Monthly Archives: January 2010

Getting back into the old (exercise) routine…

While waiting for the temping / permanent job of my dreams to come along, I thought it’s about time I got back on the fitness wagon! Last week, I’m sure the gym trainers nearly died of shock when I actually turned up to work out. I was close behind them as I logged into my workout programme and saw my last session had been on 11th October 2009 – hmm so I hadn’t exactly taken a ‘Christmas break’ from the gym..! 

There were 3 messages waiting for me, sent by my appointed trainer which basically read ‘I notice you haven’t worked out for a few weeks! Do you need a new programme? You haven’t worked out for a while, take it easy during your first few sessions to avoid injury! Do you need a new programme? Don’t forget, if you need encouragement or a new programme, contact me!’ Ok, ok I get the hint, it’s time to get back into the old routine!

Half an hour on the treadmill and I felt a bit sick. A token 20 reps on the Lat Pulldown and a few sit-ups wrapped up my first session. Just before I left, I jumped on the scales to assess the damage of Christmas excesses – many, many chocolates, cheese, crackers, no exercise… the scale showed I am 12 st 4 lbs (with shoes on, very important detail!) and the last time I got on in October after my hols, (I don’t believe in weighing yourself regularly, go by the feel of your clothes), I was about 12 st 2 lbs, so not a bad result after 2 months off the exercise and many tasty treats consumed over the festive period!

Since then, I’ve managed 3 water aerobics classes and 3 gym visits, I’m hoping this means I’m firmly back on the exercise bandwagon because it’s so easy to roll back off…

Risk more than others think is wise…

Some would say I give up too easily, others say I was brave to follow my heart (well, that’s what my loved ones said!), but I have left my new job.

An interesting conversation with the youngest, bubbly and slightly naive employee confirmed a few things to me. She was also promised a ‘huge variety’ of things she would get involved in when actually, all she has been doing is the same basic data entry for the past 3 months on poor wages. At least half of the staff haven’t given in a signed contract, at Christmas time they were due to be paid on Christmas Eve but the boss ‘forgot’, the usual finishing time actually is anywhere between 6 pm – 7.30 pm everyday, despite only being paid ’til 5.30 pm and this can run much later when an actual deadline is around the corner. She admitted feeling guilty, leaving at 5.40 pm despite a 2 hour drive home and the only reason she stays in post is because she felt she had something to prove to her parents (i.e. she could stay in this job until she finds another to move in to).

I wrote a difficult email and told a little white lie. I said I had had an interview and had been offered a short-term contract on a higher rate. I told him I couldn’t rely only on the ‘possibility’ of a pay rise (no white lie there!) and put my 3 days work there down to ‘experience’ i.e. no pay! Then, I registered back at my employment agency and made an appointment to join a second – I want to pick up some temping asap.

Thankfully, my wonderful family fully support me as I was dreading having to tell everyone that it hadn’t worked out in such a short space of time. It may seem like small, inconsequential reasons, but I know I have done the right thing…


A week later, I had an interesting email from the friend who had recommended me. Before I had chance to tell her the real reason I left, she had recommended another friend to join the business. On her first day, apparently the boss came into work hung over and still slightly drunk from the night before. After giving her some work to do that she was unfamiliar with, he blew up at her and she left work at the end of the day, never to return. Always trust your gut instincts, even if it makes you seem slightly mad to others around you..!

Should you follow your gut instinct?

Day 2 of my new job and well, it’s going ok – did you notice my slight hesitancy there? You know when you have that funny feeling about something that doesn’t seem quite right but it doesn’t really seem big enough to mention? Well, I have that feeling about work.

When it comes to our 1pm lunchtime, nobody moves. It doesn’t appear that everyone has suddenly tuned their PC’s to Facebook or Twitter, judging by the work calls still going on around me as well as furious email writing. There is the sound of food rustling at desks so eating on the go is obviously the norm. I of course, have a seat with my name on waiting for me at Starbucks but it feels really awkward to be the only one to leave my desk and vacate the building for that precious hour not spent staring at a computer screen. However, even the hour seems to be ‘flexible’ as I was told that it is usual to start lunch late but always to finish it by 2pm.

The 5.30pm finish time arrived yesterday and nobody batted an eyelid. By 5.40pm, despite it being my first day, I took the initiative and slowly wrapped up in my winter woolies to show I was going. Throw in a 5 minute chat about parking and I still felt guilty about being the first to leave, 15 minutes after we finished! I am more than willing to do my fair share of late finishes when deadlines are approaching but instinct tells me this is the everyday norm. This doesn’t bode well in the life/work balance plan and it’s difficult to rally against the flow of the office. We are only a staff of 6 so it’s impossible not to notice the 1 (new) person who actually takes a lunchtime and tries to leave at hometime. Throw in general conversation about a lack of an actual contract, late or no appraisals (which I was told at interview my future decent wage rides on) and it makes you wonder.

Hmmm, am I being too picky or has experience finally taught me to take notice of the small details and follow my gut instinct?

A job with long-lasting potential?

Five days ago, I told you that one of my ‘non resolutions’ was to only apply for jobs I am really interested in, in the hope I can find a long-lasting, fulfilling career.

I think I might have accidently found it!

A referral from a friend got me an interview at 6pm last night. By 6.45pm, I was being offered a job at a small, local publishing company. On paper (or should I say online?!?) it sounds potentially, like it could turn into the job of my dreams. Initially, I’m going in to do some data crunching (never the most fun you can have in the office) but this will be mixed with seminar bookings, collating directory info, a bit of editing here, a pinch of copy writing there… It’s a small business with big ideas and is intent on expanding its products and staff this year.

I’m quietly excited on the inside but for once, am appearing cool and calm about it on the surface – lets see how this three-month trial goes. It also shows that you should leave every position on a good note as it can be a very small world in the job market…

Just say NO to New Years resolutions!

I hate New Years resolutions!

Why? Because the moment you say something rash like I’m going to diet/exercise/stop smoking/become vegetarian out loud, your friends and family lie in wait for the very moment you eat one chip/sit down for five minutes/walk past a smoker/see Burger King so they can shout, “I knew you wouldn’t stick to it!” Why do we take so much pleasure in seeing people fail? Is it because, deep down inside, we have the feeling we aren’t going to make it through the whole of January without someone saying the same to us?!?

Of course I have resolutions that I whisper to myself, for instance:

  • I’m going to get so fit I don’t have to breathe in when wearing a bikini on holiday
  • I’m going to eat a more varied diet (we literally ate about the same 10 meals for the whole of last year)
  • I’m only going to apply for jobs that really interest me so that I have a fulfilling career for the rest of my days
  • I’m going to find a dentist and brave myself for the injections for my fillings in waiting
  • I’m going to get ‘brave’ glasses (rimless is heading out, tortoiseshell frames in!)

So, the pact is this: You know my secrets and I am happy to learn yours. Let’s not judge each other, only encouragement is allowed! If we don’t manage to conquer all (or any) of our own wish list, lets put it down to our busy lives and meet here, same time, same place, next year!

Come on, tell me what you are going to do differently this year..!