I did a post on my most frequently asked questions a little while back, but with another year comes another string of questions that I get almost on a weekly basis – so I decided to bunch them all up and answer them in this post! Mostly touching on what I “do” and how I balance everything. This will be my last post until Christmas and then I’ll be doing 6 roundup posts over 6 days leading up the New Year. I did this last year and it was pretty popular so I decided to bring it back and add on one extra day!
This right here is my most asked question – ever. I often get asked how I balance it, how I manage go to events, when I write, when I shoot, how I fit it all in, how many hours I spend in the office – the list is endless. I actually wrote a post on this at the start of the year, so here is a mini update a few months on.
How many hours do I work? Well, around 12 hours a day on average, minimum. The number one secret to how I balance it all? *drumroll*
I just really enjoy blogging. It’s as simple as that. How do I find the time to write posts? Because I actually want to write posts. Instead of watching TOWIE, I’d rather just write what’s on my mind, it’s what I enjoy and what I’ve always enjoyed (from the age of 5-15 I would write stories/novels, even book series, using pen and paper or the computer, I thought I was going to be an author one day and it seems that although I’m not an author, I’m still writing, just on a different domain). How do I find the time to shoot? I shoot around once every 1.5 months, and a shoot is only one hour, let’s chuck in another for travel, that’s really not a huge commitment. How do I go to events? Well, how do you go to events? I don’t live in the office!
Honestly, you find the time. If you really love something, you’ll make time for it, whatever the matter. It just so happens that what I love to do is blog. The only issue sometimes is finding time for all the admin; blogging is a lot more than just pretty pictures and think pieces, it’s also managing e-mails and incoming opportunities (do you want to take one or don’t you? Do you even have the time to answer to all the deliverables?Would your readers be interested in this?), scheduling posts for brands, lots of social media, seeking out new opportunities, always staying on the ball with regards to new ways to grow and differentiate yourself, finding the time to plan ideas for specific collaborations, SEO, innovation – it’s a lot to organise. This is when it gets a bit tougher and this is something that I still am working on, I’ll let you know if I ever master it.
Before I started working full-time I heard a rumour that the first year post uni, when everyone starts working, is like an apocalypse for existing uni relationships and that it’s a time you’ll find most couples breaking up. This is bound to make anyone feel apprehensive and so I’m not surprised I get asked this question so much (and I’ll just add that the rumour is a bit of bs). The truth is, a lot of us spend an obscene amount of time with our other halves when we’re in uni and in a relationship – just because it’s such an easy thing to do, afterall you’re both probably living very similar lives and there really isn’t too much contact time during uni, a lot of it is independent study. I can hold my hands up and say that Levi and I spent crazy amounts of time together in uni, almost every single day, almost 24 hours a day at times. Now we both work fairly demanding jobs – involving international travel at times, long hours, and we don’t live together.
So does that change things? Well, maybe for the better. Hear me out…
It’s not really natural to spend 24/7 with one person, and that’s not really the way most relationships operate – it’s quite a unique school/uni phenomena. Levi and I still spend lots of time together – at least once during the weekday and almost all weekends (including separating for different plans and coming back together afterwards) and it’s really easier than you’d think to do when you’ve previously gone down the route of spending everyday together at uni. You adapt. So to answer this question – nothing has significantly changed, we just don’t spend unhealthy amounts of time together anymore, but still probably spend more time together than the average couple (most of the time I’m chilling, it’s probably with Levi).
I know, controversial reply.
Before I started working full-time in a corporate role, my goal was always to be a full-time blogger one day and that day was ideally ASAP. And whilst I want to continue growing this platform, it’s not my current goal to take it full-time. What changed? Well, at the moment, I’m managing to balance things quite well, I’m learning loads of valuable personal skills from my job, and I don’t mind the intensiveness of it all bundled together. Of course I’ll keep blogging (because I love it), and working on other projects/businesses, and working full-time in the corporate world – and I’ll continue to evaluate where I am, what I want to do, and what my next step is going to be.
I’ve actually done a few panels/networking sessions this year where I’ve discussed this topic amongst a room of fellow women or people of colour (check them out in my about & features page!)
If I’m being totally honest I’ve had no issues being a woman, or of colour, in my job. Even my immediate team is headed by a woman, with a total of four women on the six people team. Of course the overall industry is definitely still male dominated, and whilst there are more women everyday getting into top positions, it is still the case that these positions are mostly populated by males – and I think that’s what you’d find at most jobs at the moment. However, a lot of firms operating in IB are aware of this and as such have a number of programmes on for women, internships specifically for women only, and along with this partnerships with organisations for people from BAME backgrounds that equip members with skills and give them opportunities to land roles in these competitive industries. Currently I am a member of the 1 women’s network at work, 1 group at work that specialises in equipping BAME school students with general skills and skills for the corporate world and I am also alum of both SEO and Rare. So I always tell people not to let these facts deter them, confidence is key when going for these jobs.
Another interesting fact about IB is that they tend to hire from all over Europe, and on occasion the US, as well as the the UK; so actually, culturally, we all have different backgrounds, which is pretty interesting.
I find it weird when people ask me this question because it’s a bit err… intrusive. But what I can and will say is that the very large majority of my living income comes from my job in banking. Blogging is more of a buffer under the umbrella of treat yo’self; it definitely wouldn’t (at the moment) cover all of my outgoing expenses which includes: one too many ubers, last minute holidays, living out in central London, random purchases of designer goods, lots of shopping and saving for a mortgage (I’m trying to jump on that ladder in the next 2 years!).
However, that being said said, I’m not looking too much towards blogging right now as a money making vehicle. At the beginning of the year that was my aim, but it led to me missing out on a few opportunities here and there out of my own stubbornness. Hey, I’m not Zoella, I don’t have 1mn followers and seeing as blogging is not paying my bills right now, my focus is more on growing, improving… and more growing and improving. It’s nice to make some money from it, but that’s definitely my focus at the moment.
I just lose some sleep. I know it’s not the healthiest… don’t learn from me but I honestly can’t help it. Actually, sleep is the #1 obstacle towards me getting in as long as a workout as I’d like, because I’m always doing a cheeky extra 10 or 20 minute snooze which sometimes means I lose a rep or two (or three) if I don’t want to be late to work *tears*. I do enjoy working out and starting on this health & fitness journey these past 6 months has definitely changed my life for the better (more on this on my year-end review post later this month). Working out gets harder and harder for me to do as the time in the day advances (my motivation just dwindles), so it’s best for me to get it out of the way as one of the first things I do when I’m up in the morning (that said, I am fitting in more and more evening sessions these days), plus, it’s a really good way to start off a new day in terms of the benefits it has on your mood. I think it’s generally just something you will find a way to fit into your life if you want to. It’s really only about an hour of your day, give or take an extra half an hour for travel and faffing around with your locker, which is nothing. The majority of people in my office have found a way to fit it into their routines. When I first started work I was way too disorganised to do this, but over time my organisation improved and I was able to seamlessly slip working out into my day-to-day.
And there you have it – my updated FAQs! Hopefully I haven’t missed out on anything, but if you have any questions you can always contact me on my social media accounts below.
Merry Christmas all and until next week for my 6x 2017 review posts!