Inform. Inspire. Innovate

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Career Series; Finding that dream job

We all want a job that makes you want to jump out of bed on a Monday morning and sprint to the office right? Okay maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, it is work after all (I for one would rather be sipping cocktails on a beach), but my point is, we spend most of our lives working, yet a lot of people get stuck into jobs/careers they don't want to be in and have no passion for, but why should it be that way? 


Yes, okay, I was one of the lucky ones. I found something I had a passion for at a really young age. I was 13/14 when I decided I wanted to work in events, so it's literally been for as long as I can remember. I've worked my whole life for it, and now I have it. Sure there's been big bumps on on the way but nothing worth having comes without a fight. 



I know not everyone is that lucky, so I want to inspire people to take the plunge, look into new avenues, new careers, and find their dream job. I am no expert at all, but these are just my suggestions from my own experience as well as from my friends/family.

My top tips for finding your dream job are:
- Assess your current situation
- Sign up to recruitment agencies
- Work out your USP
- Grow your confidence
- Research, Network, Repeat
- Be proactive



Your Current Situation

The first step on the road to your dream career is to determine how you feel about your current situation, and then you can decide what to do about it. I created the diagram below with a couple of key questions I think everyone should ask themselves. 




I'm not telling everyone to quit their job right now and fulfil their lifetime dream of being a dolphin trainer, but there's no harm in researching, signing up to some recruitment agencies, asking friends/family for advice or career inspiration. Use your hobbies and skills to investigate relevant careers. 

Recuitment Agencies

Recruitment agencies are brilliant, they do all the work for you and most of the time you don't even need to reply. Of all the time I've been looking for work, I've never got anywhere with applying for jobs myself, everything has always come from a recruitment agency. All I've done is turn up for the interview - it's their job to find your dream job remember! Look out for agencies that specialise in your industry too as they usually have the best contacts for employers. For example if you're looking for a job in the events industry, check out Live Recruitment. (Little thanks to Live for helping me get my current job!)

Your USP (unique selling point)

Chances are, for every position you will be up against competition. The key to getting noticed/being asked to interview/getting the job, is having an edge over the competition. It's business at the end of the day. 

What do you have that other people don't? What have you done that other people haven't? What can you be doing now to improve your USP? 

Things I've always found help me stand out from the crowd are: my blog, my Avon franchise business, charity work, examples of work outside work e.g I organise events outside work for the blogger community.

Confidence

The biggest barrier to your dream is you. I know we all make excuses for sticking in our jobs because 'it's safe/comfortable' whatever it may be, but we need to start believing in ourselves and our abilities, and that's the only way you'll see change happen. 

Tell yourself you can do it and be confident in your abilities and your passion for whatever industry you're trying to break. If you can do 80% of a job description, still go for the job, show them you're willing to learn how to do the rest. Go for a job that you may not be qualified for...what's the worst that can happen?

Research, Network, Repeat

Speak to people, anyone, anywhere about what you want and where you want to go and you never know who you will bump into. For example I've met people at the blogger events I organise who want to get into the industry so I've given them pointers and suggested companies to try. It's not what you know it's who you know, quite a lot of the time. You could mention to someone you're looking for an internship in fashion for example, and that person might know someone who is looking.

Take business cards everywhere and take the opportunity to ask people around you for advice. If you're going to a blog event and you know someone there works in an industry you'd like to try make sure you find them and speak to them about it. Maybe drop them a note beforehand to say you'd love to chat. Don't be afraid to ask questions, most people love being asked about work that they enjoy.

Be Proactive

Don't believe that there are no jobs out there. There is. And if you can't find a perfect job, what's the harm in emailing a few companies you'd love to work with telling them exactly that! You never know if they're thinking about recruiting but haven't got round to it, or maybe they'll create a job especially for you - trust me it happens, I've been there! 

Don't blanket email companies because you won't get anywhere. Research the company, what they do, their clients and tailor your email accordingly. Follow them on social media (if your account is appropriate for work content!) and reply to their tweets so they are aware of you. Obviously there is a fine line of bombardment - someone at Uni used to tweet Richard Branson every single day asking to meet to talk about a business idea... be realistic!

Financial situation and time permitting, you could ask to do some work experience with a company you love, it may not be paid but it's great for your CV and gives you a foot in the door.

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I hope some of these tips will help you find your dream job, next up in the series I'll be taking about the most important part - how to get the dream job including lots of interview tips!

Love Lauren


*keep dreaming*








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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Hot Hair Blogger Event

Okay so this post is super late but with everything going on at the moment, I just haven't had time to sit down and write anything other than post titles!

Last month I attended a fabulous event at the Renaissance St Pancras hosted by Hot Hair. Hot Hair specialise in hair extensions/pieces/wigs, you can read more about them and their products here. I have worked with them in my past, when they very kindly sent me the Brianna 3/4 hair piece. I absolutely love the wig so make sure you check out my full review here.

Firstly, the event manger in me needs to congratulate Hot Hair on such a great venue choice. If you haven't been to the Renaissance St Pancras, you have to, it's beautiful! If you ever get the chance, check out the Royal Suite, it's to die for - literally. 

Before the event I met with the Hotel manager and Director of sales for a show round. If you ever come to a hotel with me, be prepared to be left in the bar while I scope out potential venues for my future events. 

The event was held in the Billiard room which turned out to be a great size for the numbers. When we arrived there were canap├ęs and drinks with all the beautiful hair pieces laid out around the sides of the room. There were loads of staff around to give us some advise and tell us about the products which I always love. 




Okay so apologies for the lack of photos, I'd come straight from work and had 10 million bags to carry!

The event overall was great, Hot Hair were so incredibly generous giving everyone a hair piece to keep. I passed on this as I felt bad because I already had one at home but in hindsight I wish I'd tried a brunette one - I've never been anything but blonde all my life! That would have given everyone a shock, including myself - there's always next time!

The event was a great chance to catch up with my lovely blogger friends, it was great to see Jenny, Sam, Laura & Tanya again, and also meet Leah and Kara for the first time! 

There was also a great raffle with some beautiful prizes and a very generous goody bag which was completely unexpected. 

Thanks so much to Hot Hair for organising such a fabulous event and also to all the brands who gifted items for the goody bag. Look out for reviews on them coming up soon!


Love Lauren xx

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Monday, 27 April 2015

20 Things I Hate About The Tube

Photo from Google Images


1. People who push and push just to step on the train first

2. People who have no concept of personal space - specifically referring to the men that have used my head as a leaning post. Not even joking. And it's happened on more than one occasion

3. Giant newspapers. Yeah I love getting swiped in the face every time some selfish person wants to turn the page

4. People who don't hold on to anything because they're too busy reading their giant newspapers then fall all over everyone whenever the train moves - which is a lot funnily enough

5. People who dive on to the train and squish you like a sardine. Pretty sure there's another train 2 minutes behind mate

6. Men who try and chat you up. Just no.

7. People who sit in my seat. Yes I'm not kidding about this one. I sit in the same seat, on the same train every single day. I should be having my name engraved by now

8. Trains that don't turn up. Because I love paying £2.5k a year for a shitty service

9. Backpacks. Why do so many people have them. Why do they insist on wearing them and taking up valuable people space. Why do people not realise when they're moving and fidgeting knocking everyone else out around them like skittles!

10. Suitcases. They should be banned during rush hour. Period.

11. Large groups of school children. This is not the time nor the place. Whatever happened to a good old fashioned coach trip?

12. Tourists. International and domestic. Just generally people who don't know where they're going to spend the time dawdling, standing in the middle of walkways trying to read a map, walking the wrong way and moaning about how 'all these London commuters are in such a rush'

13. McDonald's or any other similar fast food on the train. I'm only jealous okay!!

14. When the train actually goes overground and I lose signal. So inconvenient. It's 2015, why is there not Wi-Fi everywhere - FOR FREE?!

15. When anything is happening at Wembley. It turns our lovely silent commuter train into a a rowdy hooligan filled party bus

16. People who stand literally on top of me giving me evils because I have a seat. Soz for getting on at the first stop...

17. People who faff around and don't get a move on getting on/off/finding their ticket/whatever it may be

18. The fact that it takes up 4 hours of my day, every day. Nothing that isn't fun should take up that amount of time.

19. People who think it's okay to put their bags on the seat. No it isn't by the way.

20. People. Just people in general.

I could go on forever but should probably stop now! I think I may continue this whole 20 things thing... ranting is fun, and I'm sure a lot of us share the pain of the tube/trains every day.

Love Lauren xx
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Monday, 20 April 2015

Career Guest Post; Working in Travel



Hello there!

I'm delighted to have been invited by Lauren to take part as a guest blogger for her series on Careers.

My name is Gemma and I can be found over at
Mccarthysbeautyreview. My blog consists of beauty and life style posts, please do come over and say hello sometime! I work as a Holiday Advisor within the retail travel industry, I call myself a travel agent! I have worked for an international travel company since I was 16 years old!

In this time I have worked my way through the ranks , I started as an apprentice travel advisor , I qualified after 2 years and worked as a holiday advisor. I then decided to transfer overseas as a holiday rep for almost 3 years. After my time overseas I came back as an assistant manager , until I took a year off to have my son. I then returned part-time as a holiday advisor, so I've gone full circle!

My current role is a customer facing role and I deal with people from all walks of life on a daily basis! It's my job to find and create every customers dream holiday and to put them in their "happy place".

I loving bringing a holiday to life for our customers to make sure it's the perfect holiday for them . My job has changed vastly over the years, especially in the last 3 years! It is predominantly a sales role, but experience in customer service, sales and an interest in travel will all help you along the way!

I have recruited many people over the years for this role. I find people with big bubbly personalities with a good sense of humour and that are used to working with the public do well in this role. I also find people who have travelled lots that have a passion for sharing knowledge and experience do really well.

One thing I love about my job is no two days are the same! Neither are any two customers come to think of it! I love talking to people and finding out all about their lives! I've built up a lovely customer base over the years , and what I love is that what ever branch I move to, they come with me! It's lovely that people trust me enough to involve me in their holiday plans every year!

As you can see with hard work, you can work your way up through the ranks. It's the kind of job that you must have a real passion for. It's not the kind of job where you clock on and off and go home and forget about it!

It's a sales role, and in some case a dream making role! I've never wanted to do anything else for a job so I guess you could say I'm staying put!

The best advice I can offer anyone wanting to get into the industry is you need to be passionate about travel! so get your head in books, and brochures, brush up that geography ! Think of things that are important to you when your on holiday! You need to be able to talk to people and make them feel at ease , so get practising those hand shakes and good mornings!

I can honestly say I get up every day and enjoy my job! I work with a great brunch of girls, and I love-making people dreams a reality!

Travel isn't for everyone, It's not the glamorous job that people think it is! It's hard work , targeted and very competitive, more now than ever thanks to the Internet. But if I was sat in that careers office aged 15 again , knowing what I do now, I would still apply for that travel apprenticeship. You spent too much time at work to not enjoy , or even better love what you do!

If you have any questions about my job I'd be more than happy to answer them if I can, please feel free to get in touch!

Thanks for reading and thank you Lauren for featuring my role.

Gemx

 
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For advice on working in the travel industry, Gemma would love to help you. 

If you'd like to post about your career, please let me know! 


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Sunday, 12 April 2015

Green smokey eyes with Yves Rocher*

I will completely hold my hands up to say, I'm  creature of habit; in all aspects of my life. If I like a restaurant, I'll go back because I know it's a safe bet, same with destinations, hotels, venues... you get the picture. I've always been the same with my make up too, so as part of my 2015 'sort of resolutions' (you can read it here) I vowed to be more experimental with products and brands. 

When I was offered the chance to review some Yves Rocher products, I instantly said yes as I've never tried any products from their make up range before so I thought it would be a great start. 



I was lucky enough to receive: 
Quad Eyeshadow Sumptuous Quad in Dazzling Green
Intense Kajal 100% in Black
Volume Vertige Mascara in Black
Fixing Eyelid Primer


Quad Eyeshadow Sumptuous Quad in Dazzling Green






They say: 
"Yves Rocher is reinventing the smoky eye with its new eyeshadow combinations featuring four effects for endless customized options. Easy to apply, the ultra-soft and fine textures of the Quad Eyeshadow Sumptuous Colour blend into the skin for perfect coverage. Result: flawless hold and pure radiant colours that don't move or change giving you a perfect look. Used dry, the ultra-pigmented tones reveal shimmering, satin or matte effects. Used wet, the shimmer and satin turn metallic, and the matte becomes dense for a more intense and sophisticated look. Mixed, superimposed and always in perfect"

I say:
The tone of colours are perfect for creating a smokey eye look with a pop of colour. Anyone who knows me will know I never (ever ever) wear anything on my eyes that isn't black/charcoal/grey of any other shade of black so this was a good transition for me. The colours blend perfectly were long lasting which is always a bonus. I've had a look on their website and the other Quad's available are so so beautiful I've already decided which one I'll buy next!

Would I repurchase: Yes!

Intense Kajal 100% in Black


 


They say:
"Eyes highlighted in luminous colour. This spring, Yves Rocher unveils the key to your powers of seduction: a creamy, intensely pigmented Kajal in 6 trendy, beguiling shades for a captivating look."

say:
Black eyeliner - my forte. I would never leave the house without it and I think I've tried nearly everything on the market before settling on my holy grail. I was massively intrigued by this product simply down to the design of it. I was slightly scared that I was going to press it to my eyelid and the whole thing would snap off but it worked perfectly. The pointed tip gave great precision which is so important when it comes to eyeliner. It looked so great once it was applied but I have to admit it didn't last as long as my holy grail eyeliner. I'd love to try the other shades though!

Would I repurchase: Yes

Volume Vertige Mascara in Black


 They say:
"The unique combination of the Reservoir© Brush which releases the perfect amount of mascara to maximise volume,and the formula enriched with a fixing botanical extract, leaves your lashes looking sensational."

I say:
This mascara definitely lives up to all it's claims. Mascara is spread evenly over lashes and I'd definitely put it in the 'lengthener' category as well as a volumiser. It doesn't make my lashes feel thick and stiff either which is a bonus for me as I hate that feeling!

Would I repurchase: Yes


Fixing Eyelid Primer


They say:
"Smoother eyelids, more intense colours. Enriched with Camellia oil, this eyelid primer smoothes and fills wrinkles and fine lines. Your eye shadow remains in place and its colour stays more radiant longer."

I say:
I probably didn't give this product enough time to settle in but I found it creased the eye shadow and didn't go on as smoothly as it did when I didn't use it. 

Would I repurchase? No


Overall Opinion

Below is the look I created with these products. I'm so in love with the eye shadow Quad and mascara, and will definitely be repurchasing them, and I'm already looking forward to trying out a different colour. Definite recommendation. 

Seeing as this was the first time in my memory I haven't worn pure black eye makeup, I was genuinely pleased with the results. Think it's time to experiment more, thanks Yves Rocher!! 



*PR Sample - all views are my own and were not influenced 

Love Lauren xx

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