11 October 2014

I have not been this busy since… since this time last year actually. I was working then. Part-time. Now that I think about it, I’m not too sure why I was so busy. Maybe it was due to lousy time management on my part. Maybe I was trying to do too many things.

It could have been anything. One year goes by in a flash, but that doesn’t mean I remember everything that happened last October. The mind works in mysterious ways.

*pause for all of us to reflect on the wonders of the mind*

Are those synapses firing yet? If not, give it a bit more time.

If yes, let’s continue.

do know why I’m busy this time around. First reason: I am starting my first real job on Wednesday (15th October) – *round of applause* – and I have two books to finish between now and then. I’ve made it through almost half of one book – *another round of applause* – and I really should be able to get them both read by the end of Tuesday.

Second reason: have I told you I signed up for an online Digital Marketing course? Probably not. It’s called ‘Squared Online’. Here it is. Since my digital experience so far is limited to two blogs and a baby, I thought I would educate myself. The shiny name of Google associated with the course was also extremely persuasive – I was still on the job hunt back then; I mean, it couldn’t possibly hurt! Right?

And I do not regret the decision. Two weeks in, I am finding the course stimulating and enjoyable. I feel like I am having my eyes opened to a brave new world (loved that book). But with the course comes homework. That I decided to start a blog (my third and latest) to accompany my 7-month journey as a Square (pardon the course lingo) didn’t help.

So yes, the past three days have been almost entirely spent on the course and prepping for my new job. The good news: I have now finished the project for the first module of the course, which is the most time-consuming activity I’ll have to get done in the next 3 weeks. It’s a two-minute video to introduce myself to my fellow Squares (course lingo again), which took me… four hours in total to make.

Since I’ve spent so much time on it, I might as well get as many people to watch it as possible. So here it is:

I’ve just realised I haven’t actually told you guys what my job will be.

*drumrolls*

From Wednesday, I will be an Internet Marketing Analyst at a tech start-up based in South East Asia. Pretty cool, eh? I think so too.

Incidentally, this is not the job I went to the interview for (and got) last Friday. It goes to show: you never know what’s going to happen. You just don’t.

Wish me luck!

I’ll be back to let you know how things go.

Love,

Val

p.s. I just realised I actually talk about the job in the video. Oops. Well, too much of a good news can’t hurt, right? 😀

 

 

 

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3 October 2014

I was going to prepare for the interview. But obviously I’m not doing that, because I am here writing to you, my lovely readers.

As you might have gathered, I have an interview. As you’re about to find out, it’s happening in exactly 3 and a half hours.

And I’m nervous as hell.

It’s not a typical job. Certainly not one I planned on doing. But not one I can’t see myself doing. Did that make sense? Of course it did.

It’s a job I’ve done before and have enjoyed to a considerable extent. Not something I see myself doing as a lifelong career (though I wouldn’t be surprised if I do – it wouldn’t actually be too bad). But certainly a good opportunity, and one where I see myself (potentially) learning a lot.

I will give my CV another read-through in the cab. Or when I’m there waiting. Yes, I’ll do that. There will be time. I plan on arriving well and early. No rushing around on these heels. I am no interview expert, but I’m pretty sure a sprained ankle and/or sweaty palms won’t make for a good impression.

I don’t believe in being too prepared for interviews. It doesn’t work well for me. Of course, I read up on the company and the role, and make sure I understand what I am applying to do and what will be expected of me. But I don’t rehearse my CV or prepare stock answers to interview questions – you know, those questions.

Why? I believe in spontaneity. I believe in a good night’s sleep. I believe in a full stomach (I’m stockpiling as I type). When I go in to an interview, I don’t want to come across as ‘well-prepared’; I want to exude confidence.

I think that’s the best thing that can happen in an interview. Anyone can be prepared. Not anyone can ooze confidence and appear in control.

That’s why I’m here writing to you guys rather than hunched over my CV preparing answers to questions about my past educational and professional experience. This is my confidence pool. At no other times do I feel more relaxed and assured than when I’m writing here. For reasons fellow writers would understand, and which I’ve abundantly enumerated here.

Wish me luck.

Love,

Val

p.s. I got the job.

19 September 2014

No one told me job hunting would be fun.

So. Much. Fun.

No. Really. I’m not being sarcastic. I’m actually really enjoying the process.

This enjoyment comes completely unexpected – I had pictured job hunting to be a long and torturous process, a soul-destroying endeavour that takes and takes and never gives, and that ultimately saps away all your confidence and self-belief, leaving you with an empty shell, an unemployed empty shell.

Granted, my expectations were rather exaggerated. And deep down I knew it couldn’t possibly be that bad. But still, I had expected the process to be a negative one: time-consuming, energy-consuming, confidence-draining, so on and so forth.

It has turned out to be quite the opposite, which has taken me by surprise. But a good surprise, the kind of surprise you get when your boyfriend gets you a gift for no apparent reason (birthday, Christmas, etc.), just because he wants to.

*pause so you can go awwww*

Anyways, to get back to my point, I’m finding this job hunting business to be surprisingly stimulating and self-affirming. For starters, producing customised CVs and cover letters is turning out to be an extremely rewarding process. It gives me a legitimate reason to sit down and spend hours thinking about all the good things I’ve done in life and how I’ve learnt and grown from past mistakes – something you don’t necessarily have the time or the inclination to do when you’re busy studying, or working for that matter.

And then, with each job application comes a whole world of possibilities. I happen to have applied for very different roles. Picturing myself in these different scenarios is, I think, one of the few times in my life where I’ve come close to actually understanding the saying “life is full of possibilities”. And it’s an extremely empowering feeling/realisation. It’s amazing.

Of course, this brimming optimism is most likely due to the fortunate fact that I haven’t had an application rejected yet. So of course life is full of possibilities. Get back to me when I’ve had my first rejection – we’ll see how full of optimism and self-belief I’ll be then!

On an unrelated note, I got back into teaching. So I was rooting about in my teaching folder and discovered my teaching log from when I was giving English lessons – and what on earth was I writing in that log?!? I had painstakingly come up with a system of notation that must have seemed clever at the time but now just gives me a headache. Over-complicating things – how typical of old me. I’m all for simplicity now – simple and effective! That could be my rallying cry. I should start adding that as a tagline in all my job applications – what do you think? *chuckles Sheldon-style*

On another unrelated note, I walked into a plant today. And it hurt. Yes, it really did. The leaf (you’ll understand when you see the picture) hit me right in my left eye socket, missing my eyeball by an uncomfortable 5-millimetre margin. I was sweeping the leaves on the patio and thinking about which long article to work on for my other blog when BAM. There I go for not paying attention where I walk, for letting my guards down in the perceived safety of my own garden. I’ve learnt my lesson.

2014-09-19 18.00.22

Meet the offending plant.

2014-09-19 17.59.59

The ‘leaf’ in the middle of the picture is the one I managed to poke my eye with. It’s like walking into a block of wood.

I’m lucky to have escaped without a black eye. To have escaped with both eyes, even. So yes, sweepers beware – look before you walk. It’s not for nothing that they say most deaths occur from accidents in the household. Just think, I could have lost an eye. *shudder*

With love,

Val

p.s. Oh and do wish me luck for my job applications. I am taking my time, as I so emphatically wrote in my last post. But still, it’d be nice to have some offers for me to take my time considering. Choice is bad, but money is good. *evil grin*

p.p.s. How random was this post? How did I go from the empowering effect of job applications to a murderous plant?! I must be a torture to read. Thank you for putting up with my writing antics!