Tag Archives: salary

Nine Two Five

It occurred to me earlier today that I haven’t done a full days work in two years, I’ve had a baby in that time but really, where did the time go? It seems like it was yesterday that I was clocking up a 50 hour week, watching the sun come up and set again while sat at my desk, calling my Dad to prevent me having a panic attack when I had to go down into the dark, scary basement on facilities checks and drinking far too much coffee that almost cost half my weekly wage. Now I’m lucky if I manage to get all my ironing done, take my youngest to play-group and make sure dinner is at least in the oven when Geordie gets home from work.

I’m pretty sure my CV states I am ‘a great co-ordinator’ and ‘organisation is my passion’ (or some similarly ridiculous buzz words) So where has it gone? Did I lose it along with my pregnancy baby weight? Did it slowly diminish while I spent hour upon hour watching Mr Bloom’s Nursery? Or is it still there lurking in the back of my mind behind the lists of size 5+ Pampers and Persil Non-Bio? I really hope it’s the latter as this realisation today has kick-started a plan of action……to go back to work.

Bog Off Eamonn

Bog Off Eamonn

I’ve heard many people say that it’s easier to get a job if you already have one? I’m not really sure I understand the logic there? Is that because you have recent, relevant experience or more chance of a glowing reference from your employer? Maybe I’m discounting this notion because I haven’t learned anything new or relevant to PR or marketing in over two years and I don’t want to believe that I am going to struggle before I even get started. Bearing this in mind I am considering a refresher course but I’m unsure about what I should refresh? I can (just about) speak, write and read English and while I am no Carol Vorderman I can still recite the times tables.

Working in media generally means having to completely submerge yourself in current affairs, so maybe my refresher course can be self-taught? I simply have to reinstate my subscription to The Times, switch Cbeebies over to BBC Parliament, CNN or Sky News (I really can’t stand Eamonn Holmes) and re-follow all those media bods on Twitter who are in the thick of the action around the globe? Also I’m thinking that a volunteer placement with a local paper might help me with the lack of recent experience issue…being the new girl again at 30 should be interesting!

The catalyst behind all of this is that I am missing a sense of achievement, I made it to 30, not without a few scrapes but it has taken me until now right now in fact, to realise what I really want to do with myself. Now I just have to make it happen. Maybe I can have it all, it just takes a little patience and a lot of hard work. Wish me luck!

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When I Grow Up

It’s Sunday again, officially the start of the week, to me it represents the end of the weekend, kids go back to school, Geordie goes back to work and I go back to well….writing the blog! I’m definitely ready to go back to work now and my baby is ready to join nursery. I’ve been very lucky and managed to have 16 months off work from just before my youngest was born, although surviving on one wage has been a real challenge.

When I was 5 my primary teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I know this because I still have my work book from Mrs Gallagher’s class of ’88 and look at it now and then to critique my hand writing. I answered the question and drew accompanying illustrations of my career aspirations; a hairdresser, a nurse or a waitress. When I ask my little one the same question now her answers are teacher, shop keeper or hairdresser, what is it about lopping off other people’s hair that we find so attractive? Weird.

I’m asking myself that same question again now (for those trying to do the maths that 25 years later) I have had a lot of jobs over the last 13 years. I started my journey into the world of paid employment aged 17 for the local police authority, within four months I was greedy for the money and went from 2 hours a day after college to 40 hours a week and spending my wages within minutes of them hitting my bank account. I’ve just made a quick list and to date I have fulfilled the following roles;

Cleaner, catering assistant, telephonist, receptionist, sales assistant, project manager, administrator, office manager, estate manager, PA and Mum. I can honestly say that working as a hospital ward cleaner was easily the worst to bear. My favourite role so far was working for Puma, however that was purely down to working with an amazing retail manager and a fab bunch of people who made every shift comical.

If I was starting all over again and about to embark on my first foray into the world of work (providing I could find a job in the current economic climate) what would I want to do? Well ideally I’d like to be a published writer sitting day after day in my studio typing my next best-seller, although I think I would really miss having company. Maybe publishing? I could while away the hours reading manuscripts and losing myself plots and characters until 5pm on weekdays very easily, now that sounds like the job for me. Another variation on the books/reading theme would be a librarian but I think with a mouth as big as mine and with such a love of talking I would be getting my p45 quicker than I anticipated! I know I’ll have to grow up properly at some point and most likely stick to a job that I don’t really like but pays the bills and means we can go on holiday, however I’m hoping to knock out a best-seller before I succumb to that fate.

Have you ever known anyone who moans about not having to go to work? I know its absurd isn’t it? Well I will make you this promise, when I go back to work in the New Year I will not dare to moan even once about how long the hours are or how the daily commute is hell or how that woman in HR has definitely got it in for me. Nope not once. Promise.


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When The Ends Don’t Meet

What do you do when the ends won’t meet, money-wise I mean, when you work, you care for your family and have next to no social life yet the money is still never enough? Look for a better paid job, yep good luck with that in the current jobs market. So if there’s no prospect of more pay you have to tighten your belt on all the things that money has to cover right?

Every month Geordie and me sit down with the kitchen calendar and plan out what needs to be spent for the month. We’ve resorted to walking around Tesco using the calculator on my phone as we shop to make sure we don’t go over budget, it’s embarrassing as hell but it’s got to be done so our kids can have birthday presents and school uniforms etc. You might think well why don’t we both work? I’m still at home with our youngest who is 1 now and would have no trouble in going to nursery. When you do the maths I would be going to work for £1.26p an hour once childcare and travel costs are covered. Is it worth it to pay someone else to care for our daughter, not to us, no.

Recently we were a little short for our daughters birthdays which conveniently follow one after another in fairly quick succession. In the last few weeks we needed a small cash boost following our washing machine breaking, the girls snapping their bunk-beds into pieces by jumping on them to Jessie J and our car breaking down 150 miles away from home…September has not been kind to us.

Classic Tiffany inspired 6 claw setting design...

(Photo credit: Jewels Globe)

From past experiences I’m very wary of accumulating debt and friends have warned me against the dangers of the quick pay-day loans that are popping up with their 400% interest rates all over the place, so I decided that my engagement ring made for good collateral against a short buy back loan with a national retailer. Apparently this way of raising cash against items you own seems to be the way forward, there are no credit checks, small interest rates and basically if you don’t pay back the money as agreed in the contract, you lose your goods. I’m new to this whole thing so I thought I’d wander around a little and find out what the best deal was, five stores later I was starting to lose hope.

According to the bored looking staff in every store I wandered into, diamond solitaire rings are ten a penny! I hope Geordie won’t mind me telling you this but I know he paid almost three thousand pounds for my engagement ring which to me is a hell of a lot of money. It’s just 18 months old and has certification and paperwork etc. The best possible price I could get to either sell or secure a temporary loan was £200. My beautiful ring that means the world to me is worth £200 to Cash Converters! Gob smacked isn’t the word. Another retailer offered me £60 for the white gold band but said they would chuck the diamond! On hearing this I put the ring back on my finger and as I type it is shining proudly like it has done since the day Geordie asked me to marry him.

I am all for finding alternative ways to make money while I’m not physically working, I’ve used Ebay and Preloved to sell some items to make a little money but it’s back pocket change really and not a reliable source of income. I’ve done some pretty crappy jobs over the years and I’m far from work shy, it’s just increasingly difficult to find a job with a good salary and affordable childcare.

I suppose I’ll have to rush the little one into potty training to save money on nappies next?

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