Back on the job hunt

Well everyone, after almost a year of full-time employment in digital communications I’m back on the job hunt again. My contract with my current employer has always been fixed-term.

My initial contract was only supposed to be for six months at first, but, by the time it ends on the last day of December, I’ll have been there (as a paid member of staff) for just two weeks shy of a whole year. I’ve actually been there a little long than that though, because I started as a volunteer before that.

I’m trying my best to to freak out too much. This time last year I was in my fifth year of unemployment after graduation, the BBC documentary that I took part in (Employable Me) hadn’t aired yet, and I was in a very strange kind of limbo between knowing that it wouldn’t be far away. My depression was so bad that I found it difficult to bring myself to get dressed every day.

Things have changed so much and I’ve mentally come a long, long way. I like to think I’m good at what I do (mostly social media-based things), and it turns out that I’ve become pretty confident at writing analytics reports, which is something I never thought I’d say. The sight of numbers usually makes my brain cry, so I’m actually, if I can be very un-British for a minute, pretty proud of myself.

There. I said it.

So yes, I’m back on the job hunt. I’m hoping it will be a bit easier this time around, now that I’ll have a year’s worth of experience under my belt.

Wish me luck,

Nic xx

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I have a job!

There’s no denying that lots of exciting things have happened to me lately, but perhaps the most exciting thing of all is that I can finally say I have a job!

A full-time, paid job involving writing and social media and research and newswriting and all the things I love. It’s mine until July.

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Photo shows a mug with a finger pointing and the text ‘you’re hired’.

Nancy Doyle, the career psychologist from Employable Me, accidentally made me a cup of tea in this mug while we were filming the series. I took a picture because it made me laugh at the time, but I guess I have a legitimate reason to use it now!

I start tomorrow (Monday).

I am so relieved.

I have lots of amazing and exciting freelance projects on the go too. I’m still going to keep working on those during my evenings and weekends.

I’ve gone from being the least busy person ever to finally being able to justify buying a diary again, hence my almost crying in Waterstones incident the other day.

I’ve actually been volunteering a my workplace (ohmygosh I have a workplace) for a couple of months, so I already know the people and that the building is accessible, so I’m not as nervous as about my first day as I could be, but the nerves are still there.

I’ll keep you posted!

Nic xx

 

Taking time for the little things

This week I’ve actually made some time to get on with all those little things that I’ve been meaning to do for weeks. They aren’t all things that are all that important to the ebb and flow of everyday life, but I think they’ll all come together to make me feel better within myself.

Sometimes I don’t think I talk enough about the ebb and flow of my everyday life away from my cerebral palsy enough on this blog. It’s not all that interesting, but I’m feeling in quite a positive place right now, so I thought I’d talk about it.

Going to the doctors

I finally went to the doctors because I’ve had a cough for about a month. It took me so long to go because I didn’t want to waste their time if they were going to tell me it was just a cough that could go away on its own. However, four weeks or so down the line and it didn’t seem to be improving. Obviously, the practice nurse I saw was lovely and gave me some antibiotics just help it on its way.

She didn’t make me feel like I was wasting her time at all, which was a relief.

Sorting my hair out

I have finally, finally, finally booked myself in for an appointment at the hairdressers. I think I’ve actually been meaning to do this since the end of November or early December, but life happened. Now the situation is getting pretty desperate and my fringe is taking over half of my face to the point where my mum keeps saying that if I don’t get it cut soon she’s going to take the kitchen scissors to it herself.

I’m scheduled to go next week and I can’t wait to not have my hair in my eyes anymore. I’m not sure what I’ll have done. Probably just a good trim.

Buying printer ink

Since the start of the year, I’ve been working on a massive edit for one of my bigger, longer-running writing projects. I’ve been printing lots of pages so I can edit them on a hard copy. It also happens that the ink lights on my printer have been flashing at me for the last couple of weeks, but like Penny and her ‘check engine light’ on The Big Bang Theory, I’ve been ignoring it and hoping for the best. I finally bought some more yesterday. I haven’t actually changed the cartridges yet because I think I’m going to wait for them to totally run out first, but, y’know, when they do, at least I’ll be ready now.

Edited my CV

I spent some time last year doing freelance work, so I stopped actually looking for full time employment while that was going on. Now though, I’ve finally got my CV up-to-date and started applying for more things. Getting to interviews by myself in the cold, icy weather can be a bit of a challenge, but I’ll worry about that if I actually get any interviews!

 

I still have lots of other stuff that I need to do, like phone wheelchair services to ask them if I can new seat belt for my wheelchair because mine’s getting a bit worse for wear, and I have birthday presents, cards and wrapping paper that I need to buy at some point this week.

I think I’m making good progress though, if I do say so myself.

 

 

An emotional low

Over this past week or so I’ve hit a real emotion low and I don’t mind telling you that it’s been hard. Very hard.

There’s been a couple of things at play that have contributed to this. Some of it is thanks to the fact that I’m feeling quite hormonal (not that you wanted to know), but as I’ve also told you before, my cerebral palsy and my period do not get on. It makes my legs ache right down to the bones and during that time I also feeling a lot stiffer. That doesn’t exactly boost my mood either.

Other factors are that it feels like everyone around me is moving forward in their lives while I’m stuck. Job hunting is not going well, and the things I’m finding to apply for are either in areas that I can’t afford to live in, or are in areas that would possibly be too hard for me to live independently in geographically, because they’re very hilly or not easy to get around. I would probably still go for the jobs in these areas though and look into getting a powered wheelchair, although this isn’t really something I want to do. More on that in a separate post.

Continue reading “An emotional low”

The Surgery Diaries

One of the questions that I dread being asked most at a job interview or on any kind of application form is the one that asks me about my biggest achievement in life so far. You see, the thing is that I always think that I should pick something that isn’t related in some way to my Cerebral Palsy, and yet I can’t help it.

When someone presses me for this piece of information my instinct always goes to one of two answers: getting through my hip operations and the one that followed where the stretched all the muscles in my legs afterwards, or the  fact that I managed to cope without the daily help of my folks when I went to uni. I know it’s wrong but I always feel like this isn’t quite what the interviewer is looking for, but to me they’re still big milestones nonetheless. I usually go for option one and tell them about the surgery.

Sometime this August, I don’t know the exact date anymore, marks six years since I had my first CP-related op at the age of 16. This was the bone bit, I was offered the operation because the way I stood at the time had caused both my kneecaps to twist inwards, so they wanted to break my hips and femurs bones so that they could be reset and face outwards again. Although I was nervous I’d agreed instantly. It would be worth all the pain that I was getting pretty much all over as a result of my posture. I knew that I wouldn’t be allowed to stand up even for six weeks after the first part and that things would still be slow going for ages after the muscle bit. It would be ages before I could walk unaided again without someone or something supporting me.  It wasn’t going to be an easy ride, we all knew that.

At the time I had prepared myself for so many things, but I didn’t realise at the time that there was so much I hadn’t considered like the fact that I’d have to move my bedroom downstairs, use a commode instead of a toilet, and that sitting up would be way too much effort in the first few days. It seems strange that I didn’t think about all of this at the time, but I threw myself into passing my school exams that were happening beforehand and decided that I’d worry about the other stuff after that.

Over the course of this month, I’ll be doing a series of posts talking about how I felt during this time, the things we did as a family to get through it. These updates might take a more serious tone that I usually try and go for when I’m writing on here, but I’ll try and keep focus on the funny things that happened too – believe me there were many- although I’m more entirely  I can share all of them here.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then tomorrow I’ll begin.