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WERK WERK WERK: Put em in the dirt.

This is my third draft today. I wanted to write a list of sassy girlboss quotes because I feel like I could take over the World today, but then I realised we all have Pinterest for that. So here’s an old post I hand wrote on the train to Plym a couple months ago, accompanied by a McDonald’s and sat next to a man reading his bible.

This January, I started a new job and with it, the realisation that I’m on countdown to being a full-time working gal for two whole years. The notion of this both makes me sound like a legit adult, whilst simultaneously want to run back under my duvet to hide and pretend that life doesn’t exist.

My legit full-time job count has hit a grand total of 3. A number that’s probably pretty scary for one of those frumpy careers advisors who tell you that a job is for life. Mine didn’t even understand the concept of working in fashion or that a ‘Fashion Buyer’ didn’t just mean I wanted to go shopping full time, so there’s that.

The rollercoaster of jobs have provided me with my fair share of tears and lols, so here’s a list of my ‘learns’ for all of you in this ‘not sure what I’m doing with my life’ shaped boat:

      1. You will believe you can take over the world on a daily / weekly basis.
        Know something your manager didn’t? Finish everything on that epic to-do list? Gurl, you’re killing it.Point 1
      2. You will cry.
        At your desk, in the toilets, to your boss in a meeting, maybe just a private tear shed at home. Work. Is. Tough.Crying
      3. Polite conversation rules:
        Monday – Tuesday: How was your weekend?
        Wednesday: Jesus, this week has felt long. / Weekend soon!
        Thursday – Friday: What are your plans this weekend?
        At all times: The temperature of the office.
        REPEAT.
      4. You will fantasise about throwing your keyboard at your bosses head. 
        Because your inner sass queen has to be unleashed some time, right?
        sass queen
      5. You will become ever more creative with your excuses for being late.
        I got sucked down the plughole when I was showering and had to climb my way out? That’s definitely why my hair still hasn’t dried.
        FullSizeRender
      6. Free office snacks are THE ONE.
        Let alone blagging a free dinner – THE DREAM.
        free pizza
      7. You will have a work husband / wife.
        The Tina Fey to your Amy Poehler, you’re the comedy Kings and Queens of the office.
        sisters
      8. You’ll find the best hiding places to text / watch tv / snapchat.
        Because nobody has time for 110% concentration all day. Unless a potential new employer is reading this… If so, please erase this point from your memory.
      9. At some point, there will be major work dramz.
        From people getting fired, to redundancy to your start-up not getting funding. You’ll never be prepared and it’ll probably happen when you’re on holiday.
      10. Meetings.
        You’ll flip between loving that they’re a waste of an hour to loathing not being at your desk and actually being productive.
        family guy work
      11. The pure joy of achieving something is beyond expectation.
        And it’ll sound like no biggie to anyone you tell. (If they’re good friends, they’ll still pretend to be interested / impressed that your tweet went viral, you made a snazzy spreadsheet or that you tidied your desk.)
        achievement
      12. Endorsements on LinkedIn are somehow addictive.
        And are also my new favourite joke. Good at snacking? Endorse me on LinkedIn or it doesn’t count, bbz.
      13. You’ll fantasise about leaving, but the thought of applying for jobs is too much. 
      14. The salad days.
        No matter how ready you feel you were to move on, you’ll always look back on the lolz, your work family and the perks with a rose-tinted shade of fondness. And then reality hits when you remember all those times you wanted to shut your head in the photocopier out of sheer rage.
        work

Peace out,
SJW x

 

 

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The Life of a Working Woman

I’ve finally got around to a new blog post!

The big announcement: I’m now employed!! Still technically homeless, but we’ll discuss that one later…

The job offer was all a bit of a whirlwind; it took four days to go from unemployed to having that holy grail of a job offer. I found out I had an interview the day before it was supposed to happen and had to travel four hours to London that evening… I then stayed on my brother’s sofa for two nights and therefore woke up on my 21st birthday on a sofa and had to travel back home for 4 hours that day. It was all a bit too wild and glamourous for even me to handle. Since that last blog post I hope that those of you looking for jobs have also had some luck! And as if anyone needs proof that the job market is competitive, I recently found out that 180 people applied for my role… The mind boggles.

So how is it being a working lady? If I had to sum it up in one word: TIRING. SO FRIGGING TIRING. I’m starting to think that my only contribution to a conversation can be about how tired I am! I’m generally working 9ish hour days, sometimes longer. I get home, I eat, I talk about how tired I am, I sleep. Repeat.

If there’s one thing which I really wasn’t prepared for, it’s the lack of time to just do stuff for yourself. From everything to painting your nails, going shopping, to that dreaded life admin. I’m currently in the middle of sorting out moving house and I feel like I’m trying to work two jobs at once I have so much to sort out. So you may be wondering where I’m living at the moment and to be quite frank, I’m happily homeless. I’ve loved the awkward responses and confused faces when people at work have asked me that. So due to the rather rushed job offer, one of my friends, let’s call her The Big Bell, said I could stay in her room for a bit (y’know to keep me off the streets ). So we’ve been sharing her room (and bed) for basically a month now. It feels like we’re a married couple; we have sides of the bed, we wake each other up in the morning and sometimes have breakfast in bed, we put Cher on very loudly and dance around the room (probably shouldn’t admit that one). Luckily we’ve both been busy so she hasn’t realised she hates me just yet. Genuinely though, massive shout out to The Big Bell for letting me stay, I appreciate it so much. And if you try to tell me that your friends are better than mine, I’d just like to let you know that you’re wrong. The Big Bell is the one.

I guess you also might be wondering what I actually do. My job role is Marketing and Events at a fashion app. It’s still pretty new but has been backed by the same venture capitalists as ASOS and Nasty Gal, so yeah, pretty cool hey. My job is pretty varied, from helping organising events, to co-managing the social media to designing the marketing materials. See my #cheeese picture below from when I was all proud of the roller banners I’d designed…

wpid-dsc_0333-1.jpg

It’s been an amazing opportunity so far and I’m excited to see what else it has in store for me. Next week I’ve got London Fashion Week to attend as I get to blog about it, so that’s pretty sweeeet.

Anyway, I’m sure you’re not really that interested in my life, so I’ll sign off now so you don’t all start snoozing.

SJW x

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Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, I’ve been busy with a couple of exams, which finally came to an end on Tuesday! I’ve now completed half of my degree and only have my dissertation to write, which seems so crazy, but if I’m honest I’ve realised that the end of university couldn’t come soon enough for me, maybe I’ll do a separate post on my thoughts on that, but honestly I’m excited for the opportunity for change that graduation will bring.

Anyway, I wrote this blog post yesterday whilst sat on a bus for the third time, going back into Central London yet again. I feel like I spent most of my day sat on the top deck, moving at about 2 miles per hour through the streets of London. As I’m sure most of you are aware, yesterday was the first day of a 48 hour tube strike, which is planned to repeat itself next week. As I mentioned, my exams are over so I actually had nowhere to be, but I wanted to be a culture vulture and go to the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, held at the National Portrait Gallery. It’s one of my favourite exhibitions every year; I find it really inspiring and some of the stories behind the photos are truly incredible. Highly worth a visit, but be quick as it’s in its last weeks.

I planned my journey so I could just get a straight bus and then a small walk, and quite frankly I’m not really going to complain about it. Yeah all my journey’s yesterday took a little longer and were busier than usual, but I had a seat and I also quite like buses as you can actually see the sights of London, rather than staring at a black tunnel. Apparently I’m not the only one, check out ‘From The Upper Deck’ by photographer Przemek Wajerowicz, (http://now-here-this.timeout.com/2014/02/06/in-pictures-see-london-from-the-upper-deck/). However, having said this, I am truly grateful I wasn’t commuting as obviously it just caused chaos during this time. Below are some of my favourite, most crazy pictures of the chaos the strike caused.

Stratford Underground Station was like this.

Queue Tube Strike

Stratford International and Bus Stop Queues; taken from http://www.buzzfeed.com/scottybryan/the-best-of-the-internets-reaction-to-the-tube-strike

I guess the strike should make people realise how reliant we are on the tube system; yeah we all complain about it (don’t even get me started on my hatred of the District Line), but really it’s an amazing transport system which needs continued investment to manage its upkeep and improvement. Usually I’m totally against Tube Strikes, as I feel the staff strike solely for improved pay, when it’s been well documented that they get well paid and get plenty of benefits. However, on this occasion the strike was in protest of the upgrade of the system leading to the closure of ticket offices. I’m unsure where I stand on my opinion on the strike, obviously I am behind them all the way if job losses are on the line; the staff are so important in the running of the tube. However, reading both sides of the argument, TFL argues that there will still be jobs for all that want to stay with London Underground; staff will be more visible instead of stuck in the offices, they just have to be willing to be ‘flexible’. So who knows how flexible, flexible is. In all honesty, it feels like the unions were quick to take action (there was a very low response rate to the strike ballot), but as with all contentious issues, communication is not great on either side. I guess it’s just going to be interesting to let the fun and games work themselves out.

Let’s just be grateful that London isn’t cut off from the world, unlike Devon. I’ve always said that the rail network into Devon is the slowest, most ridiculous thing. We still have those trains where you actually have to pull the handle to open the door; apparently electronic doors haven’t hit Devon and Cornwall yet!? Literally, the pressure to open that door in the quickest time possible is sometimes quite hard to handle (LOL, bad pun alert). However, due to bad weather Devon has literally been cut off from the world, with train tracks literally being left suspended in mid air, after the foundations have been washed away, see pictures below.

Pictures taken from: http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Minister-promises-look-alternative-rail-route-SW/story-20566246-detail/story.html?005

I swear this happens every time it rains quite heavily, you think they would actually do something to help prevent it. Like maybe not building the track directly next to the sea-front, or building a wall capable of defending a wave. Finally there has been news that there is some funding being given towards building better weather defences and the Government has said they will ‘consider’ alternative railway routes into the region. Really though, there is a desperate need to invest in the Devon / Cornwall rail network as a whole. As counties very reliant on the tourist trade, you think they might want to make it feel less like you’re travelling to the other side of the world when you decide to take a train to Devon. Easily accessible surely equals a boost to the economy, right? I literally have no clue how the people with power fail to see this.

What gets me every time on this matter is the fact that the Government has previously baulked at the £100 million price tag of improving the rail network into Devon, yet this is a fraction of the £30 billion being ploughed into the HS2 high speed link from London to the North. When they already have high speed connections to the North, this seems ridiculous. I swear it just feels more and more like the South West is falling off the edge of the Earth; in my hometown they are also closing the local airport. Don’t complain about a bad economy when people can’t even easily access the region.

If only the local paper could channel their dramatics into issues that matter, rather than posting (albeit hilarious) stories about the local shop chasing some poor lad who stole some condoms (my favourite comment on that story has to be ‘Must of been a posh date’, #stayclassyPlymouth) or a post about Wayne Rooney tuning in to Plymouth based TV channel God TV to take his mind off Manchester United’s loss.

All in all, let’s be grateful the London transport system isn’t down for the six weeks the railway into Devon is likely to be; I think Londoners would quite literally be going wild and killing eachother in rage by then.

SJW x

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The Pitch; tears, bird poo and pies.

Bit of a ‘Throwback Thursday’ type post, but I figured that because I harassed everyone on Facebook / Twitter / everyone I work with to vote for me, you might want to hear about what happened when I went to pitch for Slapdash at The Pitch a couple weeks back now.

The big day started with THE worst morning of my life. Woke up fine (miraculous at 6.50am), got ready and tottered out the door of my friend’s house in Bristol (who has the bed of my dreams, SO comfy and up a ladder, with a desk underneath. Incredible). Then the nightmare began.

I went to pay for my car parking, realised I could only stay for 3 hours max and this white van man only added to my small drama by dramatically telling me ‘ooo love, you’ll definitely get a parking ticket if you stay over three hours!!’ every time he walked past me (which was many a time whilst he got his tools out the van, let me tell you). Time ticked by and I slowly came to the realisation that my booked taxi wasn’t turning up. Cue a rather nervy call to my Mum, I was meant to be at the place for registration for 8.30am, by now it was approximately 8.25am, and I decided the best option was to wake my friend’s housemate up so I could get back in the house, get my sat nav and drive to the place myself. Being an independent woman and all (ha).

Frantic apologies about getting the housemate to open the door so early in the morning over, I ran back to my car and received a call from the taxi. ‘I’m nearly there, just around the corner, sorry got caught in traffic. Where abouts is your house?’ … He was so ecstatic about me no longer needing the taxi he hung up on me. RUDE.

Let’s just say by this point I’m flapping big time. I try and drive in my heels, realise it’s impossible, kick them off and drive barefoot. In a blind panic I pull out a junction stupidly and have to reverse back into it, as I’m getting beeped at by traffic trying to come up the road. As I’m reversing I definitely did not lightly bump into a very nice black car. (Don’t worry, no damage, it’s all good. And I’m also a very good driver normally, promise). So by this point, I’m driving along in a major flap, hysterically crying every time I stop at traffic lights / in a traffic jam. Which when I think about it, was probably fricking hilarious for any pedestrians passing by. I get lost a good few times before I make it to where I need to be, and when I finally do, I could not find a parking space for the life of me…

A while later I finally park, compose myself, put my shoes back on and get out my car. On my way to walking to the building I feel something splat on my head. Yes, later that day I had to pitch to a room of people with bird poo in my hair. To look on the bright side, at least I’m brunette and the bird poo was brown…

I turned up 45 minutes late and sat in a daze about what just happened for the next 45. Let’s just say when my Dad and Stepmum turned up to support me and take me for lunch, I have never ever been more grateful to begin to be able to laugh at my nightmare!

Slapdash was in the ‘One to Watch’ category; for businesses which have yet to begin trading. We had three minutes to pitch our business idea to the panel of judges, some investors and the rest of the spectators in the room. I can’t say I remember my pitch but I felt it went well and I finished within the three minutes. We then went to question time and I got hit with ‘I just don’t understand your idea… why wouldn’t you just shop online?’. I genuinely felt like screaming ‘I have bird poo in my hair, please just give me a break!!’, but I passionately tried to explain that I’ve found that people don’t like paying delivery, hassle of returns and possibly the biggest factor (which I forgot in the heat of the moment) that people like to feel and try on before they buy. Honestly, I started to doubt that Slapdash was a realistic idea after that. However, afterwards I got some amazing feedback from other people who had seen my Pitch, who agreed there was a need for Slapdash and that the judge was too harsh. Which was a great round off to the day, along with the free pie and mash from Pieminister!

Unfortunately I didn’t win my category (Congratulations to those that did, check out www.thepitchuk.com), but overall it was a great experience; apart from the morning, ‘great experience’ not so much, but hilarious now I look back on it!

Apologies for a bit of an epic post, but I hope the hilarity saw you through!

SJW x

 

 

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Oh Hai There!

My very first blog post! It’s only been a few hours since I actually decided to start this up, but what’s life without a little spontaneity?!

A little about me: I’m SJW. I’m originally from Plymouth, Devon, but I now live in London as I’m a third year student of Fashion Management at London College of Fashion. So as you can imagine I have a wardrobe I struggle to shut, a Mum who would love to ban me from ever going clothes shopping again and shoes people can’t fathom how I walk in. I’d also like to set up from the start that I’m not a fashion school cliché; I definitely do not eat a single lettuce leaf a day (hate the stuff), I can add up (all hail A Level maths) and I don’t just wear pink on Wednesdays (okay, maybe that’s just in Mean Girls). I also don’t take myself too seriously…

My business is Slapdash, a trend-led womenswear business which aims to make fashion forward clothing available to all, regardless of their location. The idea was born out of growing up interested in fashion, but in a city where the high street wasn’t great, with small shops and basic ranges. I want to change this! I plan to make fashion accessible through a series of pop-up shops and by selling online. I’m still working out my business model, how I’m going to fund it and making some big decisions for my life after university, but I’ll guess you’ll hear all about that through this blog.

I’m not quite sure what to promise this blog will contain, I guess my life ramblings, hilarious stories, business activities (oo jazzy), maybe an outlet for quotes of the day from my flatmate… a screenshotted snapchat or two of my life. It’ll be joyous anyway, so make sure you follow me! 😉

My bed is calling me, thanks for reading, you’re a babe. Laterzzz x