No job is a waste of your time: the skills you learn along the way

In the 17(!) years I have been working I have had many, many jobs. For the purposes of this post, I will list them.

  • Avon lady
  • Weavers Café Saturday girl
  • Debenhams Sales Advisor
  • Debenhams Supervisor
  • WH Smith Sales Assistant
  • Libra/ Jenners Sales Assistant
  • Waitrose shelf stacker
  • University of Dundee jobs
    • IT Receptionist
    • IT Clerical Assistant
    • IT Communication and Information Assistant
    • Innovation Portal Marketing Assistant
    • Dundee Clinical Academic Track Administrative Co-ordinator
    • IT Communication & Information Officer
  • Time Lifestyle Boutique Founder & Director
  • Discovery Credit Union Marketing & Communication Officer
  • The Circle Facilities & Services Development Manager

Alongside the first half of this list, I accumulated qualifications: Standard Grades, Highers, Advanced Highers and an Honours Degree in Biological Sciences.

Let me start with the conclusion, that each of those experiences has shaped who I am today. I have experience, skills and knowledge that I use every day that I started accumulating a very long time ago.

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Thinking about blogging for your business? Eight things to consider before starting your business blog

Most businesses are at least on board with having a website now. Some will run their whole operation via a website. Others will use it as a place to find the address and contact details with maybe a brief description of what they do. I use business websites a lot in my work – I ran my website in my own business; when I was targeting some partner businesses in my last role I would research them beforehand; and as a buyer in retail,  I used them to find suppliers. Websites I commonly encounter usually have a home page, about page, contact page and some sort of services page. There may also be a link to a Facebook or Twitter presence. Frequently now, though, we are seeing blogs on websites.

For this reason alone, other people are doing it; people are bolting on a blog to their website with some vague notion they will write the occasional article about their business. Your nephew might have told you, you need a blog. Your friends who know something about marketing all have blogs and you have heard that some businesses even have blogs that create their own revenue stream.

You think it’s worth a shot and send an email off to the web guy or girl to add a blog to the website or think about signing up to one of the many blog platforms and ‘have a go’. But before you do, I ask you to think about these points.

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Next stop – The Circle

It wasn’t so long ago I wrote about preparing for an interview and a new job. A little over two months, in fact. But here I am, ready to start again. I have been offered the most wonderful opportunity to make a big difference to communities in Dundee and I am really excited about taking it. I am going to work for Circle Scotland CIC, or more informally, The Circle.

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Give her a book: reading changed my life

So much of what is good in my life I owe to books. Girl with personal blog reads books. Not a huge revelation really. I don’t have a cat, though! Got you there! My husband owns more books that I do. My best friend works in publishing. My book club girls are my gin-drinking buddies. Books lead me to what I truly love.

I remember when I learned to read ‘on the inside’, as my mum put it. Not having to be read to and not having to read aloud changed everything. I could read anytime, anywhere. Even when Coronation Street is on! Around that time, I would have been into Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl. The Worst Witch and Charlotte’s Web. When I was little and it was a ‘mum’ Saturday I would get something new to read in town. As a treat, I would go to James Thins but usually, I went to the library.

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Ten things to do before starting a new job

You got the job. You negotiated your salary. You have a start date and you are looking forward to the new role. What should you be doing before you start a new job? For me, I will be spending my last week off getting organised and planning a sensible routine for new job. I also have some preparation to do.

1.     Stay in touch with your new employer

It might take a little time to check references, a contract issued and arrangements made so you may not start immediately. Do try and stay in touch with your new employer. Check if you can help chase up references. Ask if you can pop in and say hello before the start date. Your new colleagues will be curious to see you too. This will help with tip two.

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Perfect timing – gate-crashing an art college lecture

The last six weeks have been absolutely crazy. I have gone from shop owner and company director to unemployed lecture-crasher. I have gone through disappointment, despair and desperation. A closing down sale, seeing stock and fixtures packed up for auction and the realisation that I wouldn’t be doing what I loved anymore. The numbers just weren’t working and it was time to pull the plug. Reluctantly and regrettably.

Now that the worst of it is over I am now feeling relief and am ready to embark on yet another chapter. With no regrets and a whole load of life experience that you can read in the fine lines accessorising the skin around my eyes, I am thinking about my next transformation.

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