You Only Have One Life: Live It Well

It’s such a pain not having a functional (internet) computer at home, can take a little while to get around to these things, and fit them around the sheer volume of work that is currently coming in! Living by my mantra of if you’re going to do something, do it on time and do it well… keeps getting me more work! Just got to keep believing it’s going to keep coming, although am putting my best foot forward for a full-time post also!

One Life Live
A great event hosted over the weekend at Kensington Olympia! I’ve been looking forward to going to this for months, having pre-purchased my ticket via Psychologies magazine (and then getting special offers from several other RSS feeds I subscribe to – hey, you win some, you lose some!) ages ago!

The event was structured into a number of zones:

  • New careers & Learning
  • Free Time
  • Be Your Own Boss
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Travel & Career Breaks
  • Sustainable Living
  • Life Change
  • Volunteering & Fundraising

I LOVE learning, so I checked out a bit of that, wandered around the ‘be your own boss’, but I’m aware (but haven’t quite read) most of that literature, and of course was checking out the ‘Life Change’ areas, but as always, I gravitate towards the travel and volunteering sections… very inspiring to see the ways in which you can combine travel with so many other things… I may return with specifics of companies, but right now I need to learn how to use WordPress!

As I said, interested in the volunteering section, so put my actions where my feet were, and signed up to do The Big Sleep Out at Winchester Cathedral on 15th May:


Job Centre Experience

Things went from humbling to comic. Gill’s circumstances did not fit any of the boxes on the official’s computer screen. And if she defied classification she could not exist. “Tell me what your job was and I’ll do a job search for you,” said the official. “Operations director for a Footsie plc,” said Gill. “It’s not coming up with anything. What about ‘area manager’?” “Yes,” sighed my friend, by this time a broken woman, “area manager will do.” (The Times, 30 December 2008)

Gill, felt strongly enough about the process to write to Harriet Harman, but has not received a reply. “I amuse myself thinking, what if it had been her? If they did a job search for her – Cabinet minister or secretary of state – they’d probably come up with cabinet maker or office secretary.

It’s good to laugh in times of distress, and this article, which my mum has just sent me in the post, did that! Having taken voluntary redundancy in December 2006, I chose to go travelling, in the full expectation that (as always before), I would be able to get a job on my return, and preferably this time, it would be a more fulfilling job. On return from round-the-world travels, I was then offered the summer season to work with Oak Hall, which was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

On returning back to the UK, I found I’d walked right slap-back into the middle of the credit crunch and things were going to be be maybe a little different, so, in order to ensure the continuity of my National Insurance coverage (why was I worried about that, I’d not paid them for the previous 2 years), I “signed on”. Fully expecting, as my friends had, to be offered 13 weeks in which to find an appropriate professional job, utilising my academic experience and web skills, I was told that as I hadn’t been in that kind of field recently, I would have to go for ANYTHING, even though on my first job application I’d received an interview and had been the second choice for the role! The experience was one of the least favourite experiences of my life, but I decided that if I was going to have to apply for work simply to pay the bills, then I should at least look to do so in an area where I had friends – Winchester! 

Moving my sign-on process to Winchester was a much pleasanter experience, so they are not all like this! With another interview in the pipeline, and having done some freelance web work (see web-project) in the meantime, the parameters were changed, and 13 weeks were accordingly awarded! With further web-work offered this week, I’ve officially been signed-off for this week, with the expectation that I’ll need to go through the rapid reclaim process when this short-term project expires. With another web project agreed, and other possibilities in the pipe-line from the temping agencies, hopefully I won’t need to go through the process again, but I will as necessary, and it’s good life-experience to aid in the setting up of my business as a life-coach, for which I will be trained by March 2009.


Careers: General Sites

So, New Year is over, companies should speed up those job adverts (although of course all those people who’ve reassessed things over Christmas will be back on the hunt too)… so let’s identify some of the good general job-hunting sites (most of these have been sending me job-search emails on a regular basis for the last couple of months, yielding some decent jobs):

Whilst travelling, I was continually asked that question “where do you come from?”… well.. that can be complicated! I grew up in Sussex, I studied/lived in Winchester for 10.5 years (and consider it my adopted home), then I lived in Manchester for 1.5 years before redundancy gave the option of travelling, where I made my official base with parents who had now moved to Suffolk. Suffolk’s too remote for me, great for a retreat, but Winchester is definitely the place I’d still choose to make my home… so places to look for local jobs:

I’m sure there’s going to be more information to add to both categories!


Working at It…

After a morning trying to produce a skills-based CV (bits of it are slowly emerging!), and trying to extrapolate what I’ve actually done this week towards my jobsearch, I was offered some work which involved getting to grips with a new CMS system.

Joomla! is a free open source content management system for publishing content on the World Wide Web and intranets. The system includes features such as page caching to improve performance, RSS feeds, printable versions of pages, news flashes, blogs, polls, website searching, and language internationalization. Joomla is licensed under the GPL, and is the result of a fork of Mambo. (Text from Wikipedia)

Much more to learn, and deadlines are tight, so I need to focus on that for a few days.

Life Coaching
On Saturday/Sunday I will start a life coaching certification with Serenergise. Very excited as been talking about doing something like this for 2 years. It’s great to move from talk to action, and even better to hear today that they are the first course in the UK to be accredited by the International Coaching Federation.


Careers: Not for Profit Organisations

Working has never been about earning money for me (although obviously we live in a world where things need to be paid for, and I would like to be appropriately recognised for the effort I have put into training with an appropriate wage), but more about making a difference in the world. Therefore, I am signing up with some of the following agencies:

As a Christian, I am also checking out agencies specialising in (advertising) that particular line of work, including:

I posted a new version of my personal website today: Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to spend as long on it as I’d like, but it’s more focused than the previous version.