Unless blogging is your full time career or you work in digital marketing, PR or blogger outreach it can be hard to relate being a blogger to your work and explain why you spend your evenings and weekends sat behind a computer and snapping pictures to your hearts content.
I actually used to hide that fact that I blogged from my colleagues as I stupidly thought they would think I was frivolous, shallow and at worst not committed to my actual job! I always get asked when people hear about my blog if I want to do it full time and the honest truth is no. Whilst I am so proud of what I have achieved and massively enjoy blogging, I am also really passionate about my career in HR and want to progress. I am really ambitious and think my blog has really positively enhanced my skillset and I thought I would describe exactly why I think that is the case!
Like most, I got my 9 GCSEs, 3 A-Levels and 2 AS-Levels and did I have a clue in sixth form what I wanted to do? Of course not. I have always loved magazines and had dreams of getting into beauty journalism. When the time came to decide what next after school, I had my heart set on attending the University of Manchester and to study something quite general so it could set me up for numerous career opportunities once I left. I opted to study Management and Leisure which was Management Studies but with a focus on the leisure industry, which was perfect for me given my 'if I don't get the grades for uni' contingency plan was to study Beauty Therapy.
One of the biggest pieces of advice I could give people in the last few years of school or at uni would be to get work experience. As much as you possibly can. This will make you stand out from the other thousands of young people who all come out of uni with a massive debt and keen to jump on the career ladder. I was really fortunate that my university course incorporated placements each year as a part of the course requirements. It was through this that I found I really did enjoy the beauty industry along with having a knack for writing and marketing.
Cue a few roles as a Marketing Assistant, I soon realised that I loved being creative and working on internal comms and campaigns that meant something. A new bonus structure, company newsletters, christmas parties, you name it I was there with bells on and keen to make my mark. I have been made redundant a fair few times now during my career and each time I have been really fortunate to fall into something that was right at the time when I needed a new opportunity. It was the first redundancy that lead me down the HR path as I applied for and was successful in getting a HR job with my employer when my marketing role was redundant. I wasn't afraid of retraining and actually it gave me an opportunity to find something I really really loved. I had attended College in the evenings when I worked in Marketing to do Manicure and Pedicure (told you that love for beauty never went away!) so retraining in HR was just something I needed to do and it's the best thing I ever did.
To be successful in HR, alot of employers like to see you being CIPD qualified, so that's what I set about achieving. First the Certificate in Personnel Practice then a Post-Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management, all studied part time in the evenings. Hard work? Yes. Did I resent the evening and weekend study? Again, yes. Would I do anything different? Absolutely not. I am currently working towards my application to become a Chartered Member of the CIPD which basically means you really know your stuff in the HR world. You have to be able to demonstrate certain knowledge and responsibilities and I want to prove to myself and my network that I am precisely that.
Now, you maybe thinking to yourself, what does all this have to do with blogging and how on earth does she think the two are linked?
Stay with me.
As a HR professional, I have often been involved in recruitment and candidates will be assessed against certain competencies. When you are interviewing for a role, having a healthy work life balance, networking, trying to climb the corporate ladder, everything is about having a drive, enthusiasm and ambition. My blog has encouraged me to get out there, network, attend events, be more confident and PR myself. All very worthwhile skills for the workplace. And that's before we touch on being creative, being discplined, organised, a good communicator and being able to work to deadlines.
I have realised that my work and my hobby can go together hand in hand as I can merge my skills between the two. My love of beauty is catered for in a relaxed, non pressured environment, I can be creative, at work feel like I am really contributing to people's lives (cliche I know), and above all be happy with how my career is going, what my goals are and how I plan to achieve them.
I am really very passionate about being ambitious, I think it is healthy and attractive in others to want to better yourself. I enjoy learning and I like to be respected. I read Girl Boss and really admired Sophia Amoruso, her sheer determination and having some impressive business balls! I think there is a lot to be learned from her words and I for one will be continuing with the Girl Boss mentality!!
If any of my readers want to chat about CVs / transferable skills / interview technique then please feel free to email me I would really love to help!