Limbo

Limbo

It’s been tricky few days..

I feel tired, exhausted from all the interviews, from constantly trying to stay positive, fight, and ultimately, from not succeeding.

I can do all these jobs, I can do anything I put my mind to. But the world of selling oneself doesn’t work in my favor. I’m not selling myself like a lot of people are. People who are doing amazing jobs at bullshitting their way through life. You have to be certain mold, certain color (and I don’t mean race now) and certain flavor. I’m totally out of this world by the look of it.

But if that is the case, tell me. If I’m not what you expect, doesn’t that make you too picky? Doesn’t that make you look for another Jane or Joe that already exists at your company? Because I don’t fit that profile?

I’m upset. And don’t try to tell me to get my shit together and really stand up and rise to it, and keep at it. I’ve fallen in love with jobs and companies more than once in the last 4 months, it has been an emotional rollercoaster which is morphing itself into a gluey, smelly and dirty downward spiral that just screams disappointment. Imagine yourself to fall in love with something so many times in such a short space of time..

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Recruiters

Recruiters

This is just a personal opinion from my own experience, a personal observation of the interesting service some recruiters provide. Off course, I’m not the client and I don’t pay for their services but this shouldn’t stop them from treating everyone equally.

Like I mentioned in a previous post “I’ve decided to change my career“. I honestly think that this statement alone is scaring some of the recruiters away before I’m even able to elaborate on this. But truth to be said, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to explain my situation to most, I’ve even had a skype call with 1 or 2 and met a handful of them. Yes, meeting recruiters from agencies has become a serious problem. Not for me, but for them. I think I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve suggested I’ll come and meet them in person and they just shy away from the idea or don’t ever follow up on it.

Nevermind, water under the bridge.

I’ve gone for a job with a previously mention company. I really wanted that job. Oh, I loved it, I loved people, I felt like I belonged just by attending the interviews. It felt like it was meant to be. After my 1st interview I was under the impression there was 1 other person. But he/she was seen as too corporate. After chasing the recruiter for a 2nd interview date I finally got one, 2 weeks later with only 2 days to prepare. No problem. This is my job at the moment -Spend time preparing for interviews and I make sure I give it a due diligence. After chasing the recruiter again 2 days later for initial feedback she finally got back to me on a day 3. Via email with the below:

I am really sorry but unfortunately [said company] won’t be offering you the job. Feedback below.

We all really liked Romi and thought she was also a strong candidate. She is very personable and has a lot of potential however we feel she would require more development than X who was able to fully engage with the specifics of our business and who we believe has the confidence and the experience to hit the ground running. It is unfortunate that we do not have 2 positions available.

I am free this afternoon to talk through and discuss although the feedback is still very good. I will keep looking for you and let you know of anything else.

Speak later and I hope you are ok?

Off-course I wasn’t OK. I cried my eyes out. How could have this happened? I was heartbroken. That was 3 weeks ago.

Just to add salt to injury – last night I’ve come across a recommendation on LinkedIn from X to the said recruiter, 2 days after I found out the bad news, stating the following:

[The Said Recruiter] is the best recruitment consultant I have ever worked with. She worked with me to secure a great role with a company I really wanted to work for. She was attentive, diligent and worked really hard in my favour. Even when something didn’t go to plan and an issue occurred, [The Said Recruiter] sorted it out with professionalism and tact. I would highly recommend[The Said Recruiter] & [The Said Recruiter Firm] in finding your next role.

What the hell does that mean?? Why didn’t she work hard in my favor? What have I done to her? And what was the issue X is talking about? Does it have anything to do with me?

And as far as I am concerned I was the only person she was putting forward for this job.

I’ve had less than a handful of recruiters who put me forward for other jobs when I didn’t get through the first one. In fact, it was the same [The Said Recruiter] who put me forward for another role.

On the same day!

And her email started:

Hi Romi,

Hope you are having a lovely Tuesday?

No, as a matter of fact – I’m still very upset about not getting the job at [said company]..

And it ended with:

If you have now found a new job or are no longer looking, please let us know.

At this point, I’ve lost the hope to live and gave up on the search that day.

Friday feeling & Yoga

Despite me not working at the moment, I’m still enjoying the Friday feeling. And today is a special day, we are going to Brighton for the day and evening, to see a film, then eat steak and see Shobaleader One at Concord2. Here is their recording from the Boiler room from yesterday, sounds fun!

Would like to post a quick update on job hunting. I have agreed to start with Deckchair.com from Monday. I need to set up myself as my own company but we are good to go from Monday. I love what they do. They provide high-quality webcams in all kinds of locations around the world which helps the hotels and towns to showcase the beauty of their city’s / resorts. Some of the images are truly awesome. And my job will be going through all the pictures and posting them on social networks. Fun!

I’ve also received an amazing call yesterday. After 3 months pursuing recruitment manager for an interview with Rakuten Marketing, I’ve finally managed to get through. And not via the recruiter either.. More on this to follow in a due course. But this was such a soul soothing occurrence, it has lifted all my spirits up yesterday.

I also enjoy practicing yoga. I would absolutely love to become a teacher one day with my own studio. At the moment I try to practice 3 times a week although would really prefer practicing every day. I use Yogaia platform to practice with. You can either join a live class with your camera on, or just chose a recorded session of your liking. The variety of classes at your level is immense. And I must say some of the teachers are true gems. For example Maxine Barratt, she explains the moves really well and you can tell she is really passionate about what she does.

Yogaia is also great platform supporting charities and right now until the end of March they are donating £1  from each live-attended class to Help Refugees via their #chooselove campaign. I usually chose recorded classes but on Wednesday I joined my 1st live class with Shanine Collinson (who is another one of my favorite teachers).

yogaia-chooselove-e1490350701143.png

 

I usually indulge in a lovely warm cup of 100% Matcha (that I get from Amazon) and 20 minutes meditation afterward. It is definitely an uplifting experience and I thoroughly recommend it.

Have a lovely start of the weekend all 🙂

Small part-time job :)

Small part-time job :)

Today I’m mainly tired. I’ve been up with my son who came to my bed at 2.30am. As he does every night, however, last night I’ve had my daughter sleeping in my bed, too. So that made it for him really difficult because there was not the usual half bed for himself to sleep. So he kept being up and sniffling, saying he has ‘nose’, meaning I-have-a-snot-coming-out-of-my-nose-please-wipe-it-for-me-mom. The poor little sausage. I took him back to his bed about 4 times. The 4th time I was really pissed off with him, I grabbed him and just put him to his bed, covered him with his blanket, and didn’t say a peep. He didn’t come back after that. That was just before 5am. Great, only 1 more hour to sleep before I have to wake up. And what a great hour it was (sarcasm).. I dreamt about living in a small village somewhere and being attacked by terrorists. I kept trying to keep Vinnie safe but you know these little creatures, they just don’t stay still… And then I woke up. Tired, terrified, and guilty for chucking him out of my bed.

Anyway, on a more positive note, I have been contacted by Chevy, owner of a company called Deckchair.com (these guys are worth checking out by the way). I’ve met him at one of those Brighton Digital Catapult Centre events about a year ago. Then there were talks about Internet of things, etc. We just got chatting and stayed connected on LinkedIn ever since. There was a possibility for me to work with these guys about a year ago but I felt it wasn’t the right fit at the time so I declined the offer. But as we are connected on LinkedIn I kept my eyes out on their latest escapades and liked most of their posts from fabulous locations around the world. Just stunning photos & time-laps’.

So Chevy got in contact with me yesterday on LinkedIn offering me a few hours a week job managing their social accounts and helping with their new webcam aggregation. We met today for a coffee and discussed the opportunity in more detail and I’m hired on a temporary basis. All I need to do is set up myself as self-employed and we are good to go. I’m not getting paid huge amount but it is keeping my feet in the play pool and I’m gaining experience managing social accounts for a very interesting business. I am a little bit excited :).

I now have a 2nd interview with Proporta next week. iCrossing have also now come back to me and I have an interview with them about potential Account Manager role based between London & Brighton, an exact date for the interview is to be finalized, but most likely to be sometime next week.

I now also have an interview with Mastered.com, again date TBC. These guys are providing career accelerator programs in fashion & beauty which is right up my street. They are a small start-up backed up by major fashion designers & makeup artists. And they are hiring Beauty Marketing Manager. I also got this interview through someone I know, who as a matter of fact got in contact with me to alert me this position has become available!!!

I am a little bit more excited about that, too.

 

So all misery aside, today is not that bad after all.

Talent 2017 & applying for jobs

 

Last week I decided to attend Talent 2017 show with a newly found friend (daughter friend’s mom) who is also currently looking for work having just finished her contract with a fab digital agency in London.

Talent 2017 show is run by Wired Sussex in collaboration with many major digital Brighton agencies & platforms and it is about meeting new & young talent (me being 35 doesn’t fit that mold but this was something I realized a few days after the event) for the digital world of Brighton. I mean – I would absolutely kill to work for a digital agency in Brighton. Why? Because I am only 35! Still young, full of energy and ideas to share with a few years of commercial experience up my sleeve. I would love to be exposed to all the different digital channels, bouncing some cleverness of my colleagues and just stay on top of the latest in the world of tech. I love this field! I know – I sound desperate…

It was a really beautiful day, sunny, warm, I could just wear my dress with short sleeve without any cardi or jacket. The sun was really scorching and you could see a heatwave over the horizon. First serious Spring day in Brighton. The Event was in Jurys Inn which is based right on the sea-front (perfect for lunch time break of Fish & Chips and sit down on the beach).

Anyway, during the day I met JellyFish, iCrossing, SiteVisibility, Oban International, Fresh Egg, The Student Room. It was such a great high energy day. I’ve handed my CV to all of these, connected with them on LinkedIn since and have also followed up with everyone at least once.

The one that really stuck to mind was SiteVisibility. I’ve applied for AM role with them a week prior to the event and I was determined to make an introduction and follow up on my application. And I didn’t hang around. My friend pointed to the direction of the owner of SV. So I waited for him to finish his meeting and asked him for a few minutes to chat. The good news is he remembered my application and CV and seemed happy to meet me, took me down to his stand to meet his employees and my potential new boss. I was really pleased about that because I have finally made a little breakthrough in the process. We discussed my application in detail, my training and the manager Scott then advised he’ll be in touch.

The bad news was the vacancy has been put on hold and they are currently looking at recruiting some more junior roles. So back to square one again.

 

I’ve had my CV assessed by a few random people now. The feedback I’m getting – superb and impressive CV. I keep tweaking it, making some of the tasks more obvious so they respond to the job roles I’m applying for.

I’ve also sent my application to a friend of mine who is also in the industry and they advised that my application may sound a bit desperate and I should be straight to the point as to WHAT I ACTUALLY WANT!

Another advice from another friend was that this industry is cut throat where people are not necessarily very good at what they are doing but they instead bullshit their way through.

That makes me really sad.

 

I think it is time for me to re-asses what I really want.

Job Hunting & Meditation – part 2

2017 began and I felt re-charged with fresh energy. I love 1st January and the effect it has on me. I feel like a snake shedding its old skin and being reborn refreshed and new (that is also one of the reasons why I don’t like staying up late on 31st December so I can really enjoy the new year beginning!).

I was suffering a mild hangover but I meditated and that got me into really good spirits. We’ve had our friends and their kids here, and we decided to make a 1st January pub trip. What a great idea. Everyone was happy and in such a good mood. Great start to the new year!

But back to job hunting, uh..

I managed to get an interview with Digital River. The hiring manager gave me a call and we arranged a face-to-face chat later in the week. When we met it felt like we were old friends, got on like house on fire. I answered all the questions really well and he was amazed how much I know about the Affiliate industry especially when I’ve been working in only a few months. As a result, I’ve been invited to the final interview for which I’ve had to do a bit of research. In this interview (which was another week later) I’ve been given the opportunity to meet the head honcho, too. It all went really well, they loved my presentation saying it was one of the best they’ve seen.

But (off-course, there is a ‘but’ since I’m still jobless) it has become apparent that I live too far. Now, this is something I’ve been aware of, however, I was also under the impression that I’d be able to work some days from home (if I was to get the job) as this is fairly common with how this company operates and this is something I’ve been told by the HR. True is this team doesn’t want people working from home, the whole team commutes to the office every day. They feared that if I was to commute every day I’d soon get bored and leave. And this is something they couldn’t accept as their client’s well-being & happiness is their priority (off course, the staple of any business) and they just couldn’t face to disappoint them. This was totally acceptable as a reason to me, but this wasn’t a straight no. They were thinking about this. For 4 weeks when I finally found out (after a few chase up emails) that they have decided to hire someone else. Although I learned so much about the specific industry (anti-virus software) I came to another conclusion:

 

Learning no. 2 – be clear about what you and they want right from the beginning.

 

So by mid-February, I was back to Square One. Off course I was applying for more roles and talking to more recruitment agents whilst I was waiting for their decision, but in January there was very little amount of jobs out there. I’ve still had an interview with BrandWatch, which went OK but the interviewer but it was felt they were looking for someone with more social experience (!!) and I wasn’t invited to 2nd interview

The search continues. I’ve been approached by a great recruiter Cath Reid from Talent Hub recruitment agency about a potential role with Pi-Datametrics. This was a very interesting role. PD are an enterprise SEO platform. SEO and the whole Search Engine Marketing subject was my favorite subject whilst studying last year so I got little excited. I’ve had not a huge hands-on experience with SEO but I have a good understanding of the field and felt like this could be a great opportunity to get into the world of SEO and Analytics. Whilst I was preparing for an interview with them I also met my daughter friend’s dad, who is an SEO expert and has been in the industry for cca 17 years. He gave me some great advice and pointers in order to prep thoroughly and in the right way.

1st interview went really well. I felt comfortable, I’ve been interviewed by 3 of their people. Yes, I felt a bit intimidated, but only for a few seconds at the beginning. The panel made me feel really comfortable and at home. Following the interview, I’ve received some really positive feedback from them and have been invited to a 2nd interview. Here I was getting really excited now. I was going to meet their CTO & Head of Strategy which made me think that I almost have the job. For that interview I had to do some research into the SEO platforms landscape (I learned so much about the competitor field).

I came to the interview really well prepared. The guys were running a bit late as they were discussing ‘exciting future stuff’. Whilst I waited I’ve been taken care of by their staff who have spent some of their time out of their day to talk to me. Everyone seems so great and familiar. I honestly felt the job is within my reach. The interview lasted about 45 minutes. Me & the CTO got on really well throughout the interview, had a really good chat and we continue talking even now. But as with all the other jobs, there is always someone better, someone with more experience, and so I didn’t get the job. This kind of broke my heart a bit. In fact, I still feel like crying. The company felt so right..

 

I’ve also interview with The Body Shop for an Affiliate Manager role. Totally different energy and very different interview. I didn’t get invited to a 2nd stage. Fair enough.

 

Another one worth mentioning is iCrossing – digital marketing agency part of Hearst magazines (Cosmo, Elle). I went for an Affiliate Manager role. The interview went really well but it became apparent it was to manage their clients on the European site and it was felt I don’t have enough experience in Affiliate Marketing in those markets. However, my interviewer must have liked me as he gave me some really good feedback and we are currently discussing roles within their Account Management team. Whether something comes out of it – we shall see. I would off course love to as the agency sounds amazing and has some really cool clients.

Fingers crossed.

 

Last one (but not least) – I’ve been interviewing with Proporta. This is a strategic role working in their eCommerce, and I following my call with the hiring manager yesterday I think I could really make this one work. Again we shall see.

 

I’ve also applied for a role with SiteVisibility however, more on this tomorrow.

 

I’ll also write about my experience from Talent 2017 event that was in Brighton last week.

I’ve now meditated almost every day, it really helps with my interactions with all the new people are meet. It helps with all daily anxieties I am faced with as someone who feels ‘not part of the society’ at the moment. More on this another time. This post is too long already.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Job Hunting & meditation – part 1.

It has now been 3 months since I’ve been made redundant from my last job at WoolOvers. It was such a blow for me as the Affiliate channel I fully managed was performing really well especially in the UK & US and I had so many plans to grow the channel & brand even further.

Anyway, I didn’t hang about, I decided to get on with the search for new job straight away. Within couple of days, I had a phone interview with Awin. I thought to myself I’m in luck, this is going really well, I may not have to feel too bad about the loss of my job if I can be employed straight away. I thoroughly prepared for the call, questions, script for all possible questions they may ask, and off course researched the company in detail. After all, I’ve worked with them during my time at WoolOvers.

Following the success of the call, I had a face to face interview the day after that. On the personality level I absolutely smashed it, but there seemed to be some lack of technical knowledge so they invited me to another interview a week later which I had plenty of time to prepare for. This was great as it wasn’t a straight NO, they gave me the opportunity to really show myself.

Sadly in the last interview a week later, it has been felt that my technical knowledge is still not where it should be and on that note, I have not received the offer. I was well and truly gutted. The feeling in your stomach when you hear ‘I’m afraid we will not be making an offer…’ was just sickening.

I felt so good throughout the process that failure just didn’t seem like an option. And because it was 2 days before Christmas I felt that it just simply can’t be bad news..

Learning no. 1 – don’t let your ego get in the way of the process.

Funnily enough, on the same day I received the above news I had another quick phone interview with the HR manager of Digital River.  My friend Emily works there so she introduced me. The call went well and I have been promised face to face interview with the hiring manager in the new year.

I was also talking to another recruiter about potential roles at Rakuten MarketingUnfortunately, it was a very slow process and nothing came of it until recently, but more on this in part 2.

It was time to forget job hunting and get on with prep for Christmas. My mum sent me a lovely surprise package from Czech republic with amazing Christmas home baked sweets. It made the rest of the day really good and I although I didn’t have a job and took all my strength and made myself feel all festive by eating all those lovely Czech delights.

During Christmas it was quite hard not to think about job hunting. Worries about money and potential future prospects kept creeping in. The day after Christmas I decided to take up meditation. I looked into various different tools but I decided to subscribe to Calm, a mobile app which I tested back in October through their free version. I have instantly falling in love with Tamara Levitt’s voice, it was so soothing and just so right for the soul.

Meditating has since been helping me through difficult days of not hearing from agents, not coming across good roles to apply, or just general feelings of self-doubt, and financial worries. But I would also absolutely recommend it even on a good day. It is a great mood perk and it is mainly free.