Hi all! I’ve missed you!
Life has been mad hectic and it’s only by the grace of God. I remember when I was doing my degree (like it was years ago ?) and I thought working on MOD. alongside my degree was a side-hustle.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Uni in itself was not a full-time experience. The dearth of contact hours in final year meant I was only required to be on campus two days a week. Throwing in my days of volunteering, I would only have to leave my studio two and a half times in a working week. As I’m sure you have gathered from my last post, I barely fulfilled my duty to go to lectures, let alone the extra reading. Anyway, I’ve had a wake-up call due to major life changes.
I got a job! I’m officially a NEFer!??? *Twirl*
Having to balance a full-time, 40-hour workweek with my NEF workshops and responsibilities and MOD. will be a challenge; I will truly be living the REAL side-hustle life. But before we go into that, I’m sure you want to know how I got to my host company.
I have mentioned NEF a few times before, particularly when I wrote about the matchmaking experience. My first task was to narrow down the companies I met into a top 5 list. I didn’t actually meet with the reps at my current company because I didn’t think it was a business that interested me. However, I kept an open mind and included it in my top 5, albeit quite low down. My first choice company, let’s call it Company A, seemed perfect on paper. It was local to my new flat, a fairly chill but highly ambitious start-up, and tech-oriented which became appealing to me since I completed the Code First: Girls course. I received introduction emails from every one of my top 5 companies apart from this particular one, which was obviously disheartening. Little did I know that what I thought was best at the time was not necessarily on the cards.
I had a very rewarding Skype interview with a Birmingham based company who showed me that I was looking for all the wrong things in a host company. I needed a company that was not so small that I would have to slot in immediately with no prior experience or training, but not too large that I would be swamped with bureaucracy and unable to make an impact. It just so happened that the company I’m with currently, Company B, was the perfect fit.
I didn’t bother to speak to them at the matchmaking event because I was convinced that I had little interest in the industry. However, the telephone interview opened my mind and my interest was piqued. At the first face-to-face meeting I was set a task that was so out of my depth, yet engaging, that I felt inspired to throw myself into it. It was a worthwhile task that gave me an indication of the kind of work that I would be doing. However, out of the blue, I received an email from NEF about Company A:
I only received this email because I was almost irritatingly persistent (ask and you shall receive, remember). Of course, I was open to meeting with them, though my current company was becoming increasingly interesting. That company was not a good fit for me, not least because there was no defined role. By the time I met with my (former) first choice company, I knew I needed to do everything in my power to work with Company B. I worked and researched non-stop, met with the CEO the day after my graduation, and was offered a job the very next day. If I’m honest, I was in a hurry to get started because I do not like being idle (also, student loan had run dryyyy), but I decided to start after I returned from my holiday in Milan, which was fabulous, by the way!
Anyway, it’s day 4 as a working adult and so far, so good. I was thrown straight into learning systems and I am already beginning to work with brands that I LOVE. My NEF year has well and truly begun as I am working full-time and having to manage my side-hustle. So, how am I doing it? Structure is key.
I have emphasised the importance of organisation in previous posts and listed some very useful tools that practically run my life. I try to organise my time every way I can, whether that means writing to-do lists on the go or drafting blog posts on the tube. Rest is essential and whoever lives by the trope “sleep is for the weak” is a liar, which brings me nicely onto our next lesson.
Lesson #7: “No days off” is toxic.
You need the time to relax and recuperate. Take time out for your mental health if necessary, but be wary of how to approach this without letting that time interfere with your life/work/relationships. In typical Bleggs fashion, I am guilty of expecting too much of myself and have already begun to set myself lofty (and unrealistic) targets to achieve every day. I have an epic to-do list that is so packed that I haven’t allowed myself time to settle into the working routine. I am giving myself a week or two to settle into my new life; after which I can focus on my goals to continue coding, learn Portuguese and take time out for yoga and pole (once I get over the disgusting prices of pole classes in London). Most importantly, I will allow myself time to adjust to my working environment and launch MOD. TO MEASURE.
Welcome to my side hustle life. I’ll leave you with the latest developments in the MOD. world.
Thank you for reading and, as ever, I would love to hear from you!