Over the last few weeks, I’ve pretty much disappeared off the face of the blogosphere. For little old me, it’s the equivalent of a tree falling in Canada’s boreal forest, but just in case anyone cares enough to wonder why – here’s what’s been going on with me this fine November.
I’ve been somewhat down lately
Before I moved to London, I had planned to be a replacement classroom assistant and start as soon as I arrived. A couple of weeks before my departure, I decided against it. I knew that kind of job wouldn’t make me happy and the pay wasn’t enough to make it worth it. So I jazzed up my CV and looked up digital recruitment agencies so that I could find work in what I’ve been doing (mostly) for free in my pyjamas.
When I returned from Dublin, I buckled down and starting looking seriously and full-time. I was calling up recruitment agencies, writing cover letters, talking to people… I even went to a networking event for a university I didn’t go to!
Five weeks in, I hadn’t gotten one interview and recruitment agencies were turning me down daily. I was starting to feel like I (and my writing) just wasn’t good enough. I started to think that I was setting my standards too high – that I should start with an unpaid internship and work my way up. But I felt I had relevant experience and I shouldn’t have to do that.
Despite feeling pretty crappy, two awesome things did come out of these weeks of desperation: 1) I found this awesome place to work on freelance stuff near where I live – an old cinema called The Phoenix; and 2) I wrote this hilarious GIF piece about finding work after travelling.
I had a bit of a health scare
At some point in November, I lost partial vision in one of my eyes. It started with one blind spot in the centre, which has now increased to two. Luckily, I was referred to Moorfield’s Eye Hospital. Yeah, London has a hospital just for your eyes, with an emergency room and everything. Mind-blowing.
I got a lot of tests done and saw a lot of specialists. Right now, they are 95% sure that I had an infection or virus that caused inflammation of one of the layers of my retina. It should resolve itself in a couple of months.
I’m sure that no British person would say this, but thank goodness for the NHS. I was able to see about four specialists and have a few very expensive tests done and I didn’t pay a thing. I’m actually still expecting a bill to arrive any moment now.
Then, things started looking up (no pun intended)
I had signed up to attend World Travel Market at the beginning of November but I couldn’t even bring myself to go out that week. I spent the days at home desperately applying for jobs and feeling extremely sorry for myself. I was also feeling a lot of pressure to get on my feet and into my own flat – not from anyone else, Tom’s family has been nothing but welcoming, but from myself.
Then I got asked to come in a search marketing agency for a “quick chat”. I had sent my CV in a week earlier because of a blog post on the website of one of the recruitment agencies I was using. It said something along the lines of “Tug isn’t hiring right now, but do send your CV and maybe we’ll invite you in for some tea and a chat!” They also have an office in Toronto, and I thought that was pretty cool.
Instead of a quick chat on Thursday morning I walked into a 50-minute ambush interview!
I’m hyperbolizing slightly, but I was expecting some feedback on my CV, some tips about the London job market and maybe getting them putting my CV on file.
In reality, I ended up in a conference room with the HR Manager, the SEO Manager, and the CEO of this company all holding my CV and asking me a bunch of questions that I was completely unprepared for. Luckily, I had read their website but I didn’t think I was going into an interview! When they asked me if I had any questions, I was like “Wait, so…is there an internship or something?” Seriously.
Apparently it went quite well because after another informal meeting, I was offered a job!
I am now officially an SEO Executive for Tug – an original silicon roundabout agency! My office is in Shoreditch and my coworkers all seem really cool (and the CEO is from Toronto – yay!). It ticks all the boxes – and I even get to wear jeans to work – success! The really awesome part is they essentially hired me for my writing and research skills, so that feeling of inadequacy was for naught. Not only will I get to learn about the technical side of SEO, I get to do what I was doing at home (mostly) for free as well!
The only thing that sucks is that I actually have to change out of my pyjamas five days a week