A travel and style blog

Trying To Land That Dream Job? Rejection Can Take Many Forms!

What I posted; Feeling positive! Job application nailed!
What really happened: I read an article recently about women who make big life changes when they hit their early thirties. Career choice being in the firing line. By thirty, we tend to have more confidence and be more assured about who we really are and how we want to spend our time. Something about reaching this age makes you think 'Sod it. It's now or never.'

I stand firmly in this camp. Life is too short to spend five days a week doing something that you don't enjoy or in my case if I'm completely honest, that doesn't interest me at all. People who enjoy their job are more successful at it and happier. The hunt to find a job I enjoy is on.

Applying for jobs at the best of time can be frustrating and disheartening, but applying for a job in a completely new field is a whole new ball game. In today's job market for any one job vacancy you fancy, you can guarantee hundreds of others will be going for it too. Prepare yourself job seekers for rejection.

It's been a while since I've been looking for a new job but I haven't forgotten the harsh reality of what it can be like.

You've found THE job. You've read the job specification until you practically know it off by heart. You've spent hours labouring over your application, painstakingly making sure you've shown how you match every requirement. You submit your form and then...wait.
You toy with the idea that your application is so damn good they might just ring you before the closing date and offer you the job there and then. This one could be in the bag!

Then the rejection comes, in it's many forms.

- The 'Thanks But No Thanks' standard email: It has your name at the top and that's the only personal thing about it. You've received the rejection template, how delightful.

- The no reply at all: Your application has entered the job seekers abyss. It didn't even make it onto the rejection template mailing list.

- The personalised rejection email: I once received an email explaining that 'unfortunately after careful consideration I had been unsuccessful and the two vacancies had now been filled.'
TWO VACANCIES? I'd only thought there was one. In the length of time it took me to read the email my rejection level had doubled.

- The position has been filled internally: Which always makes me suspicious. How can you compete with someone who already works for the company? Thanks for allowing me to use half a days precious leave so that you've been able to interview a 'fair' amount of candidates.

- The position has now closed: Before you've even had chance to submit your application a gazillion others have beat you to it.

- We are delighted to offer you the position: but you meanwhile after attending the interview have decided it's not the right role for you. I was once offered the role of medical receptionist at a Doctors surgery, but after sitting amongst the coughers and sneezers in the waiting room, and been shown where the medical dictionary was kept, I decided it wasn't the role for me. My new interview shoes had also made the back of my ankles bleed which I took as an omen.

When you're faced with rejection, don't take no for answer! Now I don't mean turn up at the office anyway and try to log on to a computer. A conviction for trespassing won't do you any favours in your quest to land your dream role.
But do keep going in your search. Every application you submit and every interview you attend will be that bit better than your last.

When you find yourself feeling disheartened take a short break from the hunt. Do something fun that'll lift your spirits until you're raring to go again. Be sure to do this before all jobs start to seem appealing.

WANTED: Personal toe nail clipper for psychopathic pervert. Must be independently motivated as the successful candidate will be required to work alone in clients own home. Flexible hours. Must have own transport as home is remote. Clippers provided.

Oh flexi time!!! I might go for that one.

One of my closest friends works as a successful journalist, but he didn't get there overnight. He was once faced with the harsh reality that he didn't cut the mustard in the fast food world and was turned down for a weekend job at KFC. (are you reaching for your hanky at this heart wrenching tale of struggle and woe?)

Yes he was only about 15 but it was a cutting blow nonetheless. His chip serving abilities were surplus to requirement.

My point is that we all get a 'thanks but no thanks' at some point in our working lives. Despite my friends high ranking rejection by the Colonel, he's found the path that's right for him today and his career is soaring. You'll never catch him tucking into southern fried chicken though.

Remember Marilyn Monroe was told by modelling agents that she should give some consideration to becoming a secretary.

Believe in yourself and you're half way there. Wish me luck in my search!!
Have you ever been told you'd never make it but gone for it anyway? I'd love to hear your success stories!

Thanks so much for reading xx

You can follow me on Twitter here.

20 Thoughts You Have At Music Festivals

What I posted: Glastonbury envy mode! Major FOMO, sooo wish I was going!
What really happened: I've only ever been to Glastonbury once. The mother of all festivals. It was unforgettable, and not just because my friend fell asleep at the wheel of her car on the drive home, while I sat in the passenger seat throwing up in whatever I could find in the glove box. (A dogs poop bag in case you're wondering). It was a low point for both of us.

Festivals bring you the best moments of your summer and the worst.

Picture the scene, you've nailed your festival look and you're feeling fresh as a daisy. There's a brilliant line up ahead of you and you're sat in the sun with your close friends, about to dip into your mountainous supply of alcohol. Here are the 20 thoughts that go through my head as the weekend unfolds.

1. This could possibly be THE best way to spend a weekend ever.

2. There's hot pants love and then there's denim knickers.

3. That girl's not got a scrap of cellulite on her legs. She wouldn't know a meat and potato pie if it slapped her in the face.

4. Two songs in, I'm actually a bit bored of this band. Does anyone else look bored? Nope. I'll just pretend I'm listening.

5. There's literally thousands of people in this field, why does the person stood in front of me have to be the one who decides to put his girlfriend on his shoulders?!

6. I really hope I can go for the whole weekend without needing to poo.

7. Shots are definitely a good idea.

8. What a stupid place to put a guide rope (when you go flying over it)

9. I'm pretty sure I'm experiencing the onset of hypothermia. (when you're going to sleep at night).

10. It's hotter than the sun in here, I can't breathe. (when you wake up in the morning)

11. I hope I don't see anyone I know right now (when your brushing your teeth and spitting out into a trough)

12. Oh my god I can hear someone pissing right next to my tent (when someone's pissing right next to your tent).

13. This wet wipe wash is the most disgusting thing I've ever done. I would kill for a hot bath.

14. Where the hell was I when the 'wonderband' played this 'secret' set? How did I miss that??? Typical! (when you overhear literally EVERYONE talking about how amazing it was)

15. How long has this trail of toilet roll been stuck to my wellington??

16. I miss my mattress. And carpet, I miss carpet too.

17. Brilliant my lipstick is still on (when your peering into the tiny mirror on the back of your portaloo door).

18. If I drink another alcoholic drink I might actually die.

19. I NEED green vegetables.

20. ...and the minute you arrive home... That was the most amazing weekend of my life. I'm totally booking for next year.

I have a love hate relationship with festivals, but I always go back for more. Well it wouldn't be a proper summer if I didn't do at least one. This year it's Kendal Calling!

Which festivals are on your must visit list? I'd love to hear your recommendations.

Tweet me @NotYour9To5

Thanks so much for reading, hope you've had a fun weekend. x x

Holiday Sun: My Skin Care Travel Essentials

Calling all fair skinned holiday makers, have you looked longingly through your oversized sunglasses at those tanning gloriously around you and wished you could be more like them? Do you return from your travels only to be faced with comments like 'Oh did you not sunbathe much? You really don't tan do you?' as your colleagues hold their arms up to yours and conduct a skin tone test!

It's possible that you may just need the following products. I felt compelled to share these with you after stumbling across them on holiday recently.

I'm not the type of girl that looks good on holiday. Some people seem to blossom while they're away, lazing by the pool, tanning gloriously with their sun kissed locks falling around their shoulders. I'm the type of girl who is usually sat under a parasol, looking a bit hot and bothered showing signs of the early onset of prickly heat.

I love the sun, but my skin has other ideas. These are the wonder products that made it possible for me to venture out from under the parasol.

1. Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control Cream For Face
You had me at 'Wrinkle Control.' It's worth investing in sun protection designed especially for the face. This product smells lovely and provides sun protection without clogging up my pores.
Do remember to reapply regularly, especially after swimming or perspiring! Nobody can pull off red patches around the hair line. Is it worth me adding that I learnt this the hard way??

2. Riemann P20 Once A Day Sun Protection
This really does do what it says on the tin. It provides protection for up to 10 hours!! As with all sun protection creams, apply before you go out in the sun.
Do make sure you cover everywhere when you apply! If you miss a spot, exposure to the sun unprotected for 10 hours is not going to end well.
I'd recommend applying once before you venture out and then top up again just to make sure you've covered all bases. I learnt the hard way after I missed a patch on my leg and was left with a random painful red patch for the week.

It does feel slightly like cooking oil when you apply, but it's worth temporarily feeling like a loin of meat being prepped for dinner. It really does protect you from the sun for hours.

3. Elizbeth Arden Eight Hour Cream
Don't forget to protect your pout ladies. I suffer with dry chapped lips from time to time and swear by this product home or away. It moisturises and protects, and I rarely leave home without it!
In sunny climates I apply before exposure to the sun, and then keep it in a fridge so it's refreshing and cooling after a few hours exposure.
4. Max Factor Miracle Touch Liquid Illusion Foundation
I only recently discovered this product and can't recommend it enough for holidays. It gives light and even coverage, which is ideal for the heat when you don't want anything too heavy on your skin. It comes with an applicator sponge and is perfect for skin that's spent a day smothered in sun protection. 
It's quick and easy to apply which, lets face it, is a bonus when there's a Cosmopolitan with your name on it waiting at the bar.

I do wish I was a natural beach beauty, but I'm afraid I'm not. I look best in cooler climates, clad in black, with pale skin and ruby red lips. I've come to terms with this BUT it doesn't stop me trying to tan gloriously.
Slowly slowly catch your monkey, and lather yourself in these products!

Are there any products you can't travel without?

Thanks so much for reading x x 

Tweet me @NotYour9To5

A Week In Paphos Part Three: Kate Moss Wasn't The Only One Causing A Disturbance On Easyjet

What I posted: Last day in Cyprus *sob* but then Home Sweet Home!

What really happened: As the week drew to a close I pulled out my final poolside read of the week, 'This Book Will Make You Happy'by Dr Jessamy Hibberd and Jo Usmar. A pretty big claim I thought, but hey I'll give it a whirl. Plus what better time to try it than at the end of a holiday when thoughts of the dreaded return to work start to creep in.

The irony of having to bin this book the next day, when we needed to get the weight of our baggage down. Yes we were THAT couple, suitcase open, smalls on show, sifting through our belongings wondering how many t.shirts someone could feasibly wear for the flight home. The book which should have been called 'This Book Will Make Your Bag Weigh More' had to go.

The King Evelthon Beach Hotel and Resort had made a lovely home for the week. If you missed Part One there's more on the hotel here. The all-inclusive food was fine but not quite 5 star quality. Breakfast was my favourite meal of the day. Fresh fruit and a freshly cooked omelette, made to order, with filling of your choice soon became our staple start to the day.

The food for the rest of the day wasn't horrendous by any stretch of the imagination but when you've strutted from your room in your evening meal attire (holiday frock and some sort of over the top beaded necklace that you'd never dream of wearing at home) dolled up to the nines, there's a limit to how seductive you can be shovelling green jelly through your Chanel painted lips. Somewhere in the world Karl Lagerfeld had a cold shiver down his spine.
It did actually taste better than it looked.

We took a short taxi ride into Paphos Harbour for a couple of evening meals, including our last supper. There's a good choice of restaurants overlooking the harbour. Dining while watching the moon's reflection in the harbour water gets a tick from me.
A trip to Cyprus wouldn't be complete without sharing a traditional Meze and we found a delicious one at the Gourmet Taverna by the harbour.

On a separate note, I'd been distracted earlier that evening while I was getting ready, by a girl who wouldn't stop giggling in the pool with her man. She giggled so much that I got to wondering if I giggled enough.
I'm not the type of girl that sits quietly, giggling on cue, and I wondered if maybe I should? During our Meze, the perfect opportunity to try it when he pulled out his 'hilarious' king prawn finger puppet.
I giggled. It didn't really suit me. Besides there are some things you don't want to encourage. 

Next day we took a final walk along the beautiful coast and breathed in the sea air.

While we walked we listed what we'd missed from home.

- Tassimo drinks machine
- 'Proper' cup of English tea
- Being able to leave the house without smearing yourself in Factor 50 (my personal one)

I suspected it wasn't enough to keep the holiday blues at bay.

After our last all-inclusive lethal measure G&T and a spot of gift shopping at the airport, we said a fond farewell to Paphos. For what wouldn't be the only time that week, there was a 'disturbance' when we left our EasyJet flight. Someone had accidentally taken our bag of duty free gifts from the overhead locker! The culprit had mistakenly taken our bag and left their own.
The air hostess recommended (yes we thought it was a big enough matter to alert staff) that we take their bag and find them at baggage collection to swap back.

Now we got to baggage collection and there was no sign of our suspect. We found ourselves presented with two options and a test of character.
Option One: Hand the bag in, it's not ours and we didn't pay for it.
Option Two: Take the bag, someone has taken ours. Try explaining to our families that we did buy them gifts but a thief in the sky had away with them.

What would you do?? It felt quite heavy. We had a quick peek but it felt wrong rummaging through properly. We decided we would take the bag and go to confession later in the week.

We hatched a cunning plan. Carry the bag casually, just as we would carry it had we paid it. Paranoia swept over me. We got our correctly weighted suitcase and left, expecting someone to shout "THIEF" at any moment.
We would look inside properly once we'd made it out of the airport. I hoped it would be something from Clarins, or maybe Coco Mademoiselle perfume. I'd spied some mini Toblerone but there was something heavy in there too. The excitement was building.

We made it to the safety of our car (now our get away car), we looked inside.
Our loot was:
A bag of mini Toblerone
Punnet of cherries - two of
Punnet of grapes - one of
Davidoff Adventure aftershave.

If I go down for this I'll be f**cking livid.

Thanks so much for reading. Hope you're all having a great weekend.

Keep your shopping close. x x

Find me on Twitter @NotYour9To5

A Week In Paphos Part Two: My Adonis Flexed His Pecks For A Mint Choc Chip

What I posted: Sightseeing mode! Time to take in some local culture!
What really happened: People say you should tip your waiter at the start of your all-inclusive holiday and he'll spend the rest of your stay falling over himself to make sure you have everything you need.
On day one we tipped the waiter. We never saw him again.

After a couple of days relaxing and wondering if our waiter was OK we left the poolside to take in some sites. We decided we'd hire a buggy for the day. We paid 75 euros, and the keys were handed over.

The map showed The Baths Of Aphrodite. Sounded nice, so we headed there. The drive was hair raising, literally. With no windscreen my pixie cut did not look good. If you've ever watched Home Alone I looked like Buzz.

Hair faux pas aside, the coastal views as we drove were beautiful. Not even the wind nor the occasional bug flying into my face could spoil it. I gazed at the sea while my boyfriend navigated and tackled the dodgy gearbox.
The Baths of Aphrodite are a World Heritage site where, according to legend, the Goddess Aphrodite bathed in the enchanted pool and met her lover Adonis. Now I'll be completely honest with you, we didn't know there was an enchanted pool at the time. We arrived, saw the entrance to what we assumed was botanical gardens, and thought nah. We trotted off instead to a beauty of a secluded beach which we assumed must be where Aphrodite had bathed. Not exactly explorers of the year but hey who cares, I can think of worse places to spend an afternoon.

Now Aphrodite met her Adonis in this neck of the woods, I think it must be something in the water. Waiting at an ice cream van on a hot day can really bring out your true colours. 
"Whose next?" asked the vendor clearly on my turn, when a lady charged in front of me ready to roll with her order. While I was accepting my disgruntled fate, at lightning speed a voice from over my shoulder cried out "TWO MINT CHOC CHIPS PLEASE" and in those five words my boyfriend displayed his Adonis like qualities and averted a cornet crisis. It's a nice feeling when someone has your back.

On the drive back we stopped at a beach cafe in Potima Bay called Sea You. We drove past the car park initially and had to carry out a badly timed turn in the road. The gears locked and for what felt like an eternity we sat in the middle of the road.
*Note to other drivers in Potima Bay, beeping your horn won't make us move any quicker.  

It was worth the humiliation, look at this place. 
Next day, an early start for a Deep Sea Fishing trip leaving Paphos harbour at 10 am. After boasting the night before about my National School Sailing Award (don't ask me why) a £20 wager was set for whoever caught the biggest fish.


If, like me, you learned to sail in a reservoir, allow me to reliably inform you sailing at sea is a lot different. Choppy is not the word. Here's how the trip unfolded. 
The lady next to me was sick (overboard, there was no toilet). She started crying. A young boy was sick next, he started crying too. He was followed shortly after by his mother. 

It turned out to be a very surreal yet fun morning (fun for me that is, not casualties number one, two and three). I was having my first ever go at deep sea fishing, at risk of loosing £20, while strangers sobbed around me.
Who won the bet? My sailing award meant nothing and I caught nothing. My boyfriend won with this whopper. In my defence my chances of winning were scuppered when the trip was cut short due to illness. That's my defence and I'm sticking to it. 

I'd like to point out those aren't my boyfriends hands. He's no silver fox. The captain had to unhook any catches for health and safety, and lets face it, this beast could cause some serious damage.

It might sound like it was hell on board, but I would genuinely recommend you try it for the experience, it really was a good laugh. Unless of course you suffer from motion sickness and then in that case, yes it really is hell. Our time at sea was done. Get well soon casualty number one.

Join me in my final Paphos post later this week, for a thief in the skies on my flight home.

Thanks so much for reading x x

Tweet me @NotYour9To5

A Week In Paphos Part One: Nobody Wants To Pee Behind A Glass Door

What I posted: Refreshed and tanned after a week in sunny Paphos. 

What really happened: Firstly let me apologise for splitting this holiday post into three parts but there's quite a bit I want to share with you. It's basically turned out to be a Trilogy. I know, I know when you see someone upload a holiday album labelled 'Part One' you automatically roll your eyes thinking Christ how many other parts do I have to endure?! Just show us the basics, lets see your hotel and what you look like in your bikini! Nobody needs to see "me by the balcony, him by the balcony, the two of us by the balcony" you get my drift.
Stick with me people, there'll be none of that I promise.

I arrived home in the early hours of this morning after a week away in Paphos, Cyprus. I stayed with my boyfriend in an All-Inclusive 5 Star hotel, The King Evelthon Beach Hotel and Resort in Paphos Town.

"OK with the middle seat?" those fateful words uttered by my boyfriend when we boarded the flight. If only I'd said no. Think twice before you instinctively offer the passenger next to you a napkin on spilling their drink. You just never know what you might be getting yourself into.
In my case 'Elena' chatted for four and half hours, showed me family photos, was involved in some sort of pyramid selling, gave me her card and told me to send her an email. I haven't emailed.
To add insult to injury I'd just discovered the most amazing book, The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson, an absolute page turner. I buried my nose in my book but Elena didn't mind, she chatted anyway. At baggage my boyfriend said I'd nobody to blame but myself, a napkin fair enough but offering her a mid flight Mento was a red rag to a bull. He's probably right.

I said my goodbyes to Elena and headed to our hotel. The King Evelthon Hotel was beautiful, situated on the beach front, with stylish interiors and panoramic sea views. The staff were friendly and attentive without being overbearing. We stayed in a sea view room with a balcony. The bed was so comfortable and the room had lovely little extras like bathrobes and slippers.
The wardrobe boasted proper coat hangers, not the ones you sometimes find in hotels that can't actually be taken out of the wardrobe. Oh yes, this was top notch luxury. We were treated as travellers so affluent that we posed no threat of coat hanger theft whatsoever.

My only criticism of our room was the bathroom door. A clear glass door! Nothing kills the romance like seeing your loved one crouching over! Or the thud when you walk into it after a few poolside Cosmopolitans. That aside, this was our home for the week...

We spent the first two days lounging by the pool, settling in and reading, making the most of the All-Inclusive drinks served to you while your sprawled on your sun lounger. It really was heavenly, just to have time to unwind and tan gloriously. Or in my fair skinned case, really let those freckles come out. I missed a patch with the sun cream on my first day and was left with a delightful red patch on my leg. It wasn't the look I'd hoped for but you've just got to work with what you've got.
Join me in Part Two for the Baths of Aphrodite and a Deep Sea Fishing trip that had to be cut short.

Thanks so much for reading x x

Find me on Twitter @NotYour9To5
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