Advice

Hi I would like some friends please

I would like some friends please.

When I first went to university in 2008, I lived in a hall of residence, best time of my life right? No. The first few weeks were the worst, I was incredibly shy and not sure how to come out of my shell, that set me up for the rest of the year. I went the whole year with not many people knowing who I was which was incredibly lonely for an 18 year old. That is not to say 2008 was a terrible year altogether I had a good group of school friends who kept me going and some fun was had. That experience of not being able to make friends has kind of held me back ever since, and now having thrown my self in to the deep end of moving to a new country I am reminded that I have grown a lot in the last 10 years but there is always the danger of me going in to my shell.

Making friends as an adult sucks, especially when you have moved to a city where you barely know people your own age. But I went to my first party over the weekend, my first party since my own farewell party from Wellington back in February. I was so so close not to attending, I was coming up with all the excuses:

  • I’m currently about an hour out of the city coming home at night would be a mission (and it was a mission).
  • I’ll be awkward (I was a little bit)
  • I’ll say something stupid (I did).
  • I don’t know anyone going (big lie I knew a bunch of them).

I am happy to report that I am pleased I attended, it was a boost to my confidence. That evening reminded me that I could still socialise and talk to people. It was the first time in months where I got to meet people my own age. I’ve been so use to hanging out on my own for so long I think I definitely needed a night out. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t dreading it, I spent all day in bed thinking I don’t want to go, but I have to go. I was saying things to myself such as “You can do this Anushka, you are a grown up 27 year old person who can go out and be social.” Once I got to the bar and the liquid courage set in I was alright.

I met some nice people and who knows if I will actually get the chance to hang out with them again, it might just only be through their Facebook updates, but hopefully I can continue to push myself to go out and do more. Melbourne is a pretty rad city to live in even if you don’t know many people, so it should be even better with a good group of friends.

I let that bad experience in 2008 define me for a long time, although insecurities remain, I am more confident and more sure of myself now. As I have mentioned before in other posts the more you push yourself, the better it will get. I really need that to continue to be true. In order to get out and meet people you have to find that extroverted side of yourself, its definitely there and ready. If there are other shy introverted people reading this post, I hope my little story of hanging out in a Melbourne bar for a few hours on the weekend can encourage you to go out and find what you want too.

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Hi I would Like A Job Please

“There are no entry level jobs anymore,” reading that line in this article I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. I obviously knew this was the case, that no entry level jobs exist. I still think I am relatively new to the job market, even though I have been working since 2013. I want and need a job where I can be trained up and something which will allow career progression.

Going through multiple job postings a day it is very easy to feel disheartened and feel like you have no experience whatsoever. I also get very anxious applying for jobs, probably due to imposter syndrome, I start overthinking and then I never apply. I was feeling all of this earlier today and I am channeling that frustration in to writing this post. The top skill I emphasize in all my cover letters and CV is my written communication, so what better way to highlight it than write a post on everything I have learnt in the last few months while applying for jobs.

For example one thing I have learnt in the last little while is that everyone will give you advise whether you like it or not.

For Example:

  • Take the first job that comes your way even if you do not like it, then spend time looking the right job in your field.
  • You need a niche!
  • Be patient with yourself.
  • “Is there any other courses you can take to learn new skills?”
  • Excel! Databases!
  • Get Linkedin, reach out to people.
  • First job is always the hardest to find, after that it will get much easier!
  • “Anushka I think the best option for you is to get a policy job in government.”

But I really should teach myself Excel.

I really should take the first job that comes my way, as money is nice to have.

I don’t have a niche, I said that in my very first post on this blog. I studied marketing, international business and international relations. I’ve worked in media intelligence and human rights, there is no clear career path which is exciting but also stressful.

Its really hard to write cover letters for jobs you are not excited about, but you have to apply for them anyway because you need a job. Networking is important, making contacts is important and most of them time people are really glad that you have reached out to them.

There are days when I feel that I am useless, especially when the generic rejection emails come in. There are days when I wonder if studying as much as I did was a good idea, I have a lot of self doubt. I can’t take any new courses, three degrees is enough and my student loan is massive, I will teach myself stuff  (I currently have a tab open on my computer that says SEO for wordpress). Volunteering is a great option, I got to intern last year for Amnesty International and got a lot from that experience. It is a bit stressful having to need years of experience for some volunteering roles, but that’s just how the working world operates in 2017. It sucks, but that’s how it is.

Random tips that I am trying to implement in my life:

  • The minute you see a new job posting apply for it, do not delay.
  • Treat the job hunt like a job, don’t stay in you PJs till 2:30pm and search for jobs in bed like I did today.
  • Be grateful for the advise, even if it may not be the most useful advise.
  • Be grateful you have the opportunity to apply for work.

The biggest thing I have learnt is to be patient and have no expectations, make use of of your free time and learn new things! Also have at least one free day a week where you don’t stare at the computer all day. There will be many hard days but eventually someone will take a chance on you and me, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Good luck to all you job hunters out there!

 

The Art of Combating Loneliness

The last three months have been the loneliest, strangest yet also most exciting time of my life I guess. Lonely as I am yet to make new friends in this new city, strange because it is a new city and exciting because its a new city. You hear all these amazing stories of people moving overseas for the first time getting their job within a week, finding the perfect flat and friends almost immediately. None of that has happened to me yet, most of which is due to my own doing, I am an introvert, I have anxiety, I am a serial procrastinator, these three combined is not a good mix.

I’m doing things for sure, but the last three months is probably the longest I have spent on my own. Last week I made a solo theater trip to My Fair Lady, it was great, I’ve seen two other shows by myself too (Matilda and The Book of Mormon). The more and more things I see by myself the more I think that it might be nice to share this experience with someone. Though I think of myself as introvert and love my alone time, I am starting to worry that I am spending too much time on my own.

Last week I  had some friends visit from Wellington and I forgot how nice it was to socialise with people again. Hearing from my friends I realized that I need to stop putting things off, I have to stop waiting for  things to come my way I must go out and get them, even though going out and getting it makes me incredibly anxious. Not that I didn’t know any of this before, but it is time to actually make an effort.

People move at their own pace I think all I need to do is pick up that pace. I’ve done a few things in the last week to start changing that, I signed up to a networking event that will be happening in two weeks. I’ve also arranged to meet two contacts next week for coffee to discuss career options. I’ve been attending Toastmasters here, which is a public speaking group, and I gave a speech after only attending the club for a month. I’m going to make myself attend some meet up events (I’ve been saying that for the last three months *insert laughing emoji*) and I have downloaded some apps! Bumble, Hey! VINA, Huggle and even Tinder. Hey! VINA is for women to make friends with other women and I am using it right now, honestly it feels strange to swipe left or right on potential friends but let’s see how that goes. I’m usually very shy at first but once you get to know me, good luck trying to keep me quiet.

So the art of combating loneliness? Be proactive. Just keep doing things, move at your own pace but keep doing things. I’m attempting to go for one new thing a week. One of my friends always tells me you just have to do what you love and the right people will come your way. Let’s see how it works out.

Positivity Friday

Tomorrow marks one year since I graduated with my Masters degree in International Relations, pretty big deal, I only just got through my final year in High School and struggled through the first few years of university, so getting a Masters degree was a tremendous achievement and I am proud of my accomplishment.

This week has been hard though, I’m missing my friends and family and knowing that it has been a year since I graduated I am naturally in self reflection mode. Have I accomplished anything? Kind of? But not really, my friends and family will likely disagree but I know I could have done better. When I self reflect I am usually very hard on myself, and I have been doing that this week, self doubt usually punches me in the face and I just think I am not good enough at anything. That is obviously not true, I know I’m good and capable and that I am taking small steps in the right direction.

Everyone is telling me to stay positive and I am trying, but nearly three months in to the job search the struggle is real. No matter how much you prepare for it, when the job rejections are rolling in, its very hard to feel good about yourself.

What am I doing to stay positive?

A number of things I have already outlined in this post Apparently I’m An Adult?

But further to that I write, just writing this post alone is therapeutic. I write down my feelings and acknowledge the fact that I feel negative but then I move on. I acknowledge the fact that I will likely feel negative again but I know I have to keep going. At the end of each week I try and either write down or make a mental note of positive things that happened. My list for this week is as follows:

  • I applied for several jobs and I will apply for some more.
  • I didn’t feel as nervous about applying for jobs this week, which is progress.
  • I showed up to Toastmasters again, and although I was a little socially awkward I got through.
  • I went through the site Meet Up and joined a bunch of groups, next step is to actually attend an event.
  • I treated myself to a foot massage on Monday.
  • I also treated myself to Zumbo Macarons and a Krispy Kreme Doughnut.
  • I started exercising again and I am drinking more water.
  • I’m sleeping a little better, and I’m starting to get out of bed before 11am.
  • I started tidying my room on the regular and did not let my room get too messy.
  • I am continuing to make progress on the book I am reading Insane Clown President.

So in a week where I had struggled greatly, missed home, and had a good cry I also managed to take some steps forward, mixed bag but it was alright. I’m taking positivity from the little things. I hope you had an alright week too.

Apparently I’m An Adult?

The things I have noticed about adulthood in 2017:

  • Everyone is busy.
  • Everyone is bragging about their lives on social media.
  • Everyone is buying houses, getting married, having babies etc.

I recognise that these are gross generalisations but when my head is consumed by anxiety it can certainly feel like the truth.

I need to be more busy right now, not to the point where I can talk about how busy I am, but just enough so I can be more present in my life and worry less. I’m currently occupying my time exploring the wonderful city of Melbourne and applying for work. But there is more that I can be doing.

I hope I don’t brag on social media, I’m probably guilty of it though. Every few weeks I think I’ll quit but I really like taking pictures of my food so… *insert shrugging emoji.*

I don’t own a house (I am also content with the idea that it may never happen), I am no where close to getting married (which is okay for now). I’m mainly just Googling how to do things from ‘how to make new friends’ to ‘how to write a cover letter,’ instead of actually doing said things. The fact that I am not doing the above ‘adult’ things is at times very stressful and can bring about a lot of anxiety, overthinking and of late sleepless nights.

So as a Millennial how do I cope? When everyone else appears at least to have it together and I don’t.

In no particular order:

Meditate: I downloaded the Headspace app, I felt somewhat silly doing it but I also kind of love it. My goal is to focus on being present. Meditation helps reduce stress, increases happiness and acceptance and improves concentration. All you need to do is take 10 minutes a day!

Positive affirmations: I brought a happiness journal from Kikki.K and in it was told to write down three positive affirmations to always tell myself.

Repeat after me:

  • I am a smart and capable person, I possess the qualities needed to be successful.
  • Today I abandon old habits and take up new more positive ones.
  • I have unlimited potential, I am excited about today.

Other reminders:

Don’t be too hard on yourself and DON’T. COMPARE. YOURSELF. TO. OTHERS. It’s not worth it, (reminder to self: Anushka it’s not worth it).

Treat Yo Self. Because you are worth it. (Also watch Parks & Recreation because that show is a treat in itself).

I am adult because I work hard, I am responsible, I laugh, I cry, I am rational, irrational, I get angry, moody, I love. Its all the same things that make me human.

So I’m going to try and chill and keep at it. I got this, and so do you.

Warm fuzzy

I turned 27 last month, it had been less than a month since I had moved to Melbourne Australia. I was feeling very anxious about having to deal with another birthday when everyone on Facebook would be saying ‘have the best day ever!’ I knew I would not have the best day ever, but I did have a nice day, and I’ll forever be grateful to the people who helped make that happen.

The next day a parcel arrived in the mail containing a jar of warm fuzzies from my best friends in New Zealand. It contained a series of quotes, memories and random musings that made me laugh, smile and cry at the same time.

I wanted to share the picture above of two of the quotes that were in the jar.  Its a reminder to not stress, in my case stress unnecessarily, and a reminder to keep pushing forward to achieve your goals. I knew I always wanted to live overseas so I did something I have never done, on March 5 2017 I moved. It’s a reminder to me that I am where I want to be even if it feels a bit hard right now.

I hope someone may find this advice useful. I hope I can continue to do so as well.