Thursday, 26 March 2015

The Uncut Version – Things I haven’t spoken about before



 
So I have just completed job number 8 and it suddenly occurred to me that there is a whole side to my challenge that I haven’t really spoken about – how it’s been affected by my disorder. This wasn’t a conscious decision, but now that I am so much better I prefer not to talk about it - having had to discuss it almost every day for a year and a half! I was also worried that I didn’t want to come across as looking for the sympathy vote (no violins please!), but I then realised part of the reason I came up with this challenge was to raise awareness of my condition and to help people understand it (which will be a bit tricky if I don’t talk about it!) So here it goes…

The first challenge that I am constantly up against is the fact that I have a memory like a goldfish (although I think even to say a 10 second memory can at times be generous!). Thankfully this week Darren (my KORE therapist) has tried a few different things with me, I have also set an alarm on my phone so that I remember to meditate twice a day (I kept forgetting in the evenings!). This has led to a slight improvement in my memory which has made a huge difference!

I get a lot of messages every week with people offering me jobs - quite frankly I am overwhelmed by the support and kindness of people, it’s amazing! I’m also e-mailing people asking for jobs whilst also trying to co-ordinate non challenge related life! It can be pretty tricky when you can’t remember anything! The problem is things disappear from my mind so fast that I don’t even have time to write them down (on many occasions I have forgotten to reply to texts from friends, thankfully they have been so understanding!), this also means that I will forget to reply to people who message me about my challenge, then I remember, then I forget, then I remember…you get the idea! This will go on and on until finally I have to spend a while going through my inbox to see who I need to reply to. I feel awful as people are being so generous and it looks like I’m ignoring them. I have worked as an administrator for 2 years, so organisation was something I was always really good at… not anymore! If anyone has any ideas that might help please send me a message as I haven’t mastered it yet! Even putting everything in a diary I then forget to look at it!

I have also had messages from people who have the same disorder as me or something similar which I feel so privileged! There isn’t a cure for Migraine Variant Balance Disorder with modern medicine, but I have pretty much found one with meditation and KORE therapy (I have gone from 8 tablets to 0!!). It’s just the best feeling when people contact me to ask about it, as I know how awful their feeling and how amazing they can feel in a relatively short space of time! So far I have physically met one person with the same thing, she has now started KORE therapy and is 95% better after a few weeks – how fantastic is that! I am meeting with another lady next week, and I just can’t wait to help her! I am quite nervous though, as having the memory that I do at the moment, I often forget what symptoms I had (I know how ridiculous!) – Which can make comparing notes rather tricky! Most weeks now I seem to keep coming into contact with someone that can benefit from KORE therapy and meditation…the universe certainly works in mysterious ways!

So the next thing that has happened (that I have realised!) which is very bizarre is that I couldn’t tell the time for a week! I had to be at the job at the florist at 9.30am and wanted to leave 15 minutes to get there to make sure I was early, so in my head it made complete sense that if I left at 9.45am I would be there in plenty of time. I checked the time over and over, as I don’t like to be late – then at 9.25am I suddenly realised that I definitely wouldn’t be early leaving after I was meant to start!! I can confirm I was late! #Headinhands

Later on that week I had an interview for a paid job with the newspaper that I worked at for job #2 of the challenge (more about that in a minute). The meeting was at 1pm, and I wanted to leave 45 minutes travel time – again so that I would have plenty of time. I certainly did that! I went downstairs to say goodbye to my mum all excited and ready to go. She asked where I was going, which I thought was weird as she knew I was meeting the paper at 1pm…turns out it was 11.20am – maybe that was a little too keen! That really upset me, which I know sounds really weird but the thing with this illness is you think you’ve beaten it then it suddenly grabs you and brings you down a peg or two!
 
The lovely peeps at job #2
 
So back to the newspaper job, I was offered the job which was amazing and they were incredibly understanding about my illness which made such a difference. I went and brought my new uniform and was very excited to start, I had spoken to them a few times in the meantime and was so looking forward to it. I had been feeling great since starting the challenge (obviously I didn’t really know how that was going to go), so I thought that I’d be fine to start the job. I was going somewhere with this and I have forgotten where!!!! Ahhhh!!

Ah that’s it! As the start date got nearer and nearer I was feeling more and more tense, got more and more unwell and just knew it was the wrong thing to do. I kept ignoring those feelings, as it’s such an amazing opportunity and I’d be crazy to turn it down but deep down I knew it was just too much. I then had a sudden epiphany if you like, that everything happens for a reason - I genuinely think that was a test to see if I have learnt anything over the past year and a half! I keep saying that my health is the most important thing blah blah blah but when it came down to it, it was all words! I was doing exactly what had got me in this predicament in the first place - Saying yes to every opportunity even though I simply don’t have the time!

To give you an idea, I volunteer one day a week for Porchlight - there was no way I was giving this up, as they have helped me so much when I was really poorly, so I wasn’t just going to up and leave as soon as I was fit again! Then I do a minimum of one job for my challenge each week sometimes more, plus all the admin that goes with it - there’s more than you might think (to give you an idea, this blog has taken about 2 hours to write!). I definitely wasn’t giving this up either, it’s the most incredible journey already and I’ve only just started! I also work at my mums pub, doing all the online marketing, the staff wages and now arranging a monthly village market - I used to hate working for family as I wanted to make my own way in the world, but now I love that I get to spend so much time with them (I finally have my priorities straight!), so unfortunately this one couldn’t go either!...so that’s 4 days gone! Plus I am starting university in September which is 2 evenings per week plus coursework - obviously not giving up that opportunity. I have KORE therapy once a week - again no way I was going to stop that! In addition to that I was then taking on a 3 day job which as you can see leaves 0 days to recuperate!
 
Some of the Porchlight crew!
 
When I look at it like that I can now see why I was a little stressed about starting!  I really had one of two options – melt my brain a little bit more or turn down the job! I have found that in today’s society it’s really hard to put your health first, it’s just not the done thing! I call it the get on with it and it will go away attitude – I tried that and it didn’t work.  One thing I am certain of is that it may take some practice but my health is always my priority now...at the end of the day I am the one who has to live with the consequences of my decisions – and I don’t think I would forgive myself if I damaged my brain further. I have really realised that without your health you just don’t have a life! It’s funny, I got a magazine about meditation that had a quote on one of the first pages that really hit home, it was a quote from a Neurologist that said “today we know that everything we do, and every experience we have, actually changes the brain” – I certainly changed mine and not for the better!

Anyway rant over (that was aimed at myself rather than anyone else!). I’m actually getting a tattoo now which says in Arabic – “I suffered, I changed, I learnt” so that I never forget what this disorder has taught me! As I have said before, I don’t regret a second (even though I didn’t have much choice in the matter!) – I have learnt so many things from this disorder that have changed my life in a good way.

Since the newspaper incident a few weeks ago I had a little set back - my memory got worse (although as I said this week it’s improved yay!), I was so tired that I was having to sleep in the middle of the day and my floatyness (I know that isn’t a word!), migraines and headaches came back. So much so that last week I couldn’t do any jobs on my list, and I spent it mostly snoozing! This week I worked an evening, I will be back to normal in no time! I think I was a bit like a caged lion that had been set free and did a bit too much too soon! But I will get there J

I have taken note of my epiphany and have even changed the date of my army day so that it is a pleasurable experience rather than making myself ill. Again I have no idea why I thought it was necessary to do an army assort course 2 months after starting to get better, especially when my neurologist has said not to exert myself! I will learn one day!

Wow, I feel like all I have done is talk about myself! I hope you found it interesting, and that it hasn’t been too boring.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, if you enjoyed I would be so grateful if you could share it to help spread the word!

Thank you
Bobbie J
xxxx

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Job #6 Mechanic





I spent two days at C.S autos and sons - This is the first job that I have done that was pretty much as I expected, but I learnt so much!
If I had the tools that I needed, I could now service, change the brakes & lambda sensor on my car no problem, although I hope I won't need to for a while! I don't know how many people know about this kind of thing, but people have different learning styles (I used to work in a training department!) - they are visual, auditory and kinaesthetic - look it up it's actually pretty interesting! I am a kinaesthetic learner so I learn by doing things...which is why this challenge works well for me, especially with my head the way it is now - it's by far the best way for me to learn.
Anyway back to being a mechanic! Some things I did learn were 1. Wear lots of layers as working outside can get pretty chilly!  2. Take lots of tissues...getting chilly also makes your nose run! lol 3. you can't wear gloves as you won't be able to feel what you’re doing (and quite a bit of what you do goes by feel as you can't actually see the bit your working on!)



Cars are not designed with the poor mechanics in mind that's for sure! You have to be physically strong - as you can imagine metal bolts plus the elements don't always agree, so they can often be rusted on!
You’re also bending in all sorts of positions to try and see a bit your working on. Most of the spaces you are work in on a car a pretty confined so you have to be a very creative thinker when the tool you need won't fit in the gap!
Laying underneath my car for the first time was pretty scary! Golden rule when your car is jacked up is always use stands underneath in case one of the jacks fail...I still didn't feel 100% safe at first! You also work at so many strange angles, that's certainly something to get used to!
The main thing that I learnt is that no matter how long you have been working as a mechanic you never know it all, and you’re always learning as you go. There are so many thousands of different cars that it would be impossible to know where each part is on every one.
You can also never anticipate how long a job will take either, as you never know what will crop up whilst you’re doing the work - not everyone looks after their car as they should!
When we changed my lambda sensor it took us about an hour to change a part that should literally unscrew and be replaced! For those of you not in the know this sensor regulates your emissions, so plugs into the catalytic converter. The thread had gone (I'm not sure where!) on my lambda sensor so even with all the brute force we could muster it wouldn't budge an inch. Time for the air gun - we meant business! And...nothing! I should also point out that we really didn't want to snap the sensor as that would have meant replacing the cat (very expensive!)  Luckily Craig's dad has learnt a few tricks of the trade along the way, he suggested one last trick to try and save my pocket! By leaving the car running for 15 minutes the heat would expand the thread and make it easier to get out...and it worked! Thank you Craig's dad for remembering that little trick!
I went to the council after working with C.S autos to arrange some more jobs, when I told them what I had done that week they had weirdly been to see Craig & co! Apparently she had visited a number of places that had said her husbands van was beyond repair, but C.S autos not only fixed it but only charged £50. They clearly always go the extra mile, which is really nice as I have also experienced mechanics who try to exploit people that don't know about cars!
Ian (Craig's dad) can no longer work as a mechanic as all the ratchet pulling has worn his elbow away...something to bear in mind when considering a career. My own dad still feels the effects of working as a butcher some 23 years ago! Not something we think about when starting a job.
Everyone was so kind and welcoming. They even paid for the parts to do my car as it was for Charity & Tony from the exhaust clutch and brake centre gave a huge discount! I've been blown away by people's generosity with this challenge.


I have also got my very own 100 job challenge overalls on the way...I will post a photo when they arrive - exciting times!
Thanks everyone at C.S autos for having me for a couple of days, I absolutely loved it. If my car is ever in need of a repair I know where to take it! 



Let's see if it's all it's cranked up to be!

1.     How long have you worked as a mechanic, and how did you get into it?
“I’ve been here for around a year now. I’ve always enjoyed cars, it’s a passion I got from my dad - before he gave us the business he ran it successfully for over 20 years”
2.     What’s the best thing about your job?
“The best bit is that every job is different, with different challenges! No two days are the same”
3.     What’s the worst thing about your job
“Sometimes you have to work long days, into the night. Also when it goes wrong or a bolt snaps makes the job harder!”
4.     If money, time, education etc were no object what would your dream job be?
“I always wanted to be a fireman, but unfortunately didn’t pass the test”
5.     What stress rating would you give your job (where 1 is relaxed and 5 is super stressful)
“I can’t give it a stress rating, as it really does vary from day to day and job to job”






Monday, 16 March 2015

Job #7 Dog Groomer


 
 
It really is a dog’s life, not only do they get to sleep, eat, walk repeat every day but the dogs that come to The Dog house also get a full on pampering session...they don't know how lucky they are!
 

 
For all the dogs except one it seemed like a day of grooming is the dog equivalent to a trip to the dentist, the thought of it is so much worse than it is...although I have to say I’m not sure I’d be keen on having a hair dryer blasted up my bot either!

Tia the husky bigger than me and Lauren put together had to be dragged in, whilst trying to hide behind her owner...we can still see you! Poor Daisy the spaniel wet herself on the street, now she definitely needs a wash!

But once their through the picket fence and have waived goodbye to their owners they actually enjoy it! (maybe that part doesn’t happen at the dentist!) When their all finished they can't wait to run around the shop and show off their new do!

I couldn't believe how many similarities it shares with my hair salon, minus the massage chair! There’s a huge range of shampoos for different fur types and colours - all organic and completely natural...wouldn't mind trying some myself! I even gave a couple of blueberry facials today! Plus they all get a spritz of doggy cologne when their done!


 
The dogs are carried to the bath (I still can't believe Lauren managed to pick up a full grown husky on her own!) where their hair is washed twice (the same as a salon!), they then get the main wet blasted off in the sink, it’s then time for the cutting table. There is a free standing dryer which is used to dry with whilst giving them a good brush.
 
Now is time for the hair cut - I didn't get to do any cutting, you wouldn't expect to go from salon junior to stylist in one day at Toni and Guy and the same applies here!

I couldn't believe how fresh the dogs looked afterwards, they have the biggest smiles on their face when their finished so it must feel so much better!

I was really surprised that there were dogs in the salon when I arrived (I'm Not sure where I thought I was going!), Lauren has 2 dogs Bruce & Wally who are lovely and help put the other dogs at ease.

Something else I didn't anticipate was how many 'accidents' you would have to clear up! Apparently sometimes they even get you accidentally!...glad I didn't experience that, although it was a close call!
 
I was surprised that a lot of the dogs that visit are not on best behaviour, but Lauren pointed out that people whose dogs behave whilst having their hair cut are happy to do it themselves - it's the less compliant ones that need some expert assistance! Lauren had some nasty scratches up her arm from last week, another hazard of the job. My first client of the day had to be muzzled as he had clearly got out of the wrong side of bed! Luckily that wasn’t an omen for the rest of the day!

There's a lot to learn with being a groomer, there are do's and don’ts for every breed. Husky’s hair shouldn't be cut as they have a double coat, so it might not always grow back if you cut it! I cannot believe how much husky a moult - the shop was taken over by a fur like hurricane - you couldn't breathe without getting it up your nose or in your mouth!

Shitzu’s get the orange on their faces, you can stop this by giving them filtered water!

Spaniels always get knots behind their ears.

Westies are the most likely to scratch and bite!

Dog with dandruff is generally caused by a bad diet…and the list goes on!
 
As someone that has never had dogs that need grooming I used to think it was an expensive luxury. I now see that it's actually cruel not to get it done. I heard a story (and saw photos) of someone who's dogs fur was so matted that once he'd been trimmed the fur on the floor still kept the shape of the dog! This was likened to having your pubic hair tied round your ears...you can imagine how much it would hurt each time you moved! So it's actually really important that you get it done regularly. Plus I can now confirm that the cost is certainly justified, you would not believe how much work goes into grooming a dog!

I hadn't thought about how much hair you would get covered in either, I was itching all over by the time I got home! As Lauren said it's the gift that keeps on giving as you find hairs for weeks afterwards (I’ll let you know on that one!)

I think this job has raced to joint first place floristry...how am I ever going to choose just one!
 
Let's find out if it's the pawfect job or whether you have to be barking mad to do it!

How long have you been a dog groomer and how did you get into it?
“Ive been grooming 6 years, I started because I was no longer happy in my office job and I knew my sister really enjoyed hairdressing, but I didn’t want to deal with people all day!”

What is the best thing about the job?
“Other than walking my dogs to work with me, it’s probably when a customer really appreciates what I do. I’ve had the odd customer cry over the years because they have been so happy with their dogs groom and its always’s nice to feel like someone really likes what you have done for them and their beloved pet!”

What is the worst thing about the job?
“Having to clip off the poor dogs who come in with a neglected, matted coat. They always look so sad and it’s never nice causing an animal pain clipping off hair that lazy owners haven’t bothered to take care of! If you don’t have time to do everything your dog needs you to do, you shouldn’t have a dog! Although seeing the transformation of sad, pained little creatures into happy, playful, cuddly dogs is also one of the best things about the job!
Other than that, it’s going home smelling of wet dog, unable to get that once a year stinky farm dog from under my nails and feeling itchy all over certain I have fleas!”

If money, time, education etc weren’t an issue what would be your dream job?
I would probably live somewhere with enough land that I could rescue and rehabilitate dogs. It breaks my heart to see abandoned & abused dogs who need homes and have nowhere to go. Although it might be nice to wear some nice clothes once in a while!”

What stress rating would you give this job out of 5? (1 being relaxed and 5 being super stressful)
 
On a day where one dog works all the others into a frenzy 4, at Christmas 5!

Thanks so much for having me Lauren, I loved it. Plus the biggest thank you for your incredibly kind donation of £40. If you have a doggy that hasn’t had a good groom in a while, get in touch with Lauren at https://www.facebook.com/thedoghousekent.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Job #5 Florist


 
Even before I stepped foot in Floral Explosion’s doors I learnt a valuable lesson…wrap up warm! Unlike myself, cut flowers aren’t a fan of the heat...and unfortunately they win!

This was definitely my favourite job to date, I’m not sure I’m actually going to be able to choose one job at the end of this challenge as I have liked 4 out of the 5 jobs so far!...oh well!

There is absolutely loads that I didn’t know about being a florist, so it was nice to be doing a job where it really is rather different to my expectations. I think I was looking forward to this job the most, as I figured that you’re making people smile all day, as everyone loves to receive flowers – although apparently that isn’t always the case! Plus it’s the delivery driver that gets the good bit of seeing people’s faces light up. However there were a few phone calls even in the 2 days that I was in,  where people were calling to say how absolutely over the moon they were with their flowers…So lovely that people take the time to do that!

I was really surprised to find out that when the flowers are delivered to the shop every day, they need to be ‘conditioned’ before they can be used – which means you have to prepare them for the shop floor, and is different for every flower. Some just need the leaves stripped and the stem cut, while gerberas have to be wired and roses have to have their thorns removed. Actually a pretty therapeutic job.

There is a super special tap in the kitchen that fills up the pots with food & bleach in the water (apparently there is some truth to the old wives tale). This helps to keep the arrangements fresh, did you know that the main reason that flowers don’t last very long is that we don’t change the water – we don’t like drinking dirty water, and they don’t either!

My first job was to make 38 small table arrangements that are delivered every week to the local golf club. That also means there are 38 vases to clean…didn’t think about that! Some were even nearly as tall as me, I didn’t get to see how those get washed.

The work that they get is spilt into 3 – funerals, weddings and arrangements. I made a funeral ‘pillow’ on my first day. Not only is it nice to make something that will make a sad day special, but it’s also really satisfying seeing the piece evolve into the finished article. I hadn’t really considered how much funeral work a florist would have, but that also means that you have to be very understanding with people. Funerals and dying are something I’ve never been very good at talking to people about – I’d have to get over that! It’s also a really good opportunity to get creative, as a lot of people want something made on request to symbolise something special between them and the person who’s funeral it is.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
On the second day I made some table centre pieces as an example of what could be ordered for a wedding. That was really fun, as I was allowed to choose any flowers from the shop floor, as long as they were in keeping with a ‘country’ theme. I think they looked pretty cute!


 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It was really interesting to learn how flowers are brought by the florists too. All of the world’s flowers are sent to Holland to be sold at auction, buts it’s not your normal auction – the price starts high and goes down until someone hits the button to buy. So if you desperately need a certain flower, you’d hit the button straight away to ensure you get it – but that obviously increases the price. The auction being held in Holland means that all the flowers that are available to buy online are named in Dutch – so you have to know a spot of Flemish to know what your ordering! This also causes problems in other areas as for example Milka is the dutch name for a colour that we don’t have a name for, and vice versa there isn’t a word for purple in Dutch! So to combat this all of the colours are done by number instead (which apparently isn’t always correct).

People from all over the world are limited to the same selection of flowers as you are, so you have to be fast with what you want, as once it’s gone it’s gone! Once the order has been placed it’s on the van and on it’s way within 15 minutes – pretty impressive! Becky said that she usually designs the piece in her mind while she’s ordering. If a customer wants a specific flower and colour, it can be tricky as it might not be available, but apparently in that case she would have to go directly to the grower. She also has to take into consideration the climate of England, as different flowers like different climates.
 
 

Something else that can be very tricky is the fact that people aren’t always organised – so for valentine’s day for example Becky & Paul have to guess how many roses they are going to sell. They ordered 400 roses months before valentines at a great price, but then a few days before had already sold all those – they made the decision to order another 300 at a much higher price, apparently they could have sold another 300 again! It’s very much like gambling, as people won’t pay a higher price for the roses – so you obviously don’t want to order too many that you won’t sell, but on the other hand you don’t want to turn people away and miss potential sales. Plus nobody wants to buy a rose straight after valentines, so it sounds like an impossible task to decide just how many to go for.

Overall I loved my 2 days with floral explosion, the team made me feel so welcome. It was so nice that they let me get involved in so much considering I had no idea what I was doing. I have definitely learnt the most from this job, and have now even managed to get a bunch of flowers to last 2 weeks now I have the right know how! I certainly think at the end of my challenge being a florist will be a contender (I know I am only at job #5 of 100!), I love that it’s creative, whilst cheering people up and two days are never the same.

I asked Becky to answer a few questions to see if floristry is a bloomin’ marvellous as I think it is!

How long have you been a florist?

I have worked as a florist for 12 years.

How did you get into the job?

My first job as a Saturday girl was at a florist, I went back to the profession after I had children. From education I went into marketing which I loved, but when I had children I changed career paths so that I could run my business around my family and not have to commute.

What is the best thing about the job?

I’ve always dreamt of having my own florist, even as a little girl, I’m lucky that I can make my living out of something that I love.

What is the worst thing about a job?

The worst part of the job is working in the cold!

What stress rating would you give this job out of 5? (1 being relaxed and 5 being super stressful)

The job can be quite stressful if you have a deadline to meet for a wedding or funeral, so you have to work at a productive speed but still keep your standards high and produce beautiful work. Mother’s day & Valentines day have a stress rating on 5! But the rest of the time I would give it a:


It was so nice to meet someone who is actually doing their dream job…hopefully that will be me soon! Thank you so much to all the team for having me.
 
If you ever have a reason to buy flowers I 100% recommend you go to Floral Explosion!...and they didn't even pay me to say that! www.floral-explosion.co.uk

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Job #3 Working in a shop

Ok so this job wasn’t supposed to be one of the 100, I was meant to be working at a garden centre every weekend to pay for this challenge. I actually only worked one shift, then got offered a job somewhere else…sorry!! But I decided that I wanted to include this within the 100 as to me it really reminded me why I am doing this challenge in the first place!...the universe works in wonderful ways! Here’s why…

So as you know I have been unwell and unable to work blah blah blah! But even though I am nearly better my health is still the most important thing, so I wanted a laid back job that would easily run alongside this challenge. I may say these things, and I genuinely mean them – but I am finding that actually taking it easy is easier said than done. As I have said before, I am someone that loves work (weird I know) – so it makes it very difficult for me to take a step back and do something a bit less taxing for my little brain!

I was really excited to work at the garden centre for 2 reasons. 1 – because it’s local, laid back and a very well run business and 2 – because everyone seemed so friendly. I’d like to point out here that the reason I didn’t like it wasn’t down to the place, but was a classic example of where what I had imagined the job to be and what it actually was were two very different things – hence why it’s great to try before you buy as it were!

I had completely forgotten that there are certain aspects of working in a shop that I love and others that I don’t! For example: I was really surprised when I first worked in a shop to find that I’m actually really good at sales – I would never have described myself as one of those people that could sell ice to an Eskimo (not that I have tried!), and I don’t think anyone else would either. As it turned out, I love the buzz and the challenge of sales – although I would only ever sell a good product that I believe in…I do have morals! I used to regularly beat my weekly target so I can’t be too bad at it! However the bit that I had forgotten about was all the standing around waiting for a customer…I’m sure those of you who have worked in a shop when it wasn’t the job for them have also felt that feeling where a minute feels like a day and where you feel like a tiny piece of you is dying inside! I know it sounds dramatic, but it really isn’t an exaggeration!

I had absolutely not thought through the details of the job, and had just gone on what you see as an outsider (even though I’ve worked in this before, so really was just a moron for not thinking it through…I blame my dodgy head!). I am learning more and more with every new job just how much more jobs entail than you would expect. It’s not really something I have ever given any thought to – but now that I am, I am finding it so interesting how different a job can be to what you think it will be. I really do think that as a society we aren’t really encouraged to give much thought to jobs or to explore different options – which when you think about it is just crazy when we spend 25 to 30 years working (source), that’s 1/3rd of our lives!

I have gone from someone who before I got ill had it all planned out, and was happily working my way up the company ladder knowing exactly where I am heading. To now I have absolutely no idea what I want to do, and I’m just taking any opportunities that arise, to see where they take me. That would have scared the life out of me before, but now I have learnt it is all about the journey rather than the destination! #cheesy

A lot of the time when it comes to thinking about a different job, we put up our own barriers – I haven’t got the qualifications I need is a classic. That’s why volunteering is great, as then the company can see your skills. Yes you might not have the qualification they are looking for, but you have all these other great skills that you would never have learnt at college and that make you even more perfect for the job. If you just sent in your C.V however, that’s really hard to get across, and depending how many people apply – your C.V might not even get read if it’s not immediately apparent that you have what they are looking for. By volunteering you become a person as opposed to just a piece of paper. So whilst you may not be the giving type who wants to donate their time for free, on a purely selfish level it’s a great way to get a job that on paper you’re not really appropriate for.

I am a prime candidate for this, as I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left school so I decided not to go to university. I’m glad I made that decision as I still don’t know what I want to do! But it can make it tricky to get jobs sometimes. I have got 3 jobs now from volunteering, so I am living proof that it works, yet when I apply for jobs just sending in my C.V I rarely hear back!

I’m not really sure how I have got from the garden centre to volunteering, but there we go! I hope this has provided a little food for thought!

I have a backlog of blogs as I suddenly had loads of jobs come up at once (going with the flow! ;-)) but I don’t want to bombard you, so I’ll wait a couple of days before posting the next one!

Have a great week

Bobbie :)