Why achieving fuck all is just wonderful, actually

“And you’ve managed to complete a course of CBT, started enjoying life again.” Charlie took another sip of Rioja. “Some years we tread water, and that’s an achievement in itself. Give yourself a break.”

THIS is why I have friends who are smarter than me. Because as simple a concept as that sounds, how many of us actually let ourselves off for not achieving the things we wanted to?

2017 has seen a lot of changes for all of us. We can think of all the scary, world-wide political changes. We all have our own personal, smaller things that have blown our little world apart. Some of us have managed to attain amazing personal accomplishments this year. If you, like me, don’t feel you have – I’m telling you, as I’m telling myself, that it doesn’t matter.

Treading water is frustrating, dull, interminate. We aren’t going to write scintillating Instagram captions about staying in the same job, home, keeping the same friends, romantic status. Inspiring others doesn’t happen when we’re just persevering in our day to day life. But. Treading water, perhaps obviously, means we haven’t drowned. For me, that means I’ve managed to stay in paid work despite some days feeling like getting out of bed is impossible. I’ve not got even further into debt. I put on weight at the beginning of the year, then lost it, therefore maintaining (kind of), a perfect size 12. I’ve managed to retain and in some cases nurture, existing relationships and be wise enough to know that gathering new people in my life wasn’t what I needed, no matter how tempting it was. For others I know, they have faced incredibly shit times and managed to carry on going.

No, that’s not exciting. But it’s incredible to me. We have had the resilience to carry on, no matter what. Even if some days we spent all day in our beds and watched 11 hours of Netflix. I still think that’s worth bragging about. And I’m hopeful that the boring, trudging groundwork I’ve put in this year has set me up for a much more exciting 2018.

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How My Little Ponies helped me get a job.

I’ve been in my marketing job at VPN service provider Hide My Ass! for nearly a year now, and sometimes I forget the ridiculousness of how I got this job in the first place. And I’ve never written about it! I’ve spent the past 11 months creating campaigns, landing pages, rehauling our entire email marketing strategy, and learning, learning, learning. So forgive me for forgetting to tell you about the amazingly ridiculous way in which I actually got here.

Back in April 2014, I was looking for a job in a start-up. I’d left my old company Redgate (where I’d spent 7 brilliantly fun years), and was coming to the end of a 6 month contract at a company that was a lot more corporate. It was great experience for my CV, but more than that, it made me realise I need that innovative, flexible and exciting start-uppy atmosphere! Hence the specific search.

In my search, I stumbled across this ad, requesting a shark wrangler. The dry wit, surrealism and personification of a (nearly) inanimate object struck a chord. If you’ve encountered Princess Tallulah, you’ll understand. (Although obviously PT is real and if you say otherwise I will hit you).

ANYWAY, I thought me and this random company seemed like a match made in heaven, so I rattled out this email in a matter of minutes, explaining what Princess Tallulah and I could offer:

Email application

     

Along with my CV and this lovely picture of PT hard at work:

PT  

I got a call within about 20 minutes from their internal recruiter, and we had a slightly hysterical conversation where I cried with laughter for a bit (I think I managed to rein in the snort at that stage), and then he was like ‘So as you attached your CV, can I assume you’re interested in a role? Because we have a marketing role coming up, we’ve just not advertised it yet’.

WELL IF THAT DOESN’T MAKE YOU BELIEVE IN FATE, WHAT WILL?   Long story short, I interviewed, talked about cheese, said I liked Nerf guns and gave them some real stats from my career (the ones in the email were slightly exaggerated, you see), and I got a job as Marketing Executive!  

And I can honestly say this feels like the best career move I’ve ever made. I loved Redgate with the cult-like fervour only that weird place can generate, but the amount I’ve learnt here, how creative I’m allowed to be (more on that in another post), and how confident I’ve become is testament to the fact that this is the place for me right now.

The importance of working somewhere that aligns with your personality, values and attitude is the difference between a job and a fulfilling career.

So, sorry, I’m one of those annoying people who loves their job.