13.9.17

MY EXPERIENCE OF MOVING TO MANCHESTER

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Hey guys!

So my third and final post on my new job/move to Manchester - although I'm sure they'll be plenty of updates a few months down the line. Where to begin...

As soon as I accepted the job and sobered up from my weekend in London, I knew I had to find somewhere to live. And fast. With just a week before I was due to start, I hadn't left myself time to find somewhere proper to live, so the obvious choice was to get an Airbnb. Considering I didn't have any money either, I couldn't afford rent so was hoping to find somewhere fairly cheap to crash for a couple of weeks until payday. Hostels were working out cheaper than Airbnb's, but there was no way I was spending my first 2 weeks in a new job completely sleep deprived from sharing with noisy strangers. It was a real predicament, especially as my mum and dad were lending me the money so I wanted to spend as little as possible. Luckily, I hit the jackpot and came across an Airbnb a 10 minute drive from my office for, wait for it... £13 a night!!! I read a ton of reviews to make sure it was legit and eventually decided to book it (despite my mum worrying that I was staying in some random guys spare room). But for £175 for 12 nights, how could I refuse?

Maybe it's my experiences from travelling that have made me way more open, but I know a lot of people wouldn't have stayed in the Airbnb I was in. On paper (#loveisland), I can definitely understand why people would find it uncomfortable. The guy also rented out a mattress on his living room floor, which meant there would often be between 1-4 backpackers crashing in the kitchen area when I was getting ready for work in the morning. The flat was also in quite a rough area of Manchester, but luckily I never noticed as the estate I was on was lovely and I never ventured out unless I was driving to work. Of course not being able to cook breakfast or dinner for 12 nights was a tad inconvenient, and yes the kids playing outside woke me up a few times which I wasn't happy about, but on the whole it was completely fine. The host and his girlfriend were lovely, but we kept ourselves to ourselves and literally never saw each other. I had a room to sleep in and that's all that mattered. I always trust reviews and, honestly, I'm not afraid of a little upheaval now and again. Trust me, I've slept in a lot worse (hello Asiaaa).



Anyway, another reason I wanted to wait a few weeks before I committed to a flat share was because I wasn't 100% sure which area of Manchester I wanted to live in. I'd done some research and had asked a few friends where they'd recommend, but wanted to wait and hear what people at work said. The one area that kept popping up was Didsbury. Didsbury is really popular with young professionals and just so happens to be one of the most desirable areas to live in the whole of the UK. Buying a house there costs an absolute bomb, but luckily renting is a lot cheaper than the city centre. The only downfall is that it's 30 minutes south of the city, so I wasn't sure if I wanted to tackle the long commute every morning. I always said that when I moved I wanted to live no further than a 10 minute walk from work, so I was completely torn. I suddenly regretted all the viewings I had lined up for Didsbury and was tearing my hair out trying to make a decision. Looking back, I was so desperate to make everything perfect first time round that I got myself into such a state. I was fully breaking down over it. You always think that flat hunting is going to be fun, but when you're against the clock like I was, the whole experience is pretty soul destroying.

After a few days (baring in mind it was my first week at a new job and every evening I was driving round Manc viewing places), I learned a vital lesson. TAKE A CHILL PILL. There's no way I was gonna find the perfect flat with a good sized room, nice housemates and a short commute from work all within my preferred move in date of 1st August - it just didn't exist. If I wanted to move in somewhere pronto (which I did so I could finally feel settled), I'd have to take what was available. If things don't work out, I can always move again when my contract is up in 6 months. So far, all the houses I'd viewed in Didsbury were gross (like worse than my student house). Probably because they had so many young professionals living in them. Some were 10 beds for crying out loud. I found a place I really liked in the city, but competition was fierce and I kinda got the impression that the girls living there weren't my type of people. I had a feeling they were gonna choose one of the other girls over me. I was torn. Do I hold out and hope they choose me? What if they pick someone else and I'm left with nothing? That was the dilemma I faced when viewing my final flat in Didsbury. Finally, a place that was clean, tidy, a decent enough sized room and the icing on the cake - a perfect location. It was the first place in Didsbury I liked and I knew I'd kick myself if I lost it. After much deliberation, I decided the city flat wasn't worth the risk. I rang up the next day and paid my fees for the Didsbury flat.

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Finally the weekend came for me to move out of my Airbnb. I drove home and basically had a day and a half to pack my entire room into my tiny little car. Luckily my housemates said I could move in a few days earlier without the Estate Agents knowing. Moving in on a Sunday made more sense than a Tuesday. Driving away from my parents house was definitely emosh. Obviously it was nothing compared to the hysterical tears I was in at the airport before I went travelling. But still, it hits you more than you think it will. Moving out of your parents house for good is a big deal. For me, it felt like I was finally growing up and starting my adult life. You know, at the not-so-young age of 24. I wasn't just moving up the road either. Okay, it's not like I'm in Mars but still - 2 hours by car or 3.5 hours by public transport isn't the sort of journey you wanna be making all the time. Me and my mum are mega close, so it was sad knowing I wasn't gonna see her every day anymore. But alas, change is inevitable.

And that brings us to now. 6 weeks later and I'm finally settled. Not only in my flat but in my life in Manchester. More updates to follow!

Thanks for reading huns
xxx

27.7.17

PURSUING MY CAREER IN WRITING & MOVING TO MANCHESTER


Hey guys!

(Sorry in advance, this is gonna be a long one!)

So carrying on from my last post about getting a new job when I came back from America, I'm just going to start from the beginning so I don't miss anything.

Like I was saying, I started applying for jobs the day after I landed back in England. For me, the focus was 100% on finding a job I loved, which hadn't always been the case in the past (my past jobs were fine, but I wouldn't say I was happy as I knew they weren't for me). I wanted something that I wouldn't dread going to, a job where I wouldn't be clock watching and one that suited my personality and the way I like to work. I was going to be picky and only apply for jobs in industries that actually interested me. In my eyes, the company was really important. But so was the job role. Having worked in PR, social media and writing in the past, I knew exactly what I did and didn't like. I didn't like PR or social media/marketing - I did like writing. Despite being an outgoing and sociable person,  I eventually learned that I most definitely work better on my own. Just me, myself and a laptop. Sounds boring, but I like being left alone with my thoughts. I mean it's hardly surprising, it's the reason I set up this blog in the first place. I'm sure you've noticed but my posts are VERY long, basically because I really like to write. I'd also noticed that compared to other people on previous teams, I had quite a keen eye for detail and noticing mistakes (be it grammar or punctuation). I just thought, "you know what, maybe this is my calling". So off I went searching for jobs in content writing/communications.


So how did I end up in Manchester you ask?

Well like I said, the role and company I wanted to work for were priority, so I wasn't in a position to be picky about area. I had no ties to Nottingham (that's where I'm from) so could essentially move anywhere for the perfect job. To begin with, my search had no limits - but as time went on, my focus shifted to either London or Manchester. I basically decided that I wanted to live in one of the bigger, more youthful cities so I'd find it easier to meet people. Pros of London: I had friends there. Pros of Manchester: I wouldn't be skint. I was contacted by jobs in both cities, and although I would have gone with whoever offered me a job first, secretly my heart was with Manchester. Realistically, I just didn't want to go back to student living (i.e. living in a dump), being pressured to stay at work til 8pm and having no money to enjoy myself (or travel) with. Sadly, that's the harsh reality of living in the capital. So for obvious reasons, Manchester sounded way more appealing... and thank god, because that's exactly where I ended up.


Despite being on the ball and applying for A LOT of jobs, I was actually really surprised at how quickly I was offered something. Although the process is kinda long-winded with application forms, sending examples of my work, completing writing tasks and eventually attending an interview, it only took 3 weeks after I got back from America to secure my dream job...
Content Writer for LateRooms.com. Which, ironically, was one of the first jobs I applied for and the one that got back to me almost instantly. I later found out that the job had only been advertised for 3 days because they'd received 160 applications in a single weekend. Talk about great timing eh? I'm still in complete shock that I (and the other newbie Alex) managed to get the job over that many people! I was eager to start so I could 1) move out and 2) get paid, so it was decided that I would start a week later. I was actually offered the job over the phone when I was in London visiting my friend, so as you can imagine I got very drunk that night!

For those of you that don't know (although it was a brand I instantly recognised when I applied), LateRooms.com is a hotel booking website. Basically my job is to write the hotel/city/attraction descriptions - so I essentially spend my days writing about travel. Obviously there's a specific tone of voice I have to adhere to and things I have to talk about, but I pretty much have the freedom to write whatever I want. It's a lot of research and A LOT of writing (I write non-stop from 9-5), but I really enjoy it! Without sounding cheesy, I kinda feel like I've struck gold because it's everything I'd ever want in a job.


  • I work on the 11th floor of an amazing, modern building right in the city centre opposite Manchester Arena. The view looks out over the whole of Manchester.
  • We're spread out over 2 floors so the team is massive, meaning there's lots of new people to meet (a lot of people my age too).
  • The team isn't at all corporate. Everyone is reallyyy friendly (plenty of banter) and have made the effort to involve me in everything. As long as we aren't revealing, we can pretty much wear whatever we want too (I hate jobs that force you to dress smart!).
  • Everyone moves away from their desks at lunch and either eat in the chill area (with TV's and a football table) or go into town to get food together. It's not unusual for 15-20 of us to go to a restaurant at lunch.
  • Speaking of lunch - we get an hour. I've only ever had 30 mins for lunch so my mind was officially blown.
  • There's a massive co-op in the building where I can grab food from if I've forgotten my lunch.
  • Or I can stock up on food from Carol the trolley lady who comes round the building twice a day. On Friday's she brings hot food - I've already become accustomed to my usual sausage and bacon barm.
  • Everyone's really social and meets up after work for food and drinks. There's also a ton of events throughout the year like massive summer and Christmas parties.
  • I don't feel intimidated by my bosses cause they're both so lovely, so I don't dread 1-2-1s like I have done in the past.
  • I'm hooked up to 2 screens (a laptop and a PC) which makes working SO much easier.
  • The office space is open plan, so we aren't all tucked away in our own little offices. LOVE THAT.
  • There's doughnuts/percy pigs/chocolate on our desk every. single. day.
  • My desk doesn't have a phone, so I don't have people ringing me every 2 minutes.
  • We have flexible working hours so can start anywhere between 8-10am. When your 8 hours are done, everyone goes home. I don't think I've seen anyone work later than they've had to.


I know it's massively lame to list everything I like about my new job, but these tiny little things really matter to me. I think it's because my past jobs have been the complete opposite... not at all social after work, no big parties at Christmas, no one leaves their desks at lunch, old fashioned buildings in the middle of nowhere, having to get in my car to drive to the nearest shop if I've forgotten my lunch... the list goes on. So things that people normally take for granted are such a novelty to me.

This post is way too long already, so I'll go into detail about my move to Manchester in my next post.
Thanks for reading!
xxx