Getting a job after graduation – #SarahsJobSeries

To kick off Sarah’s Job series (#sarahsjobseries), I will give you tips on finding a job after graduation as well as giving you tips about working full time.

So, what do you do after you graduate? Most people have three options, travel around the world because they were smart enough to save their student loan, do a masters or find a job.

If you’re like me, you chose to find a job, congrats!

Before you look for a job, create a career plan and decide:

  1. What type of job do you want?
  2. What industry do you want to go into?
  3. What is your long-term career goal?
  4. What do you want to achieve?
  5. How long you want to stay in your current workplace?
  6. When you want to be promoted and if you want to do a chartered qualification?
  7. How far do you want to work from home?

Do you want to be a CFO (Chief Financial Officer), CTO (Chief Technology Officer), CEO (Chief Executive Officer) or make enough money when working full time work to become a blogger, photographer or sports coach full time?

Search for jobs that fit into your career plan, doing other roles will distract and divert you from your plan in the long term. However, there may be some great opportunities out there that don’t fit into your plan, weigh up the pros and cons then decide which is best for you. Most graduate jobs require experience, this can be from part-time jobs, summer internships and placement years. You’re more likely to get the job if you have industry experience although this is not always possible. Experience is important because you gain transferable skills such as teamwork, communication, self-motivation, analysis, diffusing conflict and organization skills. If you don’t have experience in your field, you MUST highlight the transferable skills you gained from part-time work and Uni. My favourite transferable skills to mention that are not industry related are my organization and teamwork skills gained from group work, finding time to study and working part-time whilst at university.

I’M NOT DOING A MASTERS, WHY DO I NEED ANOTHER QUALIFICATION?

Your job may require you to study for a professional qualification, these are vocational training courses that relate to a specific industry or career path, and this includes:

  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) – Accounting
  • BCS -The Chartered Institute for IT – IT
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) – Accounting
  • Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) – HR
  • Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) – Insurance
  • Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) – Civil Engineers
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) – Surveyors

After completing the course, you achieve chartered status, meaning you can demand more money, yay. In all seriousness, chartered qualifications are important because they can increase your lifetime earnings significantly, in addition, you have a qualification that others don’t have, you gain new skills which will aid in your personal development and broaden your career opportunities. My suggestion is to visit Prospects for a more extensive list of chartered qualifications visit www.prospects.ac.uk/postgraduate-study/professional-qualifications

If you plan on doing a professional qualification, then find a job that will provide study support this usually means you have to stay at the company for a few years or you’ll have to pay them back for some or all of the study support. This is called a clawback and should be stipulated in your contract. I strongly believe after paying such an extortionate amount for university, you should make sure you find a job willing to invest in you by providing study support. When I looked for my graduate job I made sure my job was providing study support for my CIMA qualification and I did not accept or apply to any jobs that were not providing it because I know my worth and career goal is to be a chartered accountant first, before anything else.

Lastly, decide how far you want to work from home. Are you willing to travel 2 hours to work? That’s 4 hours daily, is this really what you want? I did it for a year and I can tell you now, it’s not what you want.

IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO BE OR WHAT INDUSTRY YOU WANT, TRY TO FIGURE OUT:

  1. What your passions are?
  2. What you’re good at?
  3. What environment you think you’ll enjoy working in and go from there?

I recommend GE’s career test: https://gecareers.traitify.com, I completed it and thought it was very accurate with a role that suits my skills and personality.

Even after creating a career plan and completing the test you may not find the perfect job for you, you might find something you’re good enough and stick to it and that’s OK. I feel like so many of us think if a profession doesn’t match us perfectly, it’s not for us and I don’t think that’s the case.

Before I applied for my current job I prayed over it with ‘By Faith, I Receive My God-Given Job’ by Pastor Veronica Anusionwu (Founder Of The Lord’s Words On Healing Ministries: http://lwhhealingcentre.com/prayers-for-those-looking-for-a-job/ ). I thoroughly recommend this book, Pastor Veronica is a remarkable pastor and author and I’ve been blessed with my current job due to the prayers and so has one of my friends. Prayer works, invest in yourself and buy the book.

FINDING A JOB

The job market is disgustingly competitive. Unless you have previous experience in the field you want to go into don’t be upset if you don’t get handed a job once you walk off the podium at graduation.

To give yourself the best chance of securing a great graduate job you must send several applications out, which is tedious because you must rewrite information that is already in your CV into boxes, do numerical, verbal/non-verbal, logical, situational and psychometric tests, attend assessment centres and do multiple interviews for one post. Although it’s time consuming, once you get the job it will be really rewarding.

When trying to find a job you can use the below job sites, sign up to recruitment agencies and check out company careers pages:

When trying to practice for verbal, numerical psychometric tests use assessmentday.com and practiceaptitudetests.com

Many people do not get a job within the first year they graduate because the market is that competitive, when I went to assessment centres before I found my current job there were many people who finished their masters or bachelors the previous year and were still unemployed.

When I graduated, I signed up to many recruitment agencies, but the one that stood out to me is Robert Walters (robertwalters.co.uk), they sent me loads of job posts and called me to discuss posts, although I did not get my current post through them, I still recommend them because of how professional they were.

NETWORK

Go to graduate job fairs and networking events, there are so many companies to see and many people to network with. You never know what opportunities may arise.

GLASSDOOR AND PAYSCALE

When looking for a job, check Glassdoor.com for reviews on the company, I refused to apply for jobs that were less than 3 out of 5 because that means staff were miserable and I refuse to be unhappy at a place I spend most of my day at. Additionally, check the average salary for people in your field at payscale.com to make sure you’re not underselling yourself. If a company wants great talent, they should be willing to pay for it.

FRAUDULENT JOB POSTS

When looking for jobs be vigilant for fraudulent jobs advertisements and emails because fraudsters will take any opportunity to prey people. If you see a job that’s too good to be true, it might not actually be and any job that wants you to pay for a ‘qualification’ or ‘check’ before you get the job is likely to be fraudulent so be alert. Be wary of jobs that don’t even address you by your name. When I was looking for a job, I randomly received this email:

“Dear Candidate,

After careful consideration you have been selected for our Sales and Customer Service Role with XYZ Organisation. My manager would like to meet with you to discuss the role further. I know this is very last minute but unfortunately we are wrapping up the recruitment process therefore we would like to schedule you in for the following appointment:

Appointment Time/Date: Thursday 27th of July at 3.15pm OR Thursday 27th of July at 3:45pm

Location: London

Meeting with: The Apparent CEO of the company

Please reply promptly with your name to confirm your preferred appointment time and the appointment will be confirmed automatically. If you are not available for the above dates please contact our office and ask for the recruiter who couldn’t even put my name in the email.

The appointment is scheduled to last approximately 30 minutes. Please ensure that you attend in Smart casual (NO blue jeans or trainers) and bring a copy of your most updated CV if you can.”

  1. My name is not “Candidate”
  2. Who told you I wanted the job?
  3. How do you know I am free that day?
  4. How can you give me two appointment slots on the same day and tell me to choose?
  5. If I have been selected for a role, why do you need my latest CV? Shouldn’t you have this already?
  6. Why are you telling me what to wear when you don’t even know my name?

The list goes on, If a job is addressing you as “Dear Candidate” and offering you a job role without seeing your CV, block them. It’s a scam. (Unless someone you know recommended you, but you would have knowledge of that anyway)

STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF

When looking for a job, stay true to yourself. There’s no point applying for a company you don’t believe in or won’t be comfortable at. When I was looking for a graduate job, I was asked if I was interested in being put forward for a role as a Finance Analyst at The Daily Mail. I politely declined for obvious reasons. If you know in your heart that a job won’t be right for you because the company has a history of being unethical, don’t apply. You don’t need unnecessary stress in your life.

INTERVIEWS

Go into your interviews with confidence and research the company thoroughly, e.g. know what the company does, who is in their executive team, when it was formed, any major press releases they have had in the last 3 months (have they merged with another company) and what will be expected of you. Check glass door for questions they have asked in previous interviews and then prepare answers that show your experience.

Interviews are a two-way street, not only are the employer deciding if you’re suitable for the position, you get to decide if the company is suitable for you, also, if you like the people there and if you can see yourself progressing there. I had several interviews at a firm but one of the interviewers was so rude that I just couldn’t see myself working there so when I didn’t get the job I was fine about It and the job I ended up getting paid more so it was a blessing. No one should be miserable at work.

REJECTION

Rejections hurt. You may think an interview or even application went well and days/weeks, even months go past, and you receive the below responses which hurt, especially if it’s a job you wanted:

“We’re sorry to inform you”

“Unfortunately, we have decided to”

“We received a large number of applications and…”

The list goes on and you may not even receive a rejection email at all.

SELF-PITY is allowed for a short period of time, but you can’t wallow in your own sadness for days because life will keep going even when you’re not so don’t panic and keep trying. Job hunting is time consuming and rejections hurt, but every rejection leads to an opportunity. Hopefully, you won’t receive any more rejections.

TIPS AFTER FINDING A JOB

Huzzah, after fighting tooth and nail you’ve hopefully found the job for you.

Full time work is different, but you can meet some great people at work and you receive a lot of responsibility which will allow you to grow in your career and as a person. However, it can be stressful, you may have to get on the tube every day, you must meet your deadlines, targets and organizational goals and you may not actually like the people you work with. It’s sad, but it happens.

Meeting company targets is extremely important so work hard and prioritize the most important task and finish that first. If you realize you don’t like your colleagues, its ok, keep yourself to yourself and remember you get paid to work, so work hard, and then go home. You only have to deal with them at work. If you want to get to know your colleagues more, go to social events and talk to new people, I have friends in different departments at work which I like because everyone is different.
DOCUMENT EVERYTHING

Keep everything in writing, I hate to say this, but people lack accountability and will be willing to throw you under the bus to make themselves look better and absolve all responsibility from themselves, so make sure you follow up with email confirmations clarifying things that you can use as evidence in the future.

Document what you do at work, everyone thinks they will remember what they do day in day out, you won’t, so write it down, then you can use the evidence of what you’ve achieved when negotiating your salary.
SOCIAL MEDIA

Be wary of adding your colleagues on social media, if you know there’s things you’re doing online that you don’t want them to see then don’t add them on Instagram, snapchat or twitter. You may think you’re great friends with your colleagues, but are you really? If you call in sick because you went out the previous night how do you know your colleague won’t mention it, whether intentionally or non-intentionally because they have you on snapchat? Keep your business and personal life separated, it will save you a lot of headache because prevention is better than cure.

If you decide to add your colleagues on social media do a social media purge e.g. on twitter, search your @ with offensive and disrespectful key words and delete those tweets. We live in a ‘cancel’ culture where people will dig up your old tweets to find what they can use against you sometimes because you deserved it, other times because they don’t want to see you do well or they hate that you’ve changed from the person you once were. That’s the consequence of having a digital footprint, it’s there for everyone to see. Maybe your views have changed since then, maybe they haven’t, regardless delete what could be used against you or make your personal account private and create a professional account to have your colleagues on.

To conclude, getting a job after graduation can be hard work, but persevere and hopefully you find the right job for you with a great salary too.

apieceofsarah.COM, PURPLE (1)

Why Men Love Bitches – the Review 🚹🚺

Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl-A Woman’s Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship by Sherry Argov is a guide for all the ‘nice’ girls out there that bend over backwards for the men in their lives but always get left high and dry.

It’s for the women that helped ‘build’ a man up and when he’s fully constructed he leaves her with bricks, cement and a huge bill of emotional distress and wasted time.

It’s for the women that are too nice in their nature and are never fully appreciated for it because the people around them assume that they will always be there for them, regardless of how they are treated.

What I liked about the book?

I like how straightforward Sherry’s advice was and how she backed up her points with examples which made the book more relatable. Hence why it gripped my friends and I from the beginning.

There are two types of girls in the book and their actions define who they are.

The Nice Girl™:

  • Does everything for the man she is dating/wants to date / in a relationship with
  • Is always changing her schedule for him
  • Her world revolves around him
  • Takes disrespect

The Bitch :

  • Maintains her independence
  • Doesn’t pursue him
  • Remains in control of her time.
  • Places a high value on herself.

The Nice Girl and the Bitch treat the four main themes of the book differently:

  1. Overcompensating and self-worth
  2. Disrespect
  3. Availability
  4. Self-assurance

Overcompensating and self worth

Attraction Principle number #1

“Anything a person chases in life runs away”

The Nice Girl goes over and above for the guy she’s dating by cooking gourmet meals when they met last week and looking after his dog when he goes on a lads weekend.

The Bitch will do nothing for him and sets boundaries from the beginning which is why she ends up getting chased, because she is so nonchalant about his existence.

Sherry has illustrated why overcompensating always puts you at a disadvantage because it reeks desperation. Overcompensating can also show that you’re not comfortable with being on your own because you’re so concerned about the person you’re dating to see your worth through how much you can do for them. This backfires because the guy you’re dating will think you’re trying too hard, which will push him away, or he will leech off you (whether it’s asking you for money and cooking for him because you’ve now taken up the role of his second mum) and that’s all because he knows you’re willing to give without receiving anything in return. That’s why so many guys praise a girl for being nice but barely ever treat her right because she’s too nice or even see her as the marrying type. When things end with the Nice girl he’ll go for the Bitch who is nonchalant about his existence, who he’ll end up treating well because she doesn’t care about keeping him.

“A man will always want what he can’t have. When a man meets a woman and she seems nonchalant, it becomes a challenge for him to win her affections.”

Disrespect

The nice girl takes disrespect by trying to reason with him and giving multiple chances, whereas the Bitch doesn’t. The Bitch responds to disrespect by leaving the situation completely, she respects herself and won’t be treated badly by anyone.
Availability

The nice girl will drop everything to be with him and is happy to be with him every second of the day. Cancelling previous plans just to cater to him and work around his schedule is a big no! Women are more likely to cancel plans for men, but this effort barely ever gets reciprocated. When was the last time you heard a guy say ‘guys I’m gonna cancel our gym session today / night out later to bond with my girl’ if anything they will say they’re busy and she will work around it never the other way round. The nice girl makes the mistake of being available all the time, so he doesn’t value her time. Whereas the Bitch keeps her life going. If she’s unavailable, she won’t see you, if she’s meeting up with friends, she’ll stick to her plans and he’ll want her because she isn’t running after him, she keeps herself busy, sometimes she accommodates his availability, only sometimes.

Self-assurance

The Nice girl needs to be with the guy to feel better about herself and is very needy and she may rely on him financially.  When someone knows you need them, you give them a free pass to start treating you badly. E.G. if you rely on a man financially he could treat you like dirt because he knows you won’t leave because you need his money. When you have your own finances, you can leave whenever because you are self-reliant. Hence why I’m always an advocate of women having their own financial security so that they don’t have to depend on anyone but themselves and have a contingency plan if things go wrong.

The Bitch is self-assured and self-reliant. She is who she is, she will not take disrespect, she is confident within herself and her abilities and has her own finances. When you compliment her, she takes it because she knows who she is with or without you. She has her own finances, but likes to be wined and dined because she’s worth it and she’s seen as an equal partner because she’s nonchalant about his existence. The Bitch gets treated well because she loves herself and doesn’t let her standards slip and if you don’t reach her standards, the door is to the left. She isn’t scared to be single and being without him isn’t the end of the world.

Attraction Principle #20

“He must feel that you choose to be with him, not that you need to be with him. Only then will he perceive you as an equal partner”

Things I didn’t like about the book

I disliked chapter 4, The Dumb like a Fox section because it felt childish, it was all about playing to a man’s ego which I thought was code for lie to him. Advice like if he brings you flowers and you want them to continue tell him they’re the’ prettiest flowers’ you’ve ever seen, what if the flowers are not the prettiest flowers you’ve ever seen, what if you like white roses instead of white lillies? Also driving, “let him parallel park your car or back it out of a tight spot. If you tell him he’s a “much better driver” than you are, he’ll really be eating out of your hand. He’ll probably wash your car or fill your tank” He may wash my car, but what if he’s a terrible driver? I’d be lying. This part felt a bit childish and gave me damsel in distress type vibes, I understand being a damsel when bugs are around but everything else I didn’t approve. It felt like it was contradicting Sherry’s point of not being needy, childish and acting like his little sister.

Do I recommend this book?

YES! A million times over, it’s great for women who have found no luck dating and have been wondering where they went wrong. It’s also great for those feeling neglected in relationships. The book constantly reminds women that you need to put yourself first, not the person you are dating. You can buy it HERE

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The Power of Saying “No”

No one is entitled to your space.

No one is entitled to your time.

No one is entitled to you.

Repeat those three sentences until it’s ingrained into your mind and you start putting it into practice.

It’s okay to say no when you feel like it.

This two letter word can bring you so much happiness and can stop you from being exploited by those who use up your valuable time and resources while demanding things that you would never ask someone else for. Do not feel inclined to do things for people because you fear you’ll be viewed as a ‘bad person’, if what you’ve been asked for goes against your values or will put you at a disadvantage, say ‘no. ‘

If you don’t want to say no out of the fear of being blunt and uncaring you can say the following:

  • ‘I’m busy’
  • ‘I’d rather not’
  • ‘I won’t be able to because xyz’
  • ‘I’d love to help but can’t because I’ve committed to xyz’
  • ‘I can’t because it goes against my views and it makes me feel uncomfortable.’
  • ‘I don’t want to’
  • ‘No thanks’
  • ‘I can’t’

Remember, time is your most valuable asset because it is the only thing you can’t get back, so say no when you feel like it.

 

What I learnt from the Monzo Inspire Event

Last Thursday I was lucky enough to attend the inspire event at Monzo’s head office near London’s Silicon Roundabout.

The event speakers were:

  1. Tom Blomfield CEO – Monzo
  2. Juliana Zarate Co-Founder and CEO –  Mucho!
  3. Tom Freeman – Learning and Development Manager – Headspace


Monzo

monzo_2.jpg

Monzo is a bank which challenges the idea of a traditional bank because it is available at your fingertips. They are completely digital which provides their users with the ultimate customer experience by avoiding the queues and long waiting times you would get in a traditional bank. This is because they have no physical stores and operate through their smartphone app. Users are given a prepaid card which is linked to the app, so when the  card is used the app is updated.  So customers get spending notifications immediately, can add notes or receipts to their transactions and are provided with a real time budget analysis that allows them to see where all their hard-earned cash is being spent.  Another major perk of joining  is, there are no transaction fees even when abroad, something major banks do not offer. All these perks combined is why Monzo has over 370,000 users and rising.

Headspace

20150713-headspace-logo

Before I divulge into talking about the Headspace App I have to talk about their meditation and mindfulness expert co-founder Andy Puddicombe.

“Andy is doing for meditation what Jamie Oliver has done for food” – New York Times

Andy cut his sport science degree to become a Buddhist monk for 10 years. After completing his monastic commitment he returned to the UK with the goal of teaching mediation and mindfulness to as many people as possible. He met co-founder Rich Pierson in 2009 who needed help in dealing with the stress of the advertising world and Headspace was born. Headspace was originally established as an events company in 2010 teaching politicians, athletes, business leaders and others about mindfulness and meditation. It evolved into the app we see today  because attendees wanted to practice what they learnt at home. The app has guided meditations, animations, articles and videos.

Mucho!

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Mucho! is an iOS app which removes all the complexities from cooking as it recommends recipes, products & shopping lists that are tailored to each user, it is essentially a personal stylist for your tastebuds. Mucho! hand-picks recipes to suit a customer’s needs whether it be allergy, vegan, budget or they want a lot of cheese, they have already done the nutritional research for their food so the customer doesn’t have to. Mucho! also has partnered up with retailers to allow customers to get their food delivered.

Why work for a start-up?

Start ups can be very exciting if you believe in the company’s mission and can be very rewarding too as you will get a lot of job responsibility because it is a small team so all your hard work can be connected to you.  You also get the unique experience of working with innovative minds and can receive some great company benefits including:

  1. Company shares
  2. Free gym membership
  3. Daily meditation time

The main disadvantage of working at a start up is that could fail and it probably won’t be as luxurious as a normal corporate job in the beginning.

How do you change your an idea into business? 

Once you have your idea you have to figure out the ways in which it will work through testing and researching. You may face criticism and skepticism from friends, family and firms  but you need to  be determined to turn your idea into a reality. Your competitors may view your product as a toy but that’s okay because you might have the last laugh, think of Blockbuster VS Netflix.

Paul Graham Essays, The Innovator’s Dilemma (Management of Innovation and Change)The Innovators Dilemma and The Innovator’s Dilemma (Management of Innovation and Change) The Lean Start Up were all recommended for reading. Since attending I have read three of Paul Graham’s essays, How to do what you love, How to get start up ideas and Write like you talk.

How do you stay motivated? 

I asked this question to all three speakers. To stay motivated you need to find your mission. What drives you? What makes you get up in the morning? What is your passion? What are your strengths? What are your weakness? What issues do you want to solve and how will your strengths and weaknesses help you?

A great starting point for this is: “Start with Why”  Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action The Global Bestseller and Ted Talk by Simon Sinek. I also watch Gary Vanyerchuck videos for inspiration and blunt answers.

How can you manage your time better?

Decide the top 4 things you’re passionate about then complete them. Ensure that you are not wasting your time on futile things which are not helping you move forward because you’re only fooling yourself. Read books and articles related to your passions so they can help you on your journey.

What have I learnt about entrepreneurs?

Entrepreneurs have a natural curiosity which sets them apart from others. They are continuously trying new things, willing to test out ideas and step out of their comfort zone. This leads them to finding a gap in the market which needs to be filled by their product.  For example Jennifer wanted to travel more outside her hometown in Columbia, her travelling led her to create “Become Colombia Ltda”  which allowed discounts for young people to explore the city they lived in, they also partnered with large tour wholesalers to provide clients with flights hotels and other adventures similar to Groupon.  None of this would have happened if she was not curious.

Another thing I have learnt is success does not happen overnight, both Co-Founders had been working hard for years and had previous businesses/start-ups which they then sold.

You have two choices in life, take the opportunities available to you or make opportunities for yourself. 

If you are offered the opportunity to try new things take them and if you cannot find opportunities reach out and create some of your own. 5 years ago Tom F.  became a graduate intern at Headspace after emailing them because he liked the company and was interested in meditation, he was also able to show his creativity by creating an online CV slideshow.  Now he’s the Learning Development Manager at Headspace, held 7 different position and has relocated from London to Santa Monica with the company. Tom B. was not allowed to play video games when he was younger so he started messing around with html and building websites. This skill lead him to creating a website for his local estate agent when he was in secondary school and Co-Founding 3 start-ups including Monzo  and Go Cardless.

How do you attract customers in an established and over-saturated market?

To attract customers you have to communicate a mission that resonates with people. Speaking with enthusiasm and passion is so vital, from the event I could tell that all speakers believed and loved their products which made me want to find out more about each company and write this post.

Monzo is able to attract customers through their mission of creating a better bank and create an intelligent hub where customers can view their entire financial life. This was reinforced by their innovative approach, transparency, open dialogue with users and zero transaction fees. Headspace is able to attract customers due to their mission of improving the health and happiness of the world and their calming user interface. Mucho! is able to attract customers because they want to take away the complexities of cooking without taking away the nutrition. Mucho! knows everyone is extremely busy but they want to make cooking nutritious food easier for all their customers hence why their personalized recipes have been so successful.

How do you get yourself out there?:

  1. Research
  2. Ask for advice for people who have done it before you
  3. Social media
  4. Word of mouth
  5. Get a Mentor
  6. Ask people to test your product (after you’ve patented it, unless you trust them)
  7. Partnerships with known brands who align with your mission. Headspace partnered with Twinings because tea is associated with relaxations and Virgin Atlantic to try and stop people from being scared of flying

 

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My favourite positive affirmations 

Treat yourself well, your words have power.

-apieceofsarah.com

Positive affirmations are a great way to tackle self doubt, below are a few of my favourites:

  1. Everything is well with me
  2. My soul is happy and I am a beacon of light in the world
  3. I will achieve everything that I want to achieve and I can do all off this through Christ who strengthens me.
  4. I am beautiful and love surrounds me everywhere I go.
  5. I love everyone around me and they love me too
  6. I wake up each day with a clear mind and clean heart, I forgive those who have hurt me as holding on to yesterday’s pain gives me no gain.
  7. I am smart, funny and a joy to be around
  8. I am bold with my ideas and creativity oozes from me.
  9. I excel in everything I do and I am passionate about living
  10. God did not wake me up this morning to be mediocre, so I will continue to succeed. 
  11. I am kind hearted and grateful for the life I have and people are grateful to have me.
  12. My mind is well, my soul is happy and my heart is full of love 
  13. I love to invest in myself because I am important and powerful
  14. I see prosperity everywhere I look.
  15. I am optimistic about today and confident about myself and my abilities

 
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Sparkle Diva Hair Aliexpress

Update: 11th July 2017

So I bleached the knots of this hair and it started falling apart -.-

Currently waiting for Sparkle Diva hair’s response.

 

I bought a deep wave closure from sparkle diva hair in the last week of May for £22.98

It was a 16 inch closure but when stretched was 14 inches.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Sparkle-Diva-Deep-Wave-Lace-Closure-Hair-100-Remy-Human-Hair-Lace-Closure-Natural-Color-Free/32803002264.html

Sparkle Diva Hair

Pros

  1. Soft
  2. Nice Curl Pattern

Cons

  1. When stretched while curly it was 14 inches, when straightened it just reaches 16″ but it is thin at the bottom

 

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LADIES: Put yourself 1st & be selfish

As women, we continuously put others before ourselves. We nurture, support, congratulate, motivate and basically give our all to others and then there’s nothing left for us. And quite frankly, I’m tired of it. A lot of women are selfless and give their all to others before thinking about themselves  and then they’re left with nothing to show for it e.g. they sacrifice loads for a guy, sometimes life-changing opportunities and are left short changed.

I once saw a quote that went along the lines of:

“I gave everyone bricks to build their houses and when I looked back I had no bricks to build my own and everyone shut me out and forgot about me”

Now, some people will read that and think how stupid, why would you secure everyone else first and forget about yourself. Quite frankly you’re right. When you continually put others (men) before yourself and take a backseat in your own life,  you fall into the trap of being disappointed when they don’t reciprocate the treatment, effort and love you have given them.

“One day someone you did everything for will turn around and tell you they never asked you to do those things and it will hurt you because they are right”

Save yourself the disappointment,  alot of the people you make sacrifices and jump over rivers for wouldn’t jump over a puddle for you so think about yourself first and be selfish. Don’t neglect your dreams because you’re making someone else your main focus (who by the way is concentrating on themselves not you).

Personally, I’m tired of seeing stories where  women have poured out their soul to mould a man into the person he is today or have really messed up their finances for someone who doesn’t give a flying toss about them. (You shouldn’t mess up your finances for anyone, if you think trust is hard to build, try rebuilding your credit rating lololol.)

All jokes aside, ladies please secure yourself first before you help others, be selfish with your time, finances and everything else that relates to you. Make sure you care about yourself enough to ensure your own needs are met. Stop giving up good careers (or thinking about giving up good careers) for men who wouldn’t skip match of the day for you. Don’t give up your career for anyone. Stop overexaggerating your place in people’s lives. Seriously, save yourself the heartbreak when you realize he (or she) will never do the same for you because they only care about themselves. Always remember you are the most important person in your life, so you should ALWAYS put yourself 1st.

  • Don’t you get tired of being disappointed by the way someone treats you?
  • Don’t you think this recurring cycle needs to be stopped?
  • Don’t you know that you’re not a doormat, so you weren’t made to be stepped on?

Now I’m not saying don’t be nice and stop helping people, no because it is nice to be nice. I’m saying don’t neglect yourself because you’re trying to be Mother Teresa for others.

So be selfish with everything you do: Be selfish with your space, take time out for reflection, nurture  and think about your own growth, be your own cheerleader, tolerate nothing. Focus on you!

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Self-doubt & how I deal with it

Self-doubt steals more joy and dreams than failure ever will.

Today I want to talk about  self-doubt because it is a destructive trait. There’s no way to sugar-coat it or dress it up.  It’s the epicentre of negativity and fear to me.  

Self-doubt is the lack of confidence about one’s own abilities and actions.

Examples of self doubt:

  1. “What if I’m not good enough?”
  2. “What if I don’t succeed?”
  3. “I’m too old to be starting something new anyway”
  4. “It’s never going to work”
  5. “Things never work for me”
  6. “I’ve done something similar before and failed, why would it be different now?”
  7. “I can’t do it.”

If I carried on writing, you would be reading this forever.

Self-doubt stops you from seizing opportunities because you fear you’re not good enough and feel inadequate to the task. Sometimes, it prevents you from even starting a task because you fear failure and think trying is a waste of time. At times you’ll be happy and motivated while working towards something then your critical inner voice kicks in and  the doubt starts speaking. 

So a few weeks ago,  I was thinking about one of the goals I set myself and I was happy and motivated, until the self-doubt kicked in. “Can you really do this? Is it even achievable ?  You’ve failed at something similar before, why would it work now? Am I good enough?” after this array of questions  I started  questioning myself and my abilities, wondering if  I was right. “The odds are stacked up against me so why would it be different now ?”  So I stopped working towards it for a while which was counterproductive. I was genuinely sad and stressed for a while, doing nothing and wasting my time as the self doubt grew and grew, until I spoke to my mum, re-read my accountability and consistency posts.  This reminded me what exactly I wanted and the actions I had to take to get there so I started working again.

Before I started this blog I would have had to force myself to start doing things again because life doesn’t stop for me, shocking I know. Other ways I tried to stop self-doubt are:

  • When self-doubt comes I try to disrupt and distract the thought pattern by thinking of something that makes me happy e.g a holiday, what I’m going to eat for dinner or when I’m next going to see my family.
  • I questioned my doubt and asked myself what am I genuinely afraid of, why I am so insecure about this?
  • I asked my loved ones for advice and told them how I was feeling.
  • I tried to stop seeing things as insurmountable because other people have achieved the same things I wanted to but they didn’t have two heads so why should I be worried?
  • I stopped letting doubt stop me from starting things because I realized it was counter-productive. There’s no harm in trying, there is harm in not trying at all.
  • I had to remind myself why I was doing things and the benefits of it, not how I was going to achieve it because that’s when I started questioning myself. Obviously you need to know the steps of what you want to do (assuming it’s been done before) but when I started thinking about how I was going to do these things (when I already knew the steps) I somehow talked myself out of doing them. “How will this work? How long will it take?” etc . etc
  • I stopped thinking “Can I?” and changed it to “I CAN!” It sounds really cheesy but positive thinking does wonders for your mental health and how you perceive yourself.
  • I focused on the past success in my life, the times that truly made me happy because obviously I did something right there which helped me believe in myself more.

Everyone questions themselves from time to time it’s normal. However, what’s not normal is when your doubt stops you from doing most things because you’re scared of the outcome. Just remember self-belief is more powerful than your doubt will ever be.

 
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Procrastination: The only action that doesn’t involve an action 

Procrastination is a thief of time and quality. When you procrastinate you rob yourself of the chance to produce things to the highest standard and give yourself a greater chance of failure.

Avoiding doing a task doesn’t mean it will go away, it just gives you more stress and less time to do it. A lot of people, myself included procrastinate to the point where they’re disappointed at the time (hours, days, months sometimes even years) they’ve wasted because they avoided a task by putting other things & people first. Avoid doing this because you’ll only blame yourself when things aren’t done and you lament over the lost.

How to stop procrastinating:

  • Make to-do lists and set deadlines
  • Remind yourself this task will not go away
  • Put your phone on flight mode and delete apps from your phone (I do this when I have a ton of stuff to do and I genuinely don’t want to speak to anyone)
  • Remember time is of the essence and there is no time better than now to start doing things. Life never stops there’s always something else being thrown at you
  • What will the consequences be if this task is not completed.
  • Do things in small steps because big tasks are overwhelming.
  • Tell people what you have to do, it will make you more accountable because others will know and pester you if you have not finished.
  • I like to finish the harder tasks first or at least early on as this makes me feel productive. This minimizes my stress levels so that if I do end up procrastinating, I will only have a small chunk left.

 

 

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Celebrate yourself 

Today I reached 1000 views on apieceofsarah.com

It was my goal for January and I’m over the moon. It’s nice to see my website taking shape. I also have an Instagram where I post healthy food and a Twitter account, if you didn’t know already. I would like to thank everyone who have supported me through retweeting, following, liking & reposting. It does not go unnoticed and it is so appreciated.

I decided to write this post because as humans we really don’t give ourselves enough credit on what we have achieved and focus on all the bad things we have done or time we have wasted. So I thought it was fitting to celebrate my first major milestone on this site because if you can’t celebrate yourself, who’s going to celebrate you?

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