One year work anniversary

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I celebrated my one year anniversary in the month of May, of being a full-time yo-pro. Congratulations to me, myself and I, and thank you to my family, friends and workplace for all your support. It’s been an enlightening, challenging ride with a few highs, lows and curveballs, but overall, I can happily say it’s been a very positive experience <cue award-show applause here>.

I’m a Marketing Manager for a tourism retail chain, and New Zealand made clothing brand. I was part lucky, and part active enough to find a job in my niche: clothing and textile science, and marketing. Every day, I get to use my university knowledge, which is pleasantly surprising and satisfying: #mydegreeisuseful! I switch from creative to analytical brain at least once an hour, and I number-crunch more than I thought I would, and could! The office is a hub of really patient people who love to share not only their experience, knowledge and wisdom, but their personalities, snacks, and bad jokes too.

Ticking off the #1year is an appropriate time to create a list of achievements and things I’m grateful for in my initial year of yo-pro life. As I move forward, I don’t want to forget what (big, or little) things I’ve done, and enjoyed. In no particular order:

Coordinating a 2 day photoshoot in Queenstown has to be a highlight! Maybe not a swag of long days and nights sorting out samples, outfits, models, looks, props, accessories, suitcases, steamers, runsheets… But this really challenged my patience, time-management and organisational skills. I increased my respect for people that do this on a regular basis (decisions are hard!), but also gained confidence in my ability to #getsh*tdone.

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New year, same office

january_calendar_resolutionsTo me, the ‘New Year’ is always overhyped. First it’s how you’re going to welcome it in, and then it’s all about how you’re going to organise it, control it, optimise it. I like to set goals and turn ideas to reality, but I don’t set New Year’s resolutions, expectations, or make a big fuss of the number change. Even 20 days into the 2016, I still find myself writing 2015 at least once a day. Yesterday, one of my colleagues had a word to me after I had dated three parcels ‘sent 18/01/2015’ in the parcel tracking book. Clearly I haven’t (yet) acquired one of those pretty and practical 2016 diaries that help you keep track of the date #anorganisedlife.

However, I was entering 2016 as a career woman- 9 months of a full time job under my belt, with 52 weeks of full time employment and ladder climbing ahead of me. This particular New Year just had to feel different, right?

On my first day back from annual leave, I had all these expectations.

  1. My inbox would be super full and everyone needed me. I had 8 emails, only 1 which actually required me to take action.
  2. Everyone would look different. I was only away for 10 days and everyone looked just how I left them.
  3. Everyone would think that I looked different, because I had my haircut and tanned 2 shades darker. I had a few “welcome backs” and “oh, haven’t seen you in a while, where have you been?” comments. Guys, I was in Wellington for the holidays- didn’t you see my social media updates of my #summerfun and #goodtobehome moments? Don’t you see that I cut 1 and a half inches off my already short hair?
  4. The office would look different. Surely I would have lowered my expectations by now.

Reality: the office is the same as it was in 2015. We’re all still doing our jobs, working hard (arguably the Nespresso button is being pushed the hardest), and ticking off tasks.

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Choosing yo-pro life over travel life

I’m 9 months into yo-pro life (yo-pro: young professional), and I simultaneously love and hate my decision to take on my career fresh out of university. As I write this, I’ve just finished a 51 hour week, and I’m settling into the couch with some leftovers and a movie, #rager. Why am I not having a drink somewhere? Shouldn’t I be going out? What are my plans for the weekend and why, oh why am I not overseas? Silly questions fill my head and then I make the mistake that only someone in this day and age with a smartphone can make- check Snapchat and feel instantly fomo about not choosing to travel (fomo: fear of missing out- but in this case, just mo: missing out).

One Snapstory is from London, under the glittering fairy lights of Oxford St. The other is a tale from Italy, featuring old buildings, beautiful people, and only the best pizza and gelato in the world. The rest are an enticing and jealousy-inducing jumble of South East Asian sunsets, airport terminals captioned #nextstop<insertexoticlocationhere>, and unescapable #squad pics, featuring pop music, alcohol and all the friends that I don’t share the same city with (which makes me feel 1% better that they just didn’t invite me).

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Surprising discoveries about 9-5 life

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This week at work was awesome- because it was four days short and followed a long weekend. Thank you Labour Day, and thank you Samuel Parnell for leading the lobby for the 8 hour working day, 40 hour working week.

Labour Day used to be “time-and-a-half” day for me, an opportunity which a part-time retail worker, full-time student relished, #getmoney. This year, it came as a very warmly welcomed day off, and I treasured my first Labour Weekend as a yo-pro. When you have three days, you can have a break, but get all your chores done too! I really enjoy working full time, and I expected that I would, but there are a few things about the daily grind that I was surprised to find once I started slogging it out.

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My trip with The Boys

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Never did I ever think I would be the tagalong to a ‘Boy’s Trip’. Going to a ‘Boy’s Night’ that lasts a few hours is already intense enough, and it’s very, very rare I dabble in one. But four days and three nights with The Boys? Save me. I’m already envisioning the booze, banter and badness. Sadly, there was no getting out of this one… I was going on my first ever Boy’s Trip, which was also (dun, dun dun) my first ever work trip!

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The best rejection ever

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The worst rejection I ever had went something along the lines of this: “Sorry, I’m so sorry, you were really, really good but you’re unsuccessful today”, and the whole conversation lasted under one and a half minutes. After an enlightening job-hunting chat with a new colleague, I found that I wasn’t the only one that had been given that very same, very vague, very apologetic, no. How is one supposed to respond, apart from wallow that you are one step further back from being employed? I don’t know about you, but in most situations, I appreciate closure, feedback and constructive criticism. And in this situation, I really wanted something more. A message like that leaves me frustrated and confused… thank you for telling me that I didn’t get the job, even though I was really, really good. Guess I had to be really, really, really good? Cue my bed, chocolate and Netflix, remedies for the #worstdayever.

But the best rejection I ever had left me feeling positive, empowered and special, #bestdayever! I know, who would have thought rejection could feel so good? The phone called lasted about 15 minutes, and after the initial pleasantries, I was told I didn’t get the job. There was no mucking about. However, in the following minutes, my could-have-been-but-never-will-be employer explained to me what they liked about me, why I didn’t get the job, who did, and offered me some priceless feedback and general loveliness in (what would typically be) an unlovely time. All because I asked for a little feedback about my interview.

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#TGIF: My first after-work-drinks

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Ordering the Oreo cocktail maybe wasn’t the best move to make. I instantly got called out: “well now everyone knows you’re the youngest Lennie”, and “we’re out with a child here”, followed by “I now feel so old please leave the table”. We were out to celebrate two birthdays, both colleagues reaching numbers that although were still in the twenties, were a little scary to me. I felt young, but at no point did I regret my drink choice. While everyone sipped their boring beers and wines, making fun of my life choices (“is there even any alcohol in that milkshake?”), I was relishing the sweet drink in my hand. Joyously, it came with a side of Oreo and a bit hit of liquor (yes, there was a lot of alcohol actually, and yes I dunked the Oreo!).

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The response, or lack thereof: PART 2

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I previously wrote about the lack of response I received from prospective employers. Job applications where I would invest time, sweat and tears into selling my skills, personality and soul (ok, I never quite got that far). Anyway, long story short: I applied for so many jobs and I just never heard back from the majority of them.

But something surprising happened today. Way back when, on March 23rd to be exact, I applied for a job. I had that positive, warm-fuzzy feeling that I was the perfect candidate, and as I pushed that send button, I thought I was sealing the deal. Days then weeks passed as slowly as they could, and I went through the whole range of emotions when I realised I wasn’t hearing back. I moved from feeling upset, frustrated, confused, to just completely forgetting about it. And then today, I received an email regarding the role in my inbox, at 11.43am. A response, rejoice! But a response, a total of 82 days after sending in my application.

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The response, or lack thereof

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As we know, job hunting is a hard task. Seek, Trademe, Indeed: they initially seem like lands of opportunities, but after some hearty hunting, they reveal themselves as barren wastelands. Well more specifically, barren wastelands to me. Being a graduate, although I’ve done two internships, I don’t even tick the 1-3 years experience box for the few “junior” roles (maybe I don’t understand the meaning of junior?) Reality check/confirming what I already knew but hoped wasn’t true: it’s just slim pickings for a newbie.

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