Meditation and early mornings

Meditation and early mornings

I’ve been meditating now almost 4 months. Observations so far are that it calms me down, kind of gives me a different perspective on things ahead. It gets rid of my anxiety and really seriously helps with the whole job hunting ups & downs. So far I’ve been doing this only 3-4 times a week but I think to truly benefit you need to find some time every day and ideally every day at the same time. Make it part of your routine.

So I think I’ll make it part of my morning routine. My mind should be fairly clean and uncorrupted with the day stuff. In fact, I think this is the perfect time for meditation.

As soon as I’m over with this nasty cough and cold, and get the annoying hay fever under control, I’m going to get back to getting up at 5am. All great people get up at 5am, apparently. I think it was Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tim Ferriss’ podcast who talked about it. He was so right, too. I’ve already done it last year and I must admit by the time the rest of the house wakes up it feels like you’ve already done half a day work, and spend some time on yourself. I woke up at 5am, spend 10 minutes getting a drink and generally wake up, then yoga and shower. It was invigorating.

So the plan for this year is to get up in the morning, work on my abs, practice some yoga and meditate, followed by rest of the usual morning routine.

30 day challenges

About a year ago I’ve met my now friend Emily. We met virtually whilst working on our first project during the Squared Online course I mentioned in a post from almost a year ago. From day 1 she did everything I did, it was as if we thought alike and at the same time and I remember thinking ‘argh, she really is annoying’. As we worked together on the project we really started to get on, we realized we had similar interests as we chatted outside of the project we worked on. I have learned a lot from Emily, her work ethic, organization, and determination was second to none. But what is special about her is her absolute keenness to learn. She listens and is incredibly supportive. She helped me with my job search on more than one occasion and she was instrumental introducing me to Affiliate marketing, an industry she’s been for over a decade.

Emily also constantly seeks new adventures and how to improve oneself. She is the one who introduced me to Tim Ferriss’ podcasts (more on that later). Whilst I’ve been studying with Squared I also started to watch Ted Talks, another thing I became fascinated with. One Ted talk really stuck out and that was by Matt Cutts – Try something new for 30 days. That really inspired me and got me thinking about doing something challenging. Something that would get me out of my comfort zone. Something that would make me think differently, change of mindset. It has become apparent that Emily has been doing some of the 30-day challenges with her friends! So we decided to do our first joint one. Get up at 5am and do yoga for at least 30 minutes everyday for 30 days. I don’t get up early easily but I do love yoga whereas Emily can get up early but hasn’t done yoga in her life.

Since then we’ve done 30 day planks, 30 day meditation, I’m now on 30 day blogging challenge. Although I did missed one yesterday but that is somewhat tricky spending a day out with the family and suffering with a cold. That is my crapy excuse.

Since then I meditate (not every day, but regularly enough to get going), I’ll be going back to getting up early and doing yoga first thing in the morning (but I practice yoga 2-4 times a week), I also want to do a 30 day running challenge and have just finished 30 day abs challenge which I would like to carry on with starting again tomorrow.

Doing all these challenges is making me feel more adventurous, confident, accomplished, just generally stronger person in pursuing the things I want to do. I would strongly recommend it to anyone. Get out there out of your comfort zone and do something that you would never really like to do, or something you’d really love to do but never had time for. You’ll be amazed how much you can do, how much you can prioritise one thing over another and find what is more important for you and what makes you happy.

 

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 🙂

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.