img_5308

Today I want to share some tips on effective networking and ways in which I have been trying to get myself ‘out there’ and what resources I have found useful. This post is useful for those of you, like me, who would like to forge a career in writing/journalism, PR, blogging or copywriting or any other creative career. It focuses on networking but also on useful resources for finding internships or opportunities.

Twitter

I have been on Twitter since 2012 (and Facebook since 2006) but it’s only recently become a good resource to me. Using relevant hashtags such as #journorequest #prrequest #bloggers #bloggerswanted you can find so many relevant companies or opportunities. For example you may be added to a list for brands to send relevant PR samples for you to try and review or you may find a company looking for a freelance content writer. You can also follow editors, magazines or any other publication you like to read.

Instagram

Similar to Twitter you can find relevant content through hashtags but it also has a much more visual aspect (obviously!). You can comment on and engage with other users who are also writers or in the same industry as you. Also make a cool ‘New Content’ or ‘New Blog Post’ image with an app such as Snapseed and use this with relevant hashtags every time you write new content, with a link to your blog, to facilitate more readership and relationships. Finally source other like minded ‘Instagrammers’ to make an Instagram Pod. This is where a small number of bloggers or like minded individuals join a private group and you can share your posts to the pod where everyone will comment on and like the post. This not only attracts other users to read the post but helps you to build networks in small ‘pod’ form.

Local ‘Rags’

Any local paper or newsletter that arrives through your door is a way to network. They will feature local events and networking events. Local fairs, volunteer opportunities, business meetings etc. You never know who may go to these events and I have found it is also a way to get to know people and improve your ‘in person’ confidence in a day and age where people so often communicate via social media.

Linkedin

I have also found this particularly useful as I follow and try to engage with like minded individuals in the same industry or an industry that I am interested in. This way I get insider information and tips but also the newsfeed regularly throws up potential network events, job offers or internships. I managed to bag an amazing free UX/UI design course and am in the process of developing some skills in this area!

Fashion Workie

This site is particularly useful for you if you are interested in PR, content writing, design, sales, marketing in the beauty and fashion industries like me. The site provides information on useful networking events, internships, talks and competitions.

Introductions

Seems obvious but I never really thought about this until recently. Always speak to people and introduce yourself. Try and speak to people and they may know someone they can introduce you to (this happened to me!!). I went to a networking event run by the girls at a blog I read regularly (Career Girl Daily) called the Career Girl Academy. I not only received some lovely beauty goodies I met lots of like minded girls and women. There were some presentations run by high powered women who had their own businesses. Make sure you dress to impress and make yourself known to them. If possible carry around cards with your blog address and social media accounts to hand to them. This paid off for me as I managed to bag some fantastic PR experience this way.

What do you do to network or get yourself ‘out there’ in this saturated blogosphere? I am keen to hear your ideas.

Links 

www.fashionworkie.com

www.twitter.com

www.instagram.com

www.linkedin.com

www.careergirldaily.com

 

img_5317

So today I wanted to round up my holy grail can’t live without products. The three basics.

1. Bioderma Hydrabio – literally pretty much the only cleanser I use. Removes make up and cleanses the  face. It’s a gentle alternative to most and has molecules in that is supposed to lock moisture in to the skin! Used it for around 5 years and used to buy from Feel Unique (amazing beauty site) but now Boots stock it! Yay. It’s not cheap at around £15.50 for 500ml but I wouldn’t be without it. Also check it out on EBay.

2. Mac Dame blush – amazing satin finish blush. It’s a picture perfect flush pink with a tiny hint of purple-ish sparkle. I don’t feel the sparkle translates on to the skin so it’s a perfect every day blush.  I think it would suit any skin tone. Around £18.50 from Mac or a Mac concession in Debenhams.

3. Chanel Inimitable Intense mascara in black – as I’m so pale I like to give my eyelashes a lift with this. Coming in at £26.00 it’s not a cheap mascara but I find high street mascaras so wet. This one is a slick waxy type mascara which gives amazing volume and lift. The colour is as intense as the name. Get through at least one every few months! You can grab a this at any Chanel concession or Boots.

What are your every day holy grail products?

 

 

 

catwalk

So most of us mere mortals probably wouldn’t get the chance to go to this unless we were famous or had millions of followers but it’s always nice to follow what’s going on in the national news, publications and of course via blogs and social media.

I read an interesting opinion in The Economist where the author had concluded that she felt that London Fashion Week had lost some of its shine essentially as instead of waiting patiently for the lovely magazine spread, we instead login Instagram and see the latest fashion instantaneously.

Now I would say what is wrong with that! Times change and society and the economies of fashion and beauty change with it. Who in this day and age wants to wait months to read about something so current? This is of course where digital magazines win out.

I would also say that there will be always be a market and demand for magazines and news stories on these topics particularly when writing literature and books in the future. I would say that I would still be likely to read the article later on in time just out of general interest especially if there were articles confirming where cheaper versions could be bought (as it would take some time for the copies or interpretations to filter in to our shops).

As per my original point, us mere mortals like having the information at our fingertips and I certainly would love to see more interpretations of the catwalk fashions featured on blogs or Twitter or Instagram. I can only see that it spark  interest earlier which results in getting more sales for the designers as people flock to buy the latest ‘it’ bag or a copy of it.

Are you likely to emulate any of the latest fashions ahead of the seasons?

I particularly recommend Alice Archer who I follow on Instagram. Her collections are a mixture of pretty embroidery and romantic prints / paintings. Wear similar or take inspiration with 90’s denim with embroidered flowers or silky bombers.

Pretty Bomber Jacket – http://www.zara.com/uk/en/woman/sale/collection/floral-embroidered-bomber-jacket-c482001p3647359.html#

Alice’s Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/alicearcher/

Here is an link to the article – http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2016/03/economist-explains-5?fsrc=scn/li/te/bl/ed/

 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

img_5310

1. A little black dress or any black dress would do!
2. Flat Smart Boots… in most / every material and shade obviously! My materials of choice would be leather or suede as these are harder wearing, have that quality look and are just generally fabulous. The standard tan, black or cream colours are obligatory. I’d also recommend non-fussy designs i.e. no studs, feathers, horns as then they are less staple more rodeo.
3. Long wool camel coat. Again think dry clean only quality material (a pain I know but essential that the material is a quality blend for the amount of times these are worn). They are also super warm and go with everything.
4. Leggings! Nothing resembling tights or bum enhancing beauties as we don’t want to see that. Just the standard ankle length variety to wear under long tops, dresses, jumpers, cardigans etc. Also great for when you are expecting as you get them in a size or three up.
5. Every variety of vest top known to man; or more realistically in a choice complexion enhancing hue. They can be worn under a troublesomely tight shirt, under jumpers, for layering and particularly pretty when edged with lace.
6. A decent balm! As important as the top on your back. Used on a variety of ailments e.g. frizzy hair, cuticles, as a lip balm, an eyebrow or eyelash balm and my personal favourite…for soothing sore noses in the winter! P.S. I recommend Nuxe Reve De Miel; much better than your average Vaseline.
7. A poncho or furry shawl. I mean the throw on type cardigan poncho, not your rain one!
8. A checked shirt. A top tip is to get a man’s one. They come up as bigger obviously but in a chic slouchy way for a casual wear and fantastic for throwing on with said leggings and vest tops.
9. Leather jacket. But of course. As the winter gives way to nicer spring evenings but it’s still not warm enough to go bare back throw a jacket on of the black leather variety.
10. Finally, a decent nude office to pub heel. Good for negotiating stairs, cobbled pavements (almost!) and anywhere in between said office and pub.
Hope you enjoyed and were inspired by the same!

Stock photograph used.

fullsizerender-2

2016 was a difficult year for a number of reasons but I have come to many realisations and am excited and proud to note these here. I have survived 100 percent of what has happened so far in any event.

  1. Nothing lasts forever. Not my favourite TV show, not an amazing day out (obviously) however I am talking feelings and emotions. Those days when I  was stuck in that darkness I am pleased to say did not last.
  2. I shouldn’t be ashamed of depression. I have suffered on and off throughout my adult life and was diagnosed with a condition in 2011. I thought I was going mad or worse sometimes I felt out of control. It’s also not something I got over in one day but as point one confirms some days felt better than others.
  3. I can’t please everyone and I’m OK with that. I used to feel really guilty if I couldn’t do something or if I had let someone down or annoyed someone. It could consume me and I may have made it worse on some occasions. The easiest way out is to let it go. It seems easy but it was one of the hardest lessons I learned. It was like I  was taking on the whole world’s problems as well as my own. In reality it’s OK to care and show the same but I have finally become a bit more comfortable with saying no.
  4. It’s OK to quit when I’m ahead. This is particularly relevant for a number of things but for me it’s relevant to where I am with my career. I used to think I was happier when I wasn’t working. As soon as I left work it felt like my life would ‘start’again. Take it from someone who knows; that feeling does not go away until you do something. For me it was drastic but I am grateful for that epiphany or, as I like to think of it as, reaching rock bottom again and again. You have to reach that sometimes in order to trigger ‘fight or flight mode.’ If I lied to myself and continued to say that it wasn’t that bad then in reality I wasn’t making the progress to pull myself out. I wasn’t pushing myself to really decide that I needed to do something.
  5. Accepting help is not a sign of weakness. I went for a period of counselling which for me wasn’t too bad as I can talk (haha). Luckily for me I’m not a ‘keep it to myself’ kind of person. I let it out and can move on. Strange really as I have suffered with my demons for so long. You’d think that I would learn and move on but it took a lot of crying to my counsellor and thought to actually make changes. I know now it was a lot of fighting against doing the right thing. Subconsciously I knew my life was going in the wrong direction but I continued anyway. It was like I don’t really need to change. I’m fine now. Even when I started to take medication again after a few years free of the same I fought against it and was ashamed to tell my counsellor. Somehow I thought I should be strong enough to do something about it on my own. But then I thought really? By who’s standards? My own. In this respect then I can set the parameters. Mantra – the more you fight the more exhausted and  cloudy visioned you become (for mental health at least).
  6. There are no short cuts. No matter how much I wanted my life to change over night it didn’t. No matter how many times I cried or thought up something silly to take my mind off it I was only hurting myself. I thought of it like this; I wanted to change my path but didn’t know the way so instead of researching and checking I would take a shortcut, or what I thought was one, and end up more lost than before.
  7. I suppress an awful lot of myself. I am passionate, vivacious, ambitious, fiery, intelligent but above all a massive critic. Did I come across like an idiot? Should I redo that? Should I have bought that? (Ties in to point 10). Its the over analysis of myself and my actions that has been the hardest to change.
  8. I can’t do everything I want to do in one day. Typically me and as a result I have many unfinished projects and courses. I MUST learn to take stock and do one thing at a time (or maybe 2). This is still work in progress.
  9. I must not take things personally. Fed by my anxiety and low self-esteem I take what people say to heart and upset myself. But to be frank, their opinion will be different from someone else’s. Their opinion may stem from their own feelings of anxiety. From these realisations I am happy to say that moving on from this mindset has been one of my greatest achievements.
  10. I must not over analyse. As a summary, and basically tying in to everything as mentioned above,  over analysis leads to one horrible low place. It is so much easier to move forward then keep dwelling.

Love to hear your stories too! Hope you like the photo. Reminds me of jumping over the other side.