Hill about the Marketing Position, I was ecstatic to read a job specification which detailed my core strengths exactly. It involved copy writing and social media marketing which I just knew I’d love.

The first time I had contact from the company in Warrington, I was a couple of weeks into my internship with Reed. I was reading my emails on the bus home when I saw a message from the man I had contacted about the marketing position a few weeks earlier. He asked me if I was still interested in the position, I felt my heart sink as I had to inform him that I was occupied; though I hastened to add that I would be free in January; I knew that recruitment wasn’t for me from pretty early on.

When January came, I made it my first port of call to message him again. I was told that they would be in touch via email if they felt that I would be suitable to work with his team. I checked my Hotmail and Google Mail account daily on my phone in hope that I would see a message.

   One morning, Tom was at my house and we had planned to go to Manchester and meet Rachel. I checked my Gmail account whilst getting ready but, again, no emails showed. I was starting to get suspicious of my phone because I knew I had emails from the company on the account but even they weren't showing up. Something made me turn on my laptop. I found a message on Hotmail from the company asking if I had received an interview request! Panicking, I loaded Gmail where I found the request. I was thrilled until I realised that it was scheduled for that day, half an hour from the time at that moment, well, I have never freaked out quite so much in my life. 

  Luck was with me though; I raced to the top of the stairs and shouted Mum who was on a day off work.
We all jumped in the car and Tom directed Mum to Warrington. On the way, I phoned the company apologising and told them I was en route.

   When we got there I ran to what I thought was the front door, but it was just for show. A sign pointed me to the rear of the building. I had to run round the block and even jump a couple of knee-high walls to get to the main entrance. I tried to compose myself going up the stairs but I was shaking as I made it to reception. Fortuitously, they weren’t quite ready for me, despite the fact that I had arrived twenty minutes later than I should have done. I had ten minutes to calm down.
   I was taken into a meeting room to have my interview, it was with the man I had contacted and his assistant came too. I tried my best to demonstrate my experiences from Knives Forks and Spoons and tie them together with the office work I had completed at Reed.
   When I was back in the car returning home, I could think of nothing else. I kept thinking over what I had talked about and remembering things I felt I could have said which would have really put me in good light. This didn’t help the situation, I drove Tom doolally all the way home and again on the bus into Manchester. I had told Rachel that I had to make a dash to Warrington and that we would meet her ASAP afterwards. I enjoyed the day but my mind was elsewhere. All I can remember now is that we went to Wetherspoons in the Printworks and I spent a bit longer with Rachel after Tom went to work on the bus from town.
  Back at home I checked my emails again. I couldn’t contain my glee when I saw a message from the assistant asking me to start a week later!
  In that week, Tom and I visited his parents in Cumbria. It was my one and only week between jobs and his last of the Christmas break. Whilst we were there, his mum worked for two of the days. We took this as an opportunity to explore on our own using public transport. We went as far as Ulverston, Barrow and Kendal. We also participated in their weekly quiz which we very nearly won.

   So, I’m now an intern again. I am in my eighth week doing 9-5 in Warrington and I love it! Living in Cadishead with Tom during the week, I catch the train in Irlam which goes straight through to Central station. I still work at Tesco on a Saturday. It’s a bit knackering but I have got to keep hold of it, just in case I still need it in a few weeks’ time. Fingers crossed I won’t. It’s much too easy to get excited and I have to keep telling myself that I have no guarantee of a job. I know I am better off not getting my hopes up.

   There, I am in charge of three Business Twitter Accounts and I write and proofread content which the designers implement into their work. In the last couple of weeks I have also adopted Quality Control where I check through the websites to make sure they are up to scratch before they are released.

   I like to squeeze in blogs for each company in between and am enjoying learning on the job. I get to employ my language skills in copywriting and proofreading and I also enjoy learning new things. I am impressed with the open nature of the team; if we have ideas on how to improve the daily processes, they are always up for considering how to apply new concepts. I have seen this with the development of Quality Control; I used the system, identified any short comings and helped to suggest features which would aid the process.

   I love being able to see Tom for a few hours on a daily basis! I’m waiting for him at the moment and I’m looking forward to chilling out with him before bedtime.