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Daisybutter - UK Style and Fashion Blog: Photograph by Niran Vinod
A scattering of thoughts around not-knowing, changing aspirations and quality of life. Not as deep as it assumes.

Photograph by Niran Vinod.

I’ve been pondering writing this post for a while, but with new horizons being paved, I felt it was the right time to have a candid chat about life, ambition, luck and lucking out.

So I’ve been a graduate for all of about 20 months now and I’ve been very “lucky” to have been employed for 18 and a half of those. Remember this here blog when it (and I) was a young sprite? For the record, I studied a variation of fashion journalism and ended up graduating with a First Class Honours degree in BA (Hons) Writing Fashion and Culture. But while I maintained high hopes and big ambitions for a fleeting period post-graduation, that ended or dissipated once I landed my first job. Ah irony.

I’ve always known that I wanted to write. Whether on my Xanga, in those wholly cringeworthy MySpace bulletins (you can bet your bottom dollar that I was a MySpace girl… 18k and all that!), for my dissertation, my blog or for the various publications that I’ve been published in - it’s what I love.

I began my career interning at all manner of places. Head out of the gutter ladies, I mean in the industry of course. From my first break at University, my spare hours were spent in fashion cupboards, more hours spent running garment bags across the city and remembering complicated Starbucks orders… It’s real guys. While I can’t stress how important this was and still remains, it led me to realise that I wanted more than to write credits, sift through returns, maintain relations for others, or even to pull looks. I’d outgrown my ambition and aspiration without even realising it.

In my final year at University, my amazing friend Lauren and I began a magazine and business project. Curated and founded over a salad and latte in Pret one evening way back in November 2011, we saw it through to the launch of its’ very first edition that I’ve now taken into Issue 4 and hope to develop digitally. But this is all a story for another day ;) In short, I quickly gathered that self-employment and trying it from the bottom might be a good place to try.

To supplement my editor dreams, I was very “lucky” in some respects to walk straight into a job after finishing a magazine internship from hell. I became an Assistant Product Editor over at Alexandalexa.com (brilliant online boutique for kids’ btw) where I helped to oversee, create and sub the copy going online. With mere magazine, PR and assisting experience behind me, I’m still overwhelmingly happy I spent some time there. I freelanced there for three months and was even luckier to be contacted for a position with Arcadia in their head office.

(Ladies, the moral of this story is to persevere, if I’m tangent-ing a lot.)

My time at Arcadia has been amazing. It’s been the craziest, most stressful and exciting 15 months in my life to date. I’ve been a copywriting kinda gal at Arcadia, also overseeing the social media content creation and management of one of the brands. I’ve learnt a lot, stressed a lot and, most importantly, learnt that there isn’t one strict path for everyone.

I became unhappy pretty quickly with my long(ish) commute to London. Four (sometimes six) trains daily coupled with taxis, buses, car rides, walks, etc. was far too much for me, especially with health problems added in. Whilst everyone was super happy, proud, even jealous of me, for landing another foot up in the fashion world in London, I knew that the city isn’t for me right now. Sometimes your overall quality of life needs to come into play.

Luck has played a small part over the past 20 months, but sheer determination, newfound aspirations and smaller goals have also driven me to where I am. My new job is closer to home, with an even larger company and with plenty of scope for new everything. The moral of my oversharing this week is just to remind you that there isn't one dedicated way for us all. I’m excited for a taste of the unknown now, aren’t you? x

20 comments

  1. Good luck in your new job Michelle! Sounds like your career has been pretty interesting so far. Marylebone is sad to lose you though haha. xxx

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    1. Thank you so much my lovely! It's certainly been something...! I miss it there already, planned a sneaky evening return next week (:

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  2. Such a good post Michelle, nice to see you talk so candidly.
    Funny to see you talk about Xanga, I LOVED it back in the day
    Kath x

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    1. Thanks Kath - so sweet of you. Hahah I was such an avid Xanga/MySpace/Bebo girl ;) x

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  3. I'm so excited for you to start your new job and proud to say you're my friend! I just know you're going to blow everyone out of the water with your talent. Here's to burger on the 18th!
    Sophie
    x

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    1. N'wah Sophie <3 thank you so much my darling, can't wait to see you for your birthday burgers!

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  4. Congrats and good luck with the new job, Michelle!

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  5. I really enjoyed this post Michelle thanks :) It resonated with me as well as, although I'm in a completely different industry from you, I can relate. I think I graduated the same year as you and was really lucky getting a job I wanted straight away. I've worked really hard and got myself up the ladder a bit and am very proud of myself for that, but you're very right in saying sometimes we need to sit back and take stock and re-evaluate goals. We shouldn't be afraid to take a slightly different path! And I whole-heartedly sympathise on the non-London thing. I commute in everyday from a town near-ish yours and sometimes it is a real pain. Would love to just hop in my car and drive 20 mins to my office! Good luck with the new job :) xxx

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment Hannah, I'm glad you found it relatable and somewhat interesting to read. As much as I'm proud of myself for working my way up the ladder a little, I'm also very glad that I've reevaluated everything as I just wasn't happy anymore. I think, right now, quality of life and making sure everything outside my career is good, is my priority, and everything else will fall into place! x

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  6. Lovely post! I really enjoyed reading this.
    Good luck with your new job!
    Keeley's Wardrobe

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  7. Good luck with your new job, it sounds awesome! I have always been glad that I have found a job I love that isn't based in London as I find it far too stressful in anything more than small doses!

    Maria xxx

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    1. Thank you Maria! I'm excited to get to grips with it all, a fresh start is just what I need! Ah I completely get where you're coming from - I can see myself back in London in a few years, it just isn't suited to me at the moment. (:

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  8. I can definitely relate to the whole commute thing, traveling (even for a job) just takes it out of you at the end of the day - and on top of illness it just plain sucks. Glad to see you'll be working a little closer to home now!
    I like what you said at the end about how there isn't one set way in life for everyone. I've definitely adopted the everything happens for a reason mantra since my A Levels meant changing the University I wanted to go to. Nothing's really gone as planned for me but I'm better off because I went off track a little!
    All the best with your new role Michelle, looks like you've got a really exciting opportunity ahead of you :) xoxo

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    1. Definitely! I've struggled with the same illness for about 8 months now, so it was just getting a bit much for me. I'm excited to see what the new area and position will bring to be honest. Thanks so much Ria, glad you liked reading it! I always worry that I'll sound petty and ungrateful, because I know just how 'lucky' I am but I've worked super hard for it only to realise it isn't all that hahah. Can't wait to see you soon for one big catch-up!

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  9. Congratulations on your new venture! You've worked hard for so long I am happy you have this new opportunity.
    <3 Carolyn

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    1. Thank you so much Carolyn, really sweet of you! x

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  10. The unknown is both wonderful and scary but it is ultimately what you make it. Good luck.

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  11. Beautiful Michelle, this post makes me feel so happy for you. I know how horrible and exhausting commuting can be, and I'm getting to the stage where I'm feeling the same too. Big love!
    x

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