I quit my job, with nothing to go to.

Do you know what’s scary? You know that paralysis of fear that you feel right before the drop of a rollercoaster? Or the gut wrenching anxiety when you walk into a hospital? That moment of desperation when you swerve quickly to avoid a fatal collision? We each have our own definitions of fear. For me, losing your job is scary, but what’s worse is staying in your job.

Two weeks ago, I quit my job. What I do is not impressive, and it’s not particularly well paid. In fact, it is minimum wage and it has made me miserable every day for the last 8 months. The sensible thing to do would be to line another job up before quitting, but there’s a moment of content peacefulness that comes when you reach your limit. I knew that enough was enough, and had I not done it then I am not sure I ever would have. Continue reading
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Help me, I want to be a journalist.

Some bloggers write as a side project, some make a reasonable living from it, and a lot of us do it because we want to be some sort of writer or a journalist. Those of us who do that are used to the struggling life of a writer, we know what it’s like to suffer in order to perfect our craft. It involves spreading ourselves far too thin, and staring at a blank white page on Word in the ugly hours of the night. Then we go to our normal jobs looking like a homeless version of one of the witches from Hocus Pocus. It is a delightful experience of everybody.

Who even gets to be a journalist now? Is it anybody who can afford to do a Masters at a prestigious journalism school? Is it someone with the right connections? Or can we chock it up to dumb luck? Journalism is one of the least secure career paths you can choose, stability is not on the cards and financially you’re not in for a pot of gold unless you’re secretly Piers Morgan. If you want to go into this field, you need a thick skin and an arrogant edge that tells you you’re the best. You’ll get no where without self belief.

These are the things I know about the path to getting your job as a writer or journalist. If you need me, I’ll be sat in a corner chewing on my hair, because this job path has driven me to insane and unbelievable actions. Read all about it, Goldilocks ruined her hair! Suffered for art! Continue reading

Pick me, but I won’t work for free: The expectation of free content.

Image from my own Instagram

Why should you do something for free if you’re good at it? But why shouldn’t you if its all you want to do? Because you have bills to pay and a TV license fee you’re currently pretending is non existent. There’s also this thing called starvation you might want to avoid.

It is a common misconception and assumption that graduates are prepared to (and should do) anything for free, as long as it helps them in the long run. We buy into this with a peppy, pro active and somewhat whimsical attitude. It will look good to employers, we say. A year following my graduation, I can tell you that you should never do anything for free. During your studies, yes. But after you have your degree? No, you’ve done the hard work. Do it for yourself and blog or contribute because you want to, but don’t let someone else gain from what you have done for nothing. Unless it’s The New York Times, there’s always an exception. Continue reading