Rambles, rants and raves

A lot of opinions spilling out of my brain


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A rant on a stupid image

Stupid QuoteI saw this image on Piccsy.com about three days ago and it annoyed me so much that I have had to write a blog post on it. Reading it, you may not see where my anger lies and my annoyance may say more about me than it does about the damn image but I need to get this off my chest before it makes me yell at someone who doesn’t deserve it.

My issue comes with the second line. The first line is fine: ‘don’t ignore your dreams’ – a beautiful sentiment and one I fully support but the second line makes a judgement on those dreams. ‘Don’t work too much’ sums up in four lovely words what is wrong with so much in today’s world.

Firstly, it indicates that work cannot be a dream. That your dreams can not surround the working world or any sort of professional accomplishment because, after all, to achieve said professional accomplishment working hard is exactly what you need to do.This then ties in to the mentality that work is crap and you only do it for the money. This may be true for many people, but it removes aspiration and inspiration. It means a person will never want to grow professionally because they feel it is just means to an end. But the truth is that you spend most of your adult life working, if you can’t be happy at work and feel like you can grow then you won’t be happy at work and you won’t do as well. It means you won’t progress and that mood will affect your personal life. It means happiness can never be properly attained because you don’t feel properly fulfilled. Basically, in my opinion, it’s a ridiculous way to live.

To rule out work as a means to an end is the same as ruling out living in a home because you spend more time out of it. Sounds stupid right?

To finish this pointless quote with ‘Be Happy’ further tries to push the point that to be happy you should spend your life playing around, being so outspoken you’re classed as rude and spending time with your friends. Happiness is a lot of things and work should not be dismissed as something that can make people happy. Doing this just enforces a lazy culture of wanting something for nothing and that the easy road is the best one.

Work does not have to be tiresome, boring and a dark tunnel. Work can be stimulating, enjoyable and fulfilling. It can be the cause of happiness and for some people, there reason for happiness.

Many people already see work as a chore when they should see it as an opportunity to be better, get better and do better. Stupid, pointless, ridiculous quotes like this subliminally enforce the message and that is why this picture has infuriated me so. It is not inspiring, and just because a few short sentences are placed prettily on top of a beautiful background does not make them so, especially when the best you can do is ‘Be Happy’ – aw thanks genius – I wasn’t sure what to do with my life until I saw this.

 


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Everyone says: ‘you’ve got to find what you like’

I’ve been debating an issue (in my head, naturally) for a little while. The issue is if you need to love what you do. It’s the career advice I’ve been told since I was 15. Only recently have I actually stepped back and looked at what was being said. (That sentence requires a little imagination but stay with me. I’m tired and I want to get this off my chest).

“Find what you love and it’ll never feel like work.”

That’s the one piece of consistent advice that was said to me from the ages of 15 to now by all sorts of people and articles. It’s a superficially great piece of advice. It’s also slightly ridiculous and not necessarily true.

First, not everyone feels that a successful career results in life fulfilment. Some people feel that as long as a job provides them with money to do what they want then that’s all they need. After all, who says a career needs to be everything?

Admittedly I’m aiming to do the whole what I love thing. Mainly because I’ve wanted to do it for so long, also because I think I’d be good at it and because I can’t really imagine doing anything else.

Still, this advice that has followed me for at least six years of my life probably goes a little way to explaining why I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.

I want to travel, live a little like a nomad and see the world and I want to write and tell people about things they don’t know or need to know about. It’s pretty simple. I also want a nice house and at least two dogs and a cat. Maybe even a house rabbit that grows to the size of a crawling human baby. To have that costs money. Journalism isn’t really known for the high pay cheques especially when you’re just beginning as a lowly roving reporter like me.

In today’s society there is definitely a much stronger focus on academia and a career. Because of the stress, commitment and time needed for said career, the only advice given to remedy this complete and utter focus on work is to do what you love.

This results in 15 year olds being asked: “so what do you want to do?” As they feel a little awkward and not knowing, people quickly answer “Oh, you’re too young to know now anyway.” Yet it’s an expectation. A ‘regular’, more elite career is looked at with impressiveness and if you answer with an ambition to the question of “what do you want to do?” People dismiss it and remind you you’ll need a job for that.

Work is seen as a chore unless it’s something you love. Not a great way to promote employment.

Well duh. Obviously you need a job but it doesn’t have to be your life if you have other ambitions. You can decide to go into a career for the money rather than the passion for it and in doing so afford what it is you’re passionate about. Be that cars, holidays, houses, clothes, artwork – whatever.

Doing what you love makes sense to me, it means I will constantly feel driven to do well and to do better. I have a lot of dreams and although some of them require a bit of money (almost cried writing that lie, bit of money is playing it down way too much) I am not driven by those £s enough for that to give me enough of a drive.

For others it’s different. I have a few friends and family that have chosen extremely successful and satisfying careers that they do not necessarily love but allows them to live a life that they do love. That sounds pretty awesome too.

A career doesn’t have to be everything in a person’s life. Doing something as a way of living a life that you want to live is just as amazing as having a career that you are passionate about.

As long as you are living your life your way then nothing else really does matter. There’s no such thing as ‘true, complete and utter’ freedom (that’s a blog post for another time) but that’s the closest we’ll ever get to it.


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Brain Fart: I surrender

I have written nine different types of blog post. From these nine I have written at least seven drafts of each type of blog post (with various subjects). Each of these posts varied in length, some I didn’t get passed three sentences. Others were almost finished and hundreds of words long. All were doomed to go into the trash and be wiped clean from their virtual existence. That’s a lot of effort with nothing to show for it.

Thinking about it frustrates me because I have effectively written sixty three different posts, hated them, and thrown them away. In that time I could have trained myself to become either an international spy, a ninja, or written a novel. Roughly speaking.

That, I can tell you with much sadness, is the result of a brain fart.

This is a brain fart. The only difference is that my brain looks frustrated, tired, and nowhere near as happy at such a moment. But this was the best picture I could find. Oh well. (http://arthurdailies.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/brain-fart_76.html)

Your brain tries, fails, self implodes, tries, fails, self implodes until it can not do anymore and a post like this comes out.

Today I have spent most of my time working my brain, more than should be allowed on a weekend. I have been studying for my course like any awesome student should. I have also been trying to blog whenever inspiration struck me today. Inspiration was a little elusive this Saturday and it’s now 8pm and my fingers and brain have not been able to work together to type up something at least a teeny bit interesting.

I blame the beginning of my course, the endless job applications and thinking of new ways to get employers to give me work experience (more on that another time) and all the shorthand, which is effectively another language (a rant on that will be more than likely in the near future). Oh and the boy arrived yesterday so my brain is just pooped from all the emotions and work it has been through in such a short amount of time. I think it was a shock to the system after a pretty laid back summer.

I guess it’s true: too much work and no play will make my brain crappy. Is that how it goes? No? Well, something along those lines.

This is my official surrender to my brain fart. I am waving the metaphorical white flag. It’s fine, whatever, I don’t even care.

This is my deal: I’ll give my lovely little neuron filled grey matter a rest tonight. I will eat cheesecake, make the most of the rest of tonight relaxing with the boy, possibly play the wii and watch my mum and the boy sob as I destroy them on it, and tomorrow I will be fresh as a daisy to work on journalism things, blog things and work things.

It’s a great deal. Please take it.


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A working day in London in numbers

Original image considering the post right? i kid, I wanted a cartoon of people stuck together like sardines in the tube but I couldn’t find one.

One very early morning

Three stupid drivers

Hundreds of raindrops for five minutes

Thousands of raindrops for ten minutes

No raindrops

Twenty empty seats on the underground carriage

Fifteen empty seats

Ten empty seats

No empty seats and thirteen standing people

No smiling faces

One kissing couple

Four loud men

One smiling face

Two stepped on feet

Lots of research

Millions of head nods

Seven handshakes

One of the most expensive lunches I will ever have

Two lovely phone calls

One quick walk

Four stops

One change

One weird man knocking on the window to  get my attention

Two banged heads when the people opposite fell asleep on each other

Four energetic children that made me sleepy just watching them

Twenty six pages read

One huge puddle to walk through to get to my car

Three speed cameras

Forty five minutes stuck in traffic

One arsehole driver

Two honking cars

One idiot driving on the wrong side of the road

Thirty two swearwords shouted

Nine songs sang out loud to calm down

Thirteen shopping bags filled with food packed into the car picking my mum up on the way home

One lovely conversation with someone I love

One hundred and ninety six words written…and counting

One piece of good news

Four unexpected days sooner than we thought

Three hundred and thirty four I love you’s

Three hundred and twenty seven I miss you’s

Thirty minutes of The Simpsons

Eleven yawns

One skype call before bed

Sixty six tears

Eight hours sleep (if there are no nightmares or confusion of an empty bed)

One exhausting day

One tired girl


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This is a title

This is a blog post. You are a person reading this blog post; you may be skimming through or reading every word as carefully as it was written. You may be letting these words wash over you or may be letting them sink under the skin to settle.

I am a girl. I’m trying to become a journalist. Right now, according to society, I am a nobody. My box according to the world would be ‘graduate: potential journalist.’ I’m sitting in my garden lacking inspiration, being frustrated at continuos application forms and cover letters that need to be filled out or written, all essentially wanting to know who I am. What I can do for them. What makes me special.

How can I explain something like that? How can I summarise in a letter or a box that allows for only 200 words that I should be hired above the other hundreds of applicants? Where do I even begin?

I am like everybody else. Because everybody else is trying to be different and I am trying to be different. We’re all trying so hard to stand out and get ahead that we all end up on the same start up line. We are united in wanting to be individuals. There are only so many words that can be used to describe myself, even obscure words are in limited number. A language, although constantly evolving, is not quite infinite. So how can you show you are more hard working, more passionate, more determined than everyone else if there are only a certain amount of words to use and everyone else uses them too?

The thing with applications, CVs and cover letters is that attempting to make them stand out to a company that probably sees thousands of these documents a year, makes the task very, very hard. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible of course. Nothing is impossible.

I received all the documents for my journalism course starting in September. They mentioned work experience and I know that you just can’t stop trying. It doesn’t matter if you’re being boxed in and labelled as whatever hole it is that society is trying to mould you into.

It is what it is. You are what you are. The words you put on the paper are much like the words I’m typing into this blog post. They could be skimmed over, ignored, read over and appreciated. Either way it’s a hit and miss thing when you’re writing something to someone that has never met you and doesn’t know you. The best thing to do is keep trying, you’ll get someone that really does let your words sink in and sit in their brain. They’ll be the ones that will see the difference in your overused words on an application form. They’ll feel the emotion behind the typing (hard to do but it’s true) rather than just take the words at face value. They’ll have mastered reading between the lines and if they feel that you’re different, even though we’re all the same, just trying to be different. Then that’ll be the moment. The one you’ve been waiting and working for. The moment that changes things, that creates ripples.

We’re just people. These are just words. It’s all trying very hard to stand out and still to connect with someone.


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CV Writing

Exciting title for this blog post right? Well I was inspired by, as you may have already guessed, writing my own CV. My CV isn’t even what you may consider a boring CV, I mean there is stuff to read on there in terms of work experience etc. It’s not a CV in desperate need of pumping out. It is readable. Yet, I find it dull. It’s because I’ve read a lot of other CVs; from exemplar ones to my friend’s ones to CVs that belong to people that have been in a career for quite a while. They all read the same. My question is simple: how can you tell which one is special?

Obviously here I’m classing my CV and my skills as special. They’re not, but if I have no confidence in my ability and in my knowledge of being able to do something and do it well then I’m doomed.

The trick to writing a CV is to make it as easy as possible for you reader/ prospective employer. It’s not like writing a novel where you keep building tension to the climax of your story. It’s more similar to writing an article for a daily newspaper where you need to keep your audience reading until the end, inform them of everything that they need to know without filling their brains with useless information. A CV is even faster though. You basically hand over your bones whilst telling your prospective employer: “Look at these! They’re good, strong bones; they can handle anything you throw at them, they are there for your moulding if you so wish but they can do it alone too.”

What an employer needs is someone who understands. I think when people are applying for jobs, they miss this very important thing. If you can show an understanding for a job, then you’re not only showing that you’ve read the job description. You’re also showing that you have taken the time to read it, understand it and tailor everything including a CV to said job. You’re showing that you can do it on your own and fit the mould of a perfect employee for the employer. You’re showing that this application for this job matters because it is tailored for the job. You want it.

That makes a good CV and a good application. Add a little colour, some easy to spot and read titles and you’re showing your employer how easy you can make their life. You’re more likely to get a callback and an interview for a job if your CV is neat, organised, informative without having too much information. Think of a CV as an instruction manual to your ability working in a certain company.

Thinking about it, a CV isn’t necessarily where you’re going to shine brightest. The CV, like much in life, is a stepping stone to getting you an interview. Once you’ve cinched that then you can go all out in the interview: then you can shine.

Many companies now are still using CVs and an additional cover letter and application form so this advice still stands and it is still important to keep a CV updated as often as you can. Many companies, however, do insist on online applications and nothing else: advice still stands as far as I’m concerned. When writing a CV or filling out an application, your goal is to get an interview. That’s the focus. From there you could get the job, and who knows where that could lead you?


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A naughty post at work!

I am quickly typing this while at work when I should be doing other things. I could not resist the lure of wordpress and I feel bad for neglecting the blog I love so much. My heart is currently beating so loud, hard and fast that I am afraid the whole office can hear it; and soon it will jump straight out of my chest and flee, the panic of me doing something wrong is so overwhelming that my heart cannot take it.

I am starting to sweat and I’m pretty sure I did not put enough deodrant on to be able to sustain not smelling badly due to these nervous sweats (the worst kind). My punctuation and grammar have gone out of the window but through fear of being caught blogging I must try my hardest to ignore the shooting synapses yelling at me to add a full stop and include a comma!

My chest is now tight from the tension of it all. The office is quiet apart from my ever increasing speedy typing. I am scared someone suspects that I am not doing work. I work in an open plan office so there is no hiding any wrong doing. I keep looking over my shoulder in an obvious manner but I can’t stop. My head hurts from me turning around so often and my shoulders ache from being raised high in my bid to cover the screen with as much of my body as possible.

I hear footsteps. Please God don’t let it be my boss. I have actually stopped breathing…it wasn’t my boss phew. I let out a massive sigh and disguise it (pretty well I think) as a cough. I can’t take this suspense and nerves that come from me blogging instead of working. It’s too tense. My chest hurts, I’ve just twisted my neck muscles with my attempts at being an owl and doing a 360 to monitor my surroundings.

When I am able to spare a moment to find access to the internet on campus I will hopefully give you a lovely post and an apology, as soon as I can. The internet man comes on the 2nd, so in about two weeks. Normal blogging will resume then.

This tension, fear and nervousness has made me feel drained. I am defintely not made to do wrong. Blogging is defintely worth it though…