THE JOB CENTRE 2017

Yep, believe it or not, it’s that time of year again where I sit and ask a bunch of bad ass, fearless females about their careers, because if September isn’t a time for new beginnings and thoughts of a career change, then when is?

Am I right?

This year, I am beyond excited to announce that I have a stellar line up of amazing women who have agreed to share both their journey and some very practical career advice with you. You know, just in case your boss is being a fool or you’ve just graduated and don’t know where to start looking for work.

From freelance girl bosses and full time social media moguls to women in high fashion and those shaping young minds, there will be plenty of interviews to tuck into this month, so watch this space over the next four weeks for pearls of wisdom, droplets of inspiration and nuggets of utter realness.

So let’s get to the point and talk business, shall we?

how to become an account executive | imogen judd

A Web of Romance: The Truth About Dating in the Digital Age

Let’s be honest, we all dream of meeting our perfect guy in a coffee shop.

I’d be reading a novel like Ulysses, or something equally as impressive. He’d come over and ask for my opinion and, despite my nonsensical response about it being ‘still very relevant today’, he’d sit on the stool next to mine and look at me as though I were queen of the classics. 

Sounds like a scene out of one of your favourite rom-coms, doesn’t it? If only real life could be so dreamy.

In reality, I’d probably be reading a trashy magazine that had been left at the table or scrolling through my phone for the twelve-hundredth time that day. The man who approached me? He’d be the antithesis of Tom Hardy, with added personal space issues. I’d, of course, immediately catch The Ick, and get the hell out of there.

The fact is, people don’t meet in the way filmmakers or authors suggest they do. I certainly didn’t meet my match in a bar. I met him hungover, in bed, as I swiped through Tinder. But that’s a story for another day.

You don’t need to be a genius to work out that dating has changed over recent years, but just how much is the question.

Way back when, women spent their lives with a man their family had chosen for them. Money was the aim of the game, and their parents would pick out the most suitable match. With a bit of luck, the woman thought he was a catch. If not… well, it really didn’t matter. Then came the age of free-dating, when we could finally pick our partners. Most couples during this period met at work, or through friends of friends. The trouble being, of course, that even when you were free to pick, you didn’t get much choice. Nowadays, choice is all around as the internet comes into play and a whole new world of dating is born. 

Dating has changed drastically through the years, and while those in ‘the not so distant past’ thought their luck was in, we’re now in an age of free-pickings, most of which are found via dating apps, like Plenty of Fish or Tinder. In the early days of the net, dating sites were deemed fit for only the loneliest of people. They certainly weren’t common currency and you’d keep schtum if you’d signed up to one. But, with 50 million monthly users on Tinder alone, there’s been a noticeable shift in our thinking. It wouldn’t be unreasonable, however, to wonder what this different dating style means to those looking for love in the modern age. After all, it’s the biggest leap the dating world has ever seen and you’d be right to have some doubts. To help dispel those worries, we’re going to look at the pros and cons of these modern methods.

Yay!

  • You can find matches based on your interests
  • You don’t have to meet anyone you don’t want to
  • You can chat with potential interests without committing
  • You’re in complete control of the situation

Nay…

  • Obvious safety issues
  • Many people are only after one thing
  • You may get sent pictures you’d rather not see
  • Matches aren’t guaranteed to be local

As you can see, it’s a relatively even playing field, and most of those cons are easy to overcome. Meeting someone off the internet doesn’t have to be a safety risk. You could talk to them on the phone beforehand to make sure they are who they say. You should also tell someone where you’re going, and arrange to meet in a public place. And, if you state that you’re looking for more than sex, you can at least reduce the number of inappropriate pictures. Sadly, there’s no real cure for the possibility of long-distance, but hey; anything for love, right?  

Of course, it’s too early to say what long-term implications these changes will have on the dating world. But, so far, so good. In recent years, for example, we’ve seen the first drop in divorce rates for 40 years, and although there’s no way to confirm whether this is all thanks to online dating, it seems a safe bet. After all, we’re now in a position where we can meet like-minded partners at every turn, and as this Telegraph article suggests, online love is proven to be more likely to last.

Could divorce once again become a dirty word for the next generation?

I’m up for a Love Revolution if you are. 

With that being said, some things will never change. Though the way we meet is different, we still opt for the same old dating haunts, with dinner and a film still a winning combination. The end goal also hasn’t changed much, either, with the majority of couples still dreaming of living together and getting married, turning to hand-crafted wedding invitations and big blowouts for the big day.

So, ladies; it might be time to let go of your coffee shop fantasy and go out there to make it happen. You could make sure he sees you reading Ulysses by popping it in your profile picture, and ensure he doesn’t have The Ick factor by simply swiping the bad choices away.

Happy dating, kiddos.

*THIS IS A CONTRIBUTED POST

THE SUNDAY PAPERS

If you live in London, you’ll know it’s cold up in hurr. Stepped off the tube yesterday and thought I was in Antarctica. Well, not quite but I am wearing a jumper. Haven’t been able to sleep the last week or so, so have been scrolling lots. Here’s my note-worthy picks from the last 7.

Fenty Rollies

Self care isn’t optional

This is hilarious

Hiding texts is cheating

Intern at 43

Arguing is good for you

Ejaculating dildo, anyone?

America’s abortion rights

Instagram is a feminist haven

14 Reasons to Look Forward to Autumn

What’s chrysalis time?

When you feel pregnant but aren’t

Can your boyfriend say, ‘vagina’ without going all weird?

Feminist tatts

Special mention

Goes to Lauren, this week, with her run down of her run-in with chemotherapy. It’s not an easy read but it’s an important one. Thanks for sharing, lady

To the rest of you, have a good week.

THE JOY OF NOT SHARING

I talk too much.

I’ve been told so since I was a kid.

Talking the ears off mum as we traipsed up and down Oxford Street. Not stopping for breath in Maths. ‘Chatty’ etched into pretty much every school report I ever had (along with ‘enthusiastic’ and ‘sociable’, and we all know what those adjectives really mean when spouted from the mouths of teachers).

And even well into adulthood, not much has changed.

I’ll talk about anything that springs to mind. Form opinions on anything you fancy. And when it comes to life crises, relationship woes and friendship concerns, I voice those too. Heart on sleeve for life, that’s the Aries way.

Now, lots of therapists and elders will tell you that’s great. That talking is healthy. We’re constantly encouraged to ‘speak up’ and ‘get things off our chest’ in order to help improve our mental health, but you know what, I’m not so convinced spilling all of the beans all of the time is such a good idea.

As someone who keeps other people’s secrets entirely to themselves, but airs all their dirty laundry online or over a negroni or two with my best ones, I’ve learnt that vocalising your worries or concerns can actually sometimes be detrimental to one’s decision-making, overall happiness and ability to work out who you are. Being silent, and not giving a trivial problem room to breathe has a lot to answer for.

Sounds unhealthy, right? Probably is, for someone who can keep their trap shut for more than thirty seconds.

But for those of you who can’t, hear me out.

Decisions both large and small, I struggle to make them. I always order last in a restaurant. I rarely paint my nails in anything other than white, navy or nude. In fact, I never do, yet I own around 80 different shades of various polish. Big life decisions? Give me a month. Other people, quieter people, seem to make decisions left, right and center. For me, a talker, I weigh myself down with so many opinions that I rarely know what I want. If I listened to the voice inside my head instead of talking all the time, perhaps I’d stop drowning out my own thoughts and be able to hear myself a little clearer.

The problem with sharing so much is that people will respond to what you’re saying, and rightly so. But as helpful as it may seem, collecting so many opinions can also be quite damaging. The two cents of others can tend to muddle your own thinking and push what you really think or want to the back of your mind, which in turn, is just as unhealthy (and counter-productive) as not talking at all.

Recently, I’ve realised that keeping some things private is a good idea. I’ve been sharing less with friends and I actually feel a heck of a lot better for it. There’s less judgment, less pressure and I think I’m finally working out what I really want. I’m the happiest I’ve been in a very long time.

Although I’m going against what pretty much all psychologists will tell you, I do think that for those of us who like to chat or find decision-making a struggle, we might actually be better off saying nothing and figuring things out in our own mind and time instead of constantly conversing with friends and family. That way, we might get what we really want as opposed to what we think we should be aiming for.

They do say silence is golden, and I think they (in some cases) could be right.

THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A SIDE HUSTLE WHEN LIVING IN A CITY

Living in a busy city is the best. No doubt about it. There is one downside that millions of people can relate to, though, and that’s the sky-high living costs.

City life, particularly within a capital city, doesn’t come cheap. From housing prices and travel to food and entertainment, almost every aspect of city life is more expensive than it is in other parts of the country. Even after taking the increased salaries into account, it’s still pretty steep, so finding ways to make some money on the side is highly desirable (if you have the time, of course).

Thankfully, living in a busy place with a strong economy, means you can do just that. Regardless of your situation, there are plenty of ways to generate side sources of income, making all the difference to your standing of living.

Given the ease of international travel, most popular cities are now blessed with high volumes of tourism from both domestic and foreign visitors. Using Airbnb management services allows you to generate money from renting out your property. Useful when you take your own vacations, but also to rent out rooms while you’re still living there. The days of taking on a lodger are long gone, I guess. 

Utilising assets by renting them out on a temporary basis can also extend beyond the home. There are companies that allow you to lend out filming equipment or other useful possessions you might have. You can also rent out your time, with Uber making it very easy to earn a little extra income as a private taxi driver. One of the best things about taking this route is that you can set a schedule to suit your needs. Essentially, you can earn money while curing your boredom without sacrificing your down time. 

Another one to note is that businesses are always looking for skilled people to work on short-term deals. These roles can range from film extras to leaflet distributors and everything in between. Social media can be a great way to find out about those positions, or you could even go a little old school and take the initiative by phoning around smaller businesses or agencies you think might need a hand.

Of course, you can always start a blog, just as I did back in 2011.

Living in the city gives you the opportunity to provide first-hand insight into it’s really like to live there. Whether it be reviewing entertainment and books or helping new people settle into the area, write about what you love with authenticity and doors you might not have been invited through will open. Communication and networking are crucial to success in this city.

City life can be expensive, and money is (unfortunately) essential to making the most of it. While a good career should always be the priority, being aware of the external earning endeavours could unlock a far happier future.

If that doesn’t inspire you to take those activities on board, nothing will.

*This is a contributed post