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!

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