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