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From One Big Smoke to Another

In my last post I talked about quitting my job with no backup, well now I’m happy to announce that I am now officially employed again, woohoo! (The company I’m going to work for is coincidentally named BACKUP, but more about that later).

This new venture will see me move back across the pond. Yep back to the Emerald Isle, a mere 8 months after leaving. It’s all  kind of mad, and I’ll admit I probably do seem like a bit of a Yo-Yo!

I had my reservations at first. I didn’t want to seem like a failure for leaving London. I was worried people may see it as a step backwards.Especially when you come from a small town like I do,  where all people do is talk. You decide to move away and the whole village accuses you of thinking “you’re too good for the place”. But then I decided not to give a fuck what people may or may not think.

It is my life after all, and as cliché as it is, I’ve learned that you have to do what makes YOU happy.

I suppose I wanted to write this blog for two reasons.

  1. To update everyone on what’s been going on in my life (not that many actually care, but nonetheless, here we are 🙂 ).
  2. I want to share my advice and experiences with anyone who may going through a similar situation

So if you’re still interested in my not so fascinating life and words of wisdom, do read on.

life

After leaving my last job in January, I spent the best part of 2 months in London  searching for another. I went through approximately 6 interviews and probably twice as many existential crises. I questioned absolutely everything about myself, from my past decisions to my future career ambitions and then some. I wondered would I ever be good enough to land my “dream job?”. The industry I’ve entered into is tough. It’s fiercely competitive and it’s so hard to make yourself stand out. It’s even harder not to feel dejected when you see that 100+ other people have applied for the same position you have. It’s not the same as other professions. The world is constantly crying out for teachers and nurses, but content creators? Not so much.

With each rejection letter I was finding it harder and harder to believe in myself . Sometimes it feels impossible not to take the “best wishes for your future endeavors” as a personal slap in the face. I was feeling so down in myself when I learned I’d been invited to interview for an Editorial Position for Arcadia. Arcadia are a collective group for a number of fashion brands including Topshop, Topman and Dorothy Perkins. The role was for Dorothy Perkins and involved creating content for their blog, working on social channels, assisting with fashion shoots etc. It sounded right up my street and I was so excited!  I had to do a couple of tasks ahead of the interview, which were time consuming, but enjoyable all the same.

The day came, and I felt it went well.  I was told I’d hear back soon. A week passed without news, and so I decided to follow up. HR assured me they were chasing Dorothy Perkins for an update, and would let me know soon. Another week passed and I still hadn’t heard anything. Eventually I got an email to say it was down to me and another candidate, and that they should be making a decision by the end of that week. Great I thought, not long left to wait! That was until another week passed and then another and I STILL hadn’t heard.I had just about given up, when I got a call apologising for the delay and inviting me to a second interview. By this stage a month had passed since the original interview. I had other prospects in the pipeline, but despite the waiting I was still keen. I did the second interview  last wedensday, and was assured that this time I  would definitely  hear by the end of the week.

In the meantime I found out I’d been offered a job back in Dublin. I was genuinely a bit shocked! I was told they were interviewing with six other candidates, so I’d pretty much written myself off. I now found myself faced with a big decision:

Do I uproot myself and move back to Ireland after less than a year in London?

Or do I hang on and wait to see if I got the job in London?

I got a call last Thursday after my second round interview with Arcadia and Dorothy Perkins. My heart was in my mouth thinking finally this is the answer i’ve been waiting for. Alas no, it was just more time wasting. They just called to inform me I was one of 3 finalists and the decision would be made on Friday.

Friday came and I waited all day with my phone glued to my side, willing it to ring. It was 4.30pm when I got yet another  shoddy email from them saying that seeing as the Editor was out of the office, I would now be informed on Monday. I honestly couldn’t fathom the unprofessional-ism. This was the third or fourth time this had happened, and I was quickly losing patience and faith in the company. I couldn’t help but think, if this how they treat people in the hiring process, what on earth would it be like working from them? Unprofessionalism and misscoummincation were two of the factors that contributed to my decision to leave my last job. I wasn’t going down that route again. Trust me, it’s not worth being treated like shit for any job (been there, done that, bought the t-shirt).

Throughout all this the crowd in Dublin were above and beyond supportive. I was told to take my time with my decision and if they could assist me in anyway to give them a shout. The manager even offered to help me make a pro a con list regarding the decision to relocate again. It was so nice to feel valued and appreciated. I think deep down I knew I’d only be staying in London just to stay in London, and that makes no sense. Part of me didn’t want to give up this newfound freedom and cosmopolitan lifestyle I’d become so fond of. It felt a bit like I’d be admitting defeat. Reflecting on all of this now kind of makes me laugh. I mean it’s a bit silly isn’t it?  I’d just been offered a job that genuinely excited me. I should’ve been feeling elated!

When I had a few days to mull it all over I realised how ridiculous I was being. Things happen for a reason. Opportunities don’t often fall on your lap, and when they do you have to grab them with both hands. Even if that means uprooting yourself yet again! So what if I’m leaving London? I’m going back to an even better big smoke. One that 20 year old me fell in love with back  when she got her first taste of a big city and the working world.

As I mentioned above, the company I’ll be working for is called BACKUP, they are a creative marketing and ad agency based in Dun Laoghaire (I’m looking forward to walks on the pier and those sea views!). My job will involve creating all of the internal blogs and social content. I’ll basically be responsible for content across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as working on campaigns  for the company’s big brand clients. It’s super exciting and exactly the kind of thing I want to be doing. So I’m excited to move back and get stuck in. I informed Dorothy Perkins that if I didn’t hear from them on Monday I’d be accepting another job offer. Surprise surprise there wasn’t a peep out of them. I didn’t even get the usual fob off to say it would be another day. I guess I should thank them for making my decision easier and showing me all of the qualities you do not want in an employer. I sent them an email on Tuesday asking them to withdraw my application, all the while expressing how unprofessional I found the entire process. I haven’t received a reply. The job has since been re-advertised.

If I’ve learned anything over the past few days it’s that you can’t stay in a place just for the sake of it, or just out of stubbornness. In fact, (as cheesy as it sounds), the past couple of months have taught me a lot about myself and about life. I’ve done things I never thought I’d do. I’ve surprised myself in ways I could never have imagined. I packed up my life and moved across the shores. The job wasn’t what I expected and so I quit. Some might call it recklessness, I call it chasing happiness. I guess what I’m ultimately trying to say with this long rambling blog post, is that you should never settle. Never compromise. Scare yourself, believe in yourself and go after what it is you really want. Whether that sees you in Ireland, London, China, Timbuktu, wherever.  This is the time to be figuring it all out. Job hop, country hop and make sure to learn and laugh along the way.

I know I did! 😉

Until the next rant or ramble,

~J

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Life in Dublin

So seeing as I’ve been living in the nations capital for the past 3 months, it was only a matter of time before I blogged about it. It all began when my college co-op placement saw me plucked from the blissful comfort of Limerick student life, and flung out into the hustle & bustle of Dublin City. It was time to face the big bad world and experience ‘adult life’ for a while. How cosmopolitian.

Anyway, so my fellow country folk might be wondering “What is life in the ‘Big Shmoke’ really like?”

Well… let me break it down for you.

Like anywhere it has it’s pros and cons, but let me just begin by saying that,

Dublin is Beautiful.

I don’t care who you are, or where you’re from, if you’ve ever been to the city this is just something you cannot deny. People can be so hostile about the country’s capital, but if they just stopped to take it in for a second they’d realise it’s just as breath taking as the likes of London or New York. No really, I’m serious. Take a stroll down Grafton Street at Christmas time and tell me I’m wrong,  walk along the canal or through the Phoenix Park on a sunny day, spend a night in Temple Bar and just try to deny it.  You’ll fail, because like it or lump it our capital has character, bags of it.

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Dubs aren’t as bad as you think. Loads of people think Dublin is just crawling with scumbags with thick dodgy accents, while an element of that is true, most dubs are actually some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Maybe I’m a bit biased considering my dad and half of my family are dubs, so it’s in my blood, but still. 😉

The accent will grow on you. The dublin accent is a bit like marmite, you either love it or hate it. If you’re the latter, it does grow on you despite your efforts to hate it. Seriously though, can you imagine walking down to Croker without hearing the classic “Haaaats scarvess and headbaaands 2 eurroooo?” I’ll admit, it’s no music to the ears, but it does make you lol. (You read that line in your best Dublin accent too, don’t deny it). Be careful before you rip the piss out of the Dublin accent though, because they will give you twice the going over. Once they discover you’re a ‘culchie’ there’s no going back. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve heard “Ahhh ya didn’t get that accent up here an anyway luv, comee ere to me where are ya from?”   You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl and all that jazz.  Best to keep the head down and try to remain unnoticed.

sheep memeCoppers will break you.

Ah the legendary Copper Face Jacks, it has claimed even the purest of souls. Again, no matter who you are, or where you’re from, or even how hardcore you think you are, Coppers will break you. It’ll break you in such a way that you’ll still go back for more, even after you swore to yourself after the shame of last time there was no way in hell you were ever setting foot in there again. Oh you’ll be back. Even if it’s just in the hopes that you might reclaim your lost dignity (or your favourite black blazer). You won’t.

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Dublin bus is the worst thing ever. Now I’m not just saying this because everyone knows I loathe public transport, it really is the worst thing ever. I’d take 12 Bus Eireann buses over it if I could. Honestly. The only redeemable feature of the service is it’s free wifi. Even at that it’s a push. The stress of trying to have the ‘exact change’  the panic you face when you don’t. Not to mention the judgment from the less than pleased bus driver. If you’re looking for sympathy you’re in the wrong place. Trust me even this face doesn’t work tumblr_ml8ekhdrtf1snrpkmo1_500

If you’re smart though you’ll probably have a leapcard or some other long term ticket to avoid such occurances. I have yet to make this move after 3 months. . there’s always tomorrow hey. They also have no concept of time. If the driver of the 7.45 decides he just doesn’t want to show up on a Friday morning, well then he’s not going to show up. You may start walking or hitch hiking.

busThe following words will become part of your vocabulary:

-Bleedin

-Jeeeeezus

-an anyway

-ya tick

-yisser

to name but a few.

The shopping is amazing. This needs no explanation. If you’re a girl & you love shopping, you’ll love Dublin. Simple. tumblr_inline_myffvc4z2Z1rgs66v

Sometimes you’ll feel like you need a tractor just to plough your way down Henry St. It’s a given that in a busy city people will just walk into you. It can be so annoying and frustrating but it’s just another thing you get used to and learn to deal with. People literally walk around with their eyes closed, if you’re not on your A game chances are you’ll be sent flying into a lampost or get assaulted by multiple shopping bags. It’s a jungle out there. tumblr_mer2t2hIRY1rbu2m2

The real world sucks. Living & Working in Dublin has given me a taste of what life will be like after college & lets just say it’s a big wake up call. Forced to drag myself up at 7 o Clock every morning gone are the days of rolling over and staying in bed in college, simply because I just didn’t feel like getting up. Well for the meantime anyway. 😉

Seeing family on a more serious note, the best thing about living in Dublin so far has been being able to see and spend time with family that I previously woudn’t have seen as often. You might think going from living in a crazy student house with 4 of your best friends, to living with your nan is a bit of come down, but seriously I wouldn’t wish to be anywhere else. Never a dull moment with Sheila Keogh let me tell you. If she’s not kicking all of our arses in scrabble, she’s off belting out her solos with her beloved ‘Forever Young Chorus’, or she’s down the road playing bingo, though she’s given that up for lent. (It’s important that I mention that). But really, it’s great to just be able to sit and learn from a woman who’s been through so much in life. Hearing her stories and perspective on life, has given me a fresh perspective on my own. Most of all it’s been great getting to know her better. I know it sounds soppy, but I think I love Dublin even more for giving me the opportunity to spend much more time with such an amazing lady. 🙂 Even if she does fizzin’ beat me at scrabble 😛

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P.s Baz it’s great seeing you too. 😛

So there ya go there’s just a little glimpse into Life in Dublin so far. I’ve already acquired so many stories, and I’m sure by the end of my 6month stint I’ll have gained many more. But so far Dublin, you’re not half bad. 😉