How to stay positive | the Job hunt

Lately I have had a lot of questions on life post grad and staying motivated doing the daily grind.  As it’s a new year we will start of with a gentle reminder:

If your career is not something you prioritise you’ll find yourself looking like stagnant water.

Let’s be real. Life after graduating can be very hard. Life in general is blooming hard. When you’ve gone through the typical schooling system, primary to high school, college/sixth form then university. It is easy to measure where you are and how you have progressed – up until you leave and find yourselves and your peers with very different schedules and educational/ vocational priorities.

Usually the difficulty also comes from dealing with the constant questions and expectation from yourself and others – comparison to others being the biggest thief of joy. I cannot tell you how many times one aunty or random uncle would ask and I’m sure we’ve all heard these at some point: still at the same place? Is it a graduate role/ good wage? Don’t stay there too long? Is it what you studied? Why isn’t it in what you studied? Did the wrong degree huh? Some people are rude y’all!

Remember whether it’s the job you want or one that simply pays the bills – you work hard to earn an honest living and that is something to respect. There is nothing wrong with having a job while you’re waiting on your job either!

That said, always be proactive with your time! Especially if you aren’t working employers will ask what you did with yourself during those breaks. Whether it was a short course you took, or a self initiated project you completed. Have something productive to say. This also helps to keep yourself motivated knowing you are always working on something. Don’t let your skills become dormant.

Be disciplined enough to create a schedule for yourself,

Actively apply for jobs. Often people will say they can’t find anything when they have looked a handful of sites and they get bored. Honey the bank does not tire of reminding you what your account balance is. Do not be disheartened easily. speaking to people is usually the best way to find out who is hiring and what you need to do.

If you are at work – manage your diary and keep up with meetings/ interviews.  Nothing more painful than missing an opportunity because you didn’t check your emails.

Be persistent keep doing your research and continue to present yourself well. You are the best person positioned to sell yourself. I have lost count of the number of applications I made, phone calls that were had, interviews that were attended. But if you keep at it the right door will open for you.

I went from constantly being told no, not yet, and in some cases nothing at all; to having three job offers all at management level positions. And that didn’t happen by me sitting on my hands at home. And don’t get me wrong I’m extremely far from saying that I’ve made it – but I’m making my way.

Keep moving or it will feel like you’re moving backwards. And as we move closer to our goals let’s bring each other up, continue to motivate and seek inspiration. This leads to my next point.

Do not be afraid to ask. Ask others what they did to get to where they are. I used to hate asking questions for fear of feeling like you are pestering someone. But – if you don’t ask you don’t get. People prefer those that show too much interest than none at all. If they sense your hunger and drive they are more likely to help you or put you in touch with someone who can. (That said, ask but keep it relevant).

Patience is a difficult teacher but it rewards those who learn the art, very well. There’s nothing wrong with turning down positions that aren’t quite right. Don’t jump onto any and every opportunity. Know your worth. As hard as it is – especially if you have been waiting for a long time. You don’t want to jump into something only to jump out a month later in a worse position than before.

I know this is easier said than done but don’t worry God always has something for you.

Keep going, this year is yours to smash!

Why you should travel | 2018

I recently went to Romania for a short break and after reflecting on the places we went to and the things we saw. I came to the obvious conclusion that everyone should travel. Now while I still have many more countries to visit this last place definitely opened my eyes to a different style of living. If you get the opportunity to travel I strongly encourage you to and here’s a list to why

Character and confidence 

Survival of the fittest. If ever there was a way to see how strong you really are, not just physically but mentally and socially – travel. Being able to thrive in new environments requires a different kind of confidence. It’s a great way to learn how to socialise with new people especially where language is a barrier. It teaches you how tolerant/ intolerant you are of others and vice versa which is a great opportunity for growth and understanding. Which leads me to the next point.

Learn a new language

I’ve always been taught – the best way to learn a new language is to surround yourself with those who speak it.  Extra brownie points if you actually visit the country of interest. Being in a different location forces you to learn phrases not only to help you get around but to also get to know the people around you. You’ll be surprised how much people appreciate it when you at least try to speak in their language and not just assume everyone speaks in English. You’ll also find that if you do – strangers are more willing to help than not.

Peace of mind

We are often surrounded with so much noise and distraction with the pressures and stresses from work, family or friends. It can be very easy to get lost in everything and forget the importance of savouring a few moments to yourself. Just to clear your mind, re-calibrate and refocus on what you are doing. Being in a different space really helps – it doesn’t even have to be a different country – but a new environment in unknown land has a calming effect on the mind. Bonus points if you put away your phones disconnecting in order to reconnect. It really is refreshing.

Expand your horizon

A lot of miss communication happens because of a lack of understanding and ignorance. Be it culture, background or general life experience. Being in a new environment not only exposes you to different ways of living. But often is a great reminder to how blessed you are back at home. It’s a blessing to be able to walk in someone else’s shoes and see life from their perspective – no matter how short the trip. It also opens you up to different opportunities you may not have  been privy to before.

Learn to be present

Being in unfamiliar territory and foreign grounds has a way of commanding your attention – forcing you to be present in the moment. Not just for your own security but to enjoy the new sounds, culture and lifestyle in front of you. There are so many breath taking views to be found – great source for inspiration.

Experiencing new foods!

Save the best for last! If ever there is a reason for me to go somewhere – this would be it. I don’t mind (within reason) where you take me. But if food will be there – so will I. Travelling is a great way to learn and expose yourself to new culinary skills and taste’s. A way to learn what you definitely don’t like and what you have been missing the entire time. If you are able to, ask the locals for their recipes – it’s the best kind of souvenir to take home.

KidsOut “Trolley Dash”

KidsOut is a charity who give disadvantaged children positive experiences to support them becoming future members of our society and workforce.

Last week I had the pleasure and opportunity to be involved in one of their annual “TrolleyDash” events held at the London Olympia exhibition centre. This is part of the British Toy and Hobby Association Toy Fair. I went along with a few other volunteers from Enterprise.

The idea behind the trolley dash is to collect as many toys as possible donated by the exhibitors. The toy box concept started in 2008 and this year over four thousand toys were collected and are now being prepared for distribution to refugee homes around the UK – such a great result.

Each year as many as 20,000 children flee domestic abuse to seek sanctuary in refuge. Typically leaving home with only the clothes on their back, these children have experienced physical, emotional, and even sexual abuse and arrive at refuge with nothing. Having escaped the abuse for the safety of a refuge for anywhere between 6-12 months, roughly 4,000 of these children and their mothers are then relocated to a new home to start again.

 

Moving into a new community can be particularly tough for children, especially when they have already left their school, friends and possessions behind. With the mothers’ attention and resources typically focused on acquiring basic necessities for the new home, purchasing toys and going on Fun Days out are often way down the list. To ease the anxiety of moving, KidsOut sends each child their very own box of toys, welcoming them to their new lives.

 

For more info or if you would like to get involved visit:

http://www.kidsout.org.uk/toy-fair-2017/ 

1 2 L E S S O N S | 2017

People will always say you are too young if you are younger than them

We are just over halfway through the month now and I’ve already heard rumours that some of you are already ready to restart the year. The “new year new me” adrenaline tends to start burning out around this time if you’ve hit the ground running without the necessary preparation. It’s always good to reflect on what we’ve learnt as a reminder of what we have gone through and where we want to go. So with that said, here are a few nuggets 2017 left me with:

  • You cannot deal with a problem you refuse to recognise
  • Tell your business to people who will help you pray about your business
  • To people who say things like ‘I pray God blesses you with twins’ – Don’t wish things for people that you aren’t ready to help them out with
  • You don’t have to explain yourself; you out grow people and that is okay
  • If people see you as ‘the same person’ – have you really grown? Change is good and beneficial for development
  • After school/ university you realise how many people you were friends with out of convenience
  • ‘Most people are hungry but won’t cook’ – it is no one else’s responsibility to make sure you become a success
  • You cannot love God and dishonour your temple (body)
  • ‘Lips that can wake a dead corpse and then nag it back to death again’ – know when to speak and when to be silent. The wisest people don’t say a lot
  • Christ is your driving wheel – not your spare wheel
  • There are some things that don’t need prayer – they just need discipline

Ozwald Boateng

“Ozwald Boateng has had a transformational impact on menswear fashion for almost three decades, with a design aesthetic rooted in savile row traditions but defined by international style, detail, and artistry.

His instinctive use of colour, cut and fabric fuses traditional classic British tailoring with a high end modern design focus on the refinement of a man’s silhouette, this has brought tailoring to a whole new generation of men.”

Recently I took a trip to Savile Row and had the pleasure of speaking to one of the tailoring assistants at Ozwald Boateng. Here is what he had to say:

You must have a style and you should celebrate your style. I don’t follow trends I just have my own style. Fashion changes but style is continuous.

How would you describe the house style at Ozwald Boateng?

“Revolutionary, always one step ahead according to the way Savile row works.”

How long would it take to make a bespoke suit?

“12 weeks.”

Are they made in house?
“Yes, always.”

Where do you source your cloth from?
“Ah almost everyone on Savile predominately uses, Holland and Sherry and Scabal.”

Do you ever source cloth outside of England?

“No we trust the English cloth, I’m not trying to undermine our friends in Italy, they have some of the most beautiful cloth in the world, but it’s not as robust as the English cloth, it’s not as durable. They don’t last as long.”

What would your guide be to buying a suit?
– “First of all, I’ve noticed people take a round about way to shopping. They ask about colour but when you are in the tailoring business the power behind a suit is knowing the cut. Trying on the cut of a suit and knowing what is suitable for you.”

“We can go all day talking about the cut. The most important thing is to always ask to try on the jacket. Do that with every store. Know your size then appreciate the cut. Once know which cut suits you best, then you can start to ask about colour and design that fits your style. Often you can see a beautiful jacket that visually – is spot on it has everything you want, but when you wear it it’s not comfortable in the right place.”

I think that’s one thing people don’t often realise. Often people treat buying a suit like buying a pair of socks. It’s not a one size fits all and then you’re done, right?
“Exactly, for example I’m quite tall with long arms. If I see a jacket that’s regular for someone else it may be a normal fit. But I can’t wear regular, my cut is a long cut – regular would not be proportionate for my size.”

What’re the Do’s and Dont’s for tailoring?
“Do know your body, because we are all individuals, we might wear the same size. I’m a 38″ but according to the size and shape of my body I need to find something that matches my proportions. So it’s not just finding the right size but finding the one that compliments your body shape.”

Lastly, how would you describe your personal style?
“Ah my personal style is a bit of tailoring with rock and roll. I wear my suits usually with my boots which is a big no traditionally. I don’t usually wear a tie.”

Any particular reason as to why not?

“I think style is a bit more profound than what people think of it. For me style is a big deal it’s like an extension of your personality. I mean I can look at how someone is dressed on the street (I’m not being arrogant to say that I instantly know what why’re trying to do) but you can get a glimpse of their personality. If for example you’re wearing a suit and you don’t wear it right, trying to be cool, there’s a misconception of what people think of you. I think with style, age has a lot to do with it.”