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 twig 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 plenty of 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:
- I found this awesome place to work on freelance stuff near where I live – an old cinema called The Phoenix;
- 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 my left eye. 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 the 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. The pressure wasn’t from anyone else – my partner’s family has been nothing but welcoming – but from myself.
Then I got asked to come in to 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 so I sent it in prospectively.
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. You know, an informational interview of sorts.
In reality, I ended up in a conference room with the HR Manager, the SEO Director, 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?”
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. 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 😛