What to do, what to do…

I’m not 100% sure what I’m going to do with this. To be frank I forgot I even made this!

But I did make a pact with myself that I would try and write more, and quite a lot of things have happened this last year that I’d be a fool to forget.

I read somewhere that the best writers draw inspiration from their own lives / what they already know. Well here’s what I know:

  • I know about getting your dream job on your last try.
  • I know about moving across the Atlantic with a bunch of strangers and coming back with a second family.
  • I know a little about Adventure.
  • I know about moving back into your childhood room at the age of 27 and all of the feelings that brings with it
  • I know about trying to fit back into a life that you’ve outgrown, but still making it work.
  • I know about trying to ignore all of the above and focusing on trying to get onto the property ladder (and move out of your mam’s!)

^ That’s pretty much what I know right now, so let’s see what we can do with that knowledge.

CRP: Historical Reseach Centre – Skype Interview

I’ve just this second (well 10 mins ago) finished yet another Skype interview for the Cultural Representative Programme, notably the Historical Research Centre with a Yummy Jobs representative.

I was a bit more organised this time so I’d like to take this fresh mind set and give you a full play by play of what I was asked!

I’d already recently gone through this experience, having a Skype interview with Yummy Jobs for the exact same position back in January and discussed the aftermath of the interview with a fellow applicant on Facebook Messenger. Luckily for me, I still had a record of this conversation in the depths of my Facebook Messages feed.

So I set about making cue cards for each of the questions I know were asked earlier this year. The unlucky 13 were:

1) Why did you apply for Historical Research Centre Cultural Research Programme?

2) Should you be successful: What do you want to get out of the programme?

3) Are you working? What do you currently do?

4) What do you do in your Spare time?

5) Tell us about your Sales experience?

6) Can you give us an example of exceptional guest service?

7) When have you dealt with a difficult customer? What did you do?

8) How have you given someone a great day whilst working in customer service?

9) Should you be successful: What would you find the hardest part of the programme?

10) Would you mind living with other people? What part of this would you find difficult?

11) What would you do if you had an untidy housemate?

12) Why should we hire you over the other applicants?

13) Any questions for me?

Having aptly prepped reasonable answers (and questions!) for each of the above, my Skype interview began perfectly on time at 16:01 19/09/2016. Despite the poor internet connection, I was able to make out and answered the following questions:

raw

1) Why did you apply for the Cultural Research Programme?

2) What would you like to get out of this programme – Professionally / Personally?

3) Do you have experience working to target sales / up-selling items?

4) Would you mind living with people from different cultures / countries?

5) What you find difficult about living with people from different cultures / countries?

6) What is your availability?

7) Why should we hire you over the other applicants?

8) Any questions for me?

There was one or two additional questions but I’m sorry, I cannot for the life of me remember what they were!

Sorry that this is a little rushed / messy! I’ll post a full recap of the process at a later date,

Hope this post helps any potential future Historical Research Centre Applicants!

 

 

The Magic of Nailing that Face to Face Interview.

So yesterday I had my first face to face interview for quite a while, now we’ve already established that I am not the best at interviewing / talking over the telephone (see previous interview based posts), so this one needed to go well for the sake of my sanity.


On a slightly related note: recently I’ve got really into walking, I bought all of the clothes, the sports bra, the jazzy trainers – all with the target of reaching above my 10 000 steps a day average. Even more recently, I delved into the magic of Audio Books and the super force that is listening to Motivation Audio Books when walking to a target. I can highly recommend.

My first purchased audio book being:

THE MAGIC OF THINKING BIG: Acquire the secrets of success. By David J Schwartz.


Which isn’t nearly as cringe-worthy as it sounds, I swear. After some thorough online research, I found an article listing the top recommended Motivational / Anti-Anxiety Audio Books, in which David J Schwartz was listed number 1.

Since purchasing on Friday I have eagerly listened to approximately ¾ of the 4 hour 14 minutes broadcast, and picked up a few useful pointers prior to Tuesday’s interview. I apologise if some of these read a little on the mundane / obvious side, but they really did help me:

  • Look at things as what they could be, not what they are.

In this instance – my interview was for a casual / temporary contact as a minimum-wage paid Visitor Services assistant, which doesn’t sound very inspiring does it? But what it could be is – a reference / experience / CV addition, working with the public during a one-off exhibit, a chance to meet new people, gain new skills and also a potential stepping stone towards a future career in Heritage Management and Education.

It would also look really really really good on my next Disney application 😉

  • Action cures fear.

In this instance – I have a terrible habit of psyching myself out prior to any new experience. I have been known to just “not show up” for voluntary jobs because I doubted the experience / myself too much. This mentality made sure I got up and dressed yesterday, got in my car, drove to the venue and then got out of the car and went to the interview. Do you know what? I had a great time and I’m so happy I did it.

  • Think you are weak, think you lack what it takes, think you will lose, think you are second class – think this way and you are doomed to mediocrity

In this instance – again, I pushed myself to think of the potential from this opportunity, why it was important and more importantly why I would be great at this job! I’m a likeable person, I may be a bit eccentric, talk a little too fast when I’m scared / excited, but I’m a great listener, I have a friendly face (so I’ve been told) and am genuinely enthusiastic about talking to people about the things they care about. I am a great candidate, they would be silly to not see that and no one deserves this opportunity (no matter how small) more than me.

  • Those who believe they can move mountains, do. Those who believe they can’t, cannot. Belief triggers the power to do.

This is pretty similar to the above statement, but I just really like it!

  • Then it dawned on me that no one else was going to believe in me until I believed in myself.

This quote resonated with me the most. It is very much worth remembering – I recommend you make a note.


A few other minor points which I took from the broadcast and used yesterday were:

  • To Smile – to smile from ear to ear, to smile so people can see your teeth. Smiling this large automatically boosts your mood, automatically boosting the moods of those around you.
  • Make eye contact – make the people you’re talking to feel as if they matter and that they have your upmost respect and attention.
  • Walk 25% faster than normal – people who walk a little faster ooze importance and confidence (this one also helps when collecting my daily steps!)
  • Similarly, pay attention to how you walk – walk upright, don’t slouch, don’t hide your hands, keep your head up, meet people’s eyes. All of these combined leave you more open, make you look more approachable and less foreboding.
  • Don’t leave the house until you’re confident with how you look – dress yourself the way you wish to be interpreted, if you’re confident with how you look, it will show. Dress smart, dress for the job you want and the person you want to be.
  • Acknowledge everyone, no matter who they are – pay close attention to everyone in your company, don’t think that you’re better than anyone else, as everyone plays their own fundamental role and deserve your respect.

So yesterday:

I dressed comfortably, wearing my favourite “smart” clothes, consisting of: a white collared blouse, my best black trousers, a tasteful blazer and black pumps, but carried my favourite bright orange bag – to show them I can be respectable, but also fun and memorable. When I entered the museum I made a point of smiling and saying Good Morning to the Admissions team as I passed, thanking them for giving me directions and wishing them a good day when I left. I walked a little faster, with my head held high to the meeting room, meeting the eye contact of every customer I passed and smiling. I stopped to smile and briefly converse with a group of primary school children on their school trip and complimented them on their very fancy period costumes.

Upon entering the meeting room and meeting my 3 interviewers I had a big smile on my face when I bid them Good Morning and introduced myself, proclaiming that I was “sorry I had arrived a little early” to draw attention to my punctuality, which is one of my best features in my opinion. Although the answers I gave to the questions asked could have been better rehearsed, I made sure I answered them honestly. I met each interviewers eye (depending on who was speaking at the time), I sat up straight and I smiled – lots. I showed them I had a good work ethic, drew attention to my successes in my current role, explained how I was used to heavy labour and pulling my weight at work, how I had no issues with late / early hours, that I lived nearby and have my own car and I made sure to ask about potential contract extensions. The atmosphere in the room was light, airy and comfortable and my personality synced well with theirs. I wished them Good Luck with the remainder of the interviews they had left to do that day, and that I looked forward to hearing from them again soon.

What I would usually deem as an uncomfortable, stressful experience, lasted a mere 7-8 minutes and I left feeling pretty confident and elated. Fast forward 27 hours and I received a phone call from one of my interviewers informing me that they would very much like to have me on their team.

Success all around I think!

Have a nice day guys, and remember to smile 😀


My Relationship with Alnwick

Alnwick Castle Video

Alnwick Gardens Video

Hi!

I promised I’d get back to this – so here we go:

A couple of weeks ago myself and my very good friend decided to go for an impromptu trip to Alnwick Castle and Gardens – exciting! – albeit not for the first time.

Together we’d visited the Gardens during our university years as part of an organised coach excursion (little did we know this was predominantly for exchange students, and we were the only fluent English speakers on that coach – ooops.) We had a pretty cute day either way!

the Poison Garden feat. Amy’s Elbow; circa Sept 2012

After Graduating university I went to work as an Activity Instructor in a castle close to Berwick-upon-Tweed (www.ford-castle.co.uk – go check it out) and got my first real opportunity to really fall in love with Northumberland.

On my very last day as an Instructor I was lucky enough to take a group of Spanish school children out on Excursion to Alnwick Castle and Gardens for a genuinely magical day along with my 2 favourite colleagues (and roommates <3):

Ford Castle sistas; circa April 2014

(‘scuse my facial expressions!)

But it had been a whole 2 years since my last visit – So I wanted to make the most of it!

More to come 🙂 ❤

 

 

 

 

 

A Northerner in London: A few thoughts from my recent London trip

An abundance of pictures and further stories to follow…

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1) There is something very comforting about a familiar Northern accent.

2) There is something very disconcerting about being the only one with a Northern accent.

3) It is very possible to spend 48 hours in the Capital City and only spend £30.

4) Do not stand on the Left hand side of an escalator; unless you want to be knocked over by a commuter stampede.

5) It’s very possible to walk between all the various sites of interest – if you have no value for the well-being of your legs and / or feet.

6) Harrods will make you feel like a pauper; it’s best to avoid; Especially if you’re wearing a raincoat and backpack.

7)You will be unfathomably drawn towards the buskers that have animals; and will happily pay them the change contents of your coat pocket in exchange for a cuddle.

8) It is perfectly acceptable to walk 30-35 000 steps a day, while surviving on a diet of mere sandwiches and light snacks… The pain and regret wont kick in until tomorrow.

9) London is one of the few places where it is socially acceptable to walk around wearing a camera on a neck strap.

10) People will just stop dead in front of you whenever there’s things to photograph.

11)There are always things to photograph.

12) You begin to wonder whether the population of London is predominantly Spanish teenagers on tours. They are everywhere.

13) Don’t wear the big puffy raincoat if you’re excessively walking = you will sweat un-seemingly

14) Don’t wear the cheap ankle boots if you’re excessively walking = your feet will hate you.

15) Don’t bother with make-up if you’re excessively walking = no one cares what you look like, and it will melt off anyway.

16) If you’re carrying your backpack around London for the next 48 hours, for the love of God, leave some things at home.

17) Wearing a backpack for 48 hours may result in feeling like a turtle, bumping into everything, concern as to whether your spine will be permanently crooked, and just generally being in people’s way – constantly.

18) If you’re visiting any sites of historical / cultural significance – Do not pack your nail scissors into your make-up bag. They will be confiscated. And you will feel like a criminal.

19) Always choose the bus over the underground – it’s way nicer.

20) Go steady, have a great time and take hundreds of photographs of everything! It’s more than encouraged.

Are you ready for the Photographic Evidence?

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Mother’s Day Celebrations

My momma is an incredibly annoying human sometimes. She can’t handle her alcohol, she doesn’t understand sarcasm, and sometimes she likes to shout for no apparent reason. But I love her.

When I was struggling during my degree, she was always there on the other end of the phone no matter what the time of day; and last year when I needed support she helped me move back home into my old room, and use her garage as my personal storage unit,

I love my mum, and I hope she had the best mother’s day; because she deserves it.

PS – mum, I am sorry for constantly taking photos when you’re less than prepared.

Cue photographic evidence:

24: The First Week

It has now been 7 days since I hit the big 2-4 (sarcasm: I know I’m not that old) and it’s been a hectic one!

Where did we last leave off?

So you know that on my actual birthday I went out for a nice meal with the family and on Tuesday I had my phone interview for a fabulous new job (the outcome still impending) during my lunch hour.

On Wednesday after work, I went out for tea with my dad, step mum and little brother to celebrate our joint birthdays. Like every other year we went to Zizzi’s in Durham. If you’re ever in Durham, I highly recommend a trip to Zizzi’s – the staff are super friendly, the location is quaint, and the layout is incredibly open, spacious and relaxing. Also the view out of the slightly wonky-in-a-quirky-way window allows you to pretend you’re in Diagon Alley (just me…?). ANYWAY, I was delighted with a 3 course meal of all my favourite foods, and a bottle of wine to celebrate. The waiter even brought my little brother’s ice cream dessert out with a candle and happy birthday in it – Excellent customer service!

Thursday night began with me driving myself, my mother and sister all the way to Sunderland (after a cheeky McDonalds trip) to see the Bodyguard musical. This was my mum and sister’s first “show” – as they keep annoyingly calling it. And it was AMAZING. I love musicals period, and have always been a huge Whitney fan; in fact, there are videos of me rocking around in a baby walker stopping dead completely engrossed in the telly playing “I Will Always Love You”. I had great taste as a child. Zoe Birkett was beyond amazing as Rachel, although the American accent didn’t do much for me, I must admit but the singing and performance outweighed it entirely. Five Starsyou should go see it. The night, however, ended with a 35-minute traffic jam trying to exit the multi-storey car park. Cars reversing everywhere, car horns blaring, swearing, exasperated hand waving: paints a beautiful picture – no? Needless to say, I was very tired come Friday morning.

After one of the longest and most mind-numbing days I have ever worked, on Friday night my friends and I booked a table at the local Tapas restaurant and enjoyed many cocktails and beers (I’m poor). El Cota in Durham is incredibly good! As far as my first ever Tapas experience goes: it’s only small, but has two levels and a fantastic atmosphere. We ordered 11 dishes between 3 of us, overrunning the table with food! My only advice: 1 order of potatoes is enough – trust me. #Potatogeddon. We then spent the night gallivanting round every cocktail bar in Durham (there’s a few) with many a tipsy cackling; like when the busking trumpet player decided to blare his horn in Jordy’s face, when Amy got her Kurt Geiger heel stuck in the tram line in front of the buskers, when the busker stole Amy’s shoe cueing a vodka fuelled rage. Good people – good memories – good times all round

On Saturday I had a (brief) trip to the pub, before leaving early for Pizza and Netflix. Apparently at 24 all the get up and go I had as a student is now depleted.

And finally on Sunday I had my first date of 2016 – also my first date in (possibly) 12 months – and my first ever Tinder date (please don’t judge me.) We met in Sunderland and I’m 80% sure I got clocked by a speed camera on the way there. We ate at the Funky Indian – which is both an Indian restaurant and incredibly Funky (again – highly recommended). But more on that later…

In summary, it’s been an incredibly busy week socially for me.

And what have I accomplished in the last 7 days in terms of personal growth…? I now have a middle parting.

Cue Photographic evidence:

My 24th Birthday

Now, contrary to what you may insinuate from my previous post. I really really enjoyed my birthday this year. Never one to look forward to such occasions, and never one to throw massive “me me me” celebrations, this year’s has been quite the event!

On Monday morning I woke up for work, like any other week day.

On my way out the door I was greeted with a couple of family cards, and some presents, to summarise:

  • £2o off my aunt
  • Large Cadbury chocolate bar of my mam, stepdad and sister
  • Cute “Daughter” door hanger of my mam and stepdad
  • Pug themed cupcakes to share with my “work friends” – thanks mam.
  • AMAZING Cheshire cat cushion (complete with personalisation) off my mam, sister and stepdad.

At work I was greeted with many “Happy birthdays!” and hugs, and got a humorous cat birthday card signed by my lovely colleagues.

At lunch – we ordered Dominos – a cause for celebration in itself. And ate our pug cupcakes for dessert.

After work I returned home to a card from my other aunt and a cuddle off my sister. We quickly got changed, and played around with my camera. (We are big fans of the special occasion family Selvies)

We then met up with my aunt, her partner, my cousin, and cousin’s daughter at a local pub and had a very tasty tea, and a few beverages.

I was tipsy.

Attached is the photographic proof:

But wait! there’s more:

 

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