Rebecca running with her dog

I quite like running now. I never was a runner before (I love and still love cycling!) but after going through a lull with cycling earlier on in the year and incorporating Park Run more and more into my fitness regime I decided to enter in a few races. Two races I entered myself in for were virtual runner races.

What is Virtual Runner UK

Virtual Runner UK is a site where you can enter in races and gain medals with part of the proceeds you pay for going towards a charity. Once you enter, you have to email in your result and proof that you ran the distance (proof could be your fitness tracker, Park Run result or Strava) and your medal arrives through the post. You can even print out a bib number and wear it if you want! When you enter your result you can see how other people have done. There are many distances from 5k up to full marathons and I decided to enter in the Run like a Time Lord as part of the money went to the National Autistic Charity and November 5k as part of SBR events. The November 5k medal I will particularly treasure as it is the flag of Lincolnshire and as I am born and bred there it is particularly important to me.

How did I find it

I am quite fit so both races that I entered were 5ks so they were fine. I think if you are starting out these races are perfect because depending on your distance it is a challenge but still achievable. Obviously you miss out on the crowds and the race atmosphere but if you find that intimating, as that atmosphere doesn’t suit everyone, then it is perfect. The medals are lovely as well (although some are a bit tacky!), the races are cheaper to enter then marshalled races because obviously you are not paying for the marshalls etc and the money goes towards charity. The medals came very quickly through the post and the results were verified in less than 24 hours.

Am I entering in any other Virtual Running UK races next year?

No not at the moment, I am thinking about running a marathon next year so to keep my motivation up I may enter in some of the half marathons.

 

Collections of plastic toys and goosebump books with the word friends written on scrabble tiles

I am a collector and I have no shame in it! When I was younger I collected free samples of soaps, shampoos and conditioners and had them in a small bathroom bag that my Uncle gave me for Christmas once (to this day I still don’t know why I collected them). I collected snails when I was ten, materials so I could create lots of arty things, I helped my Dad collect stamps and remember helping him stick them in the stamp book. I used to collect CosmoGirl (remember that magazine!) and ElleGirl when Peaches Geldof used to be a columnist. I slung those out when I left home!

As I got older I collected Sweet Valley High, Point Horror, Point Romance and the Babysitters Club books and amassed a massive collection of the Babysitters and Sweet Valley High books which I still have proudly on display in my spare room. These days the only things I really collect are vintage ladybird books because I like the covers and I am building up a small collection that currently spans two of my top book shelves. It was when I was adding a book to the shelf and I was thinking (I really had time on my hands) why on earth do people collect things?

Psychology of collecting

Well having a Google search on the psychology of collecting, people collect for a variety of reasons- it could be a comfort thing to help people relieve their childhoods, some like the idea of the adventure – I remember collecting Pokemon trading cards and the thrill of finding the Pikachu card or a new Sweet Valley High book. Some people collect because they like to organise, again when I collected Sweet Valley books I would spend hours putting the books in order. The chance of meeting other collectors as well is a plus that other collectors like. I never did that myself.

So what does being a collector mean?

I had to admit before I wrote this blog post I never really thought beyond my collections as being part of my behavioural traits of my personality. I remember the thrill of finding a Sweet Valley High book that I really wanted (this was before I was old enough to use ebay) and it was cheap. I do like order in my life and being fairly in control and I used to be really tidy which reminds me of the time spent ordering my books. I am not too bothered anymore, I just pile the books up on the shelves and I am not as tidy as I used to be.

What do you collect?

 

 

Winter scene with trees, snow on the floor and chair and table

Today’s post has got me focused on what does self-care mean.  I always saw self-care as bubble bath, candles, turning the phone off and mindfulness however I am finding more and more that self-care means different things to different people. Hannah Daisy draws a series of beautiful images on Instagram using the #boringselfcare. I think these images they are brilliant they range from doing my banking to cleaning the dishes to emptying the bins. I have to admit from doing all of my housework jobs I do feel pretty good and it has improved my mood a little bit, however is it self-care? In one instance it is self care – walking around in a filthy house is not healthy and seeing it filthy isn’t going to make anyone’s mood better. Also neglecting where you live for a long period of time is an indicator that something is going on.

However I see housework as another job and I do have the tendency to put it off to do the things that I want to do, which isn’t ideal and also the reality is that housework and other jobs have to be done and although it may not seem like it completing all of these jobs does help towards your overall self-care. Also is there a limit to self-care? Self-care ultimately means to me is doing something that you want to do whether that is reading, listening to music or exercising to make sure your mind is switched off from the world.

There are people that think that self-care is something that only the wealthy can afford, which is ridiculous. Self-care isn’t about spa days and expensive liquids it is about being able to switch off for an hour. I agree it is a lot harder and sometimes impossible for many people to do this due to their circumstances. So what do I do to relax, well reading is the best for me, completing word searches and exercising.

What does self-care mean to you and what do you do to relax?

Picture of colouring pencils and sharpners

Hello, hello! today I am back with a chatty post about my experience balancing part-time study and full- time work. After I graduated from my Geography degree in 2012, I have spent the last few years working in Marketing and decided in 2015 to go back and study for a Chartered Institute of Marketing Certificate in Professional Marketing. This was normally a year long course but in the end it took me two years  (more about that later) however I completed it and now I have the certificate which I am very proud of.

The first module, I remember sitting down and actually feeling very nervous about studying because I hadn’t studied for a while and I really understood why mature students get so nervous! I soon got into the swing of things however. One thing you learn early on is that you need to keep on top of things and that the homework you cannot really miss, as if you do you are missing out on the extra learning which is only going to bite you in the bum later on. I had an exam for the first module so the pressure was off in terms of coursework. I was very lucky that I was allowed two days off per module for paid study leave at my work. Three weeks before I also dedicated one day of my weekend for exam prep.

The coursework modules were so much harder. The CIM is different to normal uni in that your lecturer can only look at your work once and not really give you much feedback. This is quite difficult with the CIM because at times I found the questions quite vague (my biggest bugbear of the entire course!) and half the time was spent deciphering these stupid questions but once you got you get your head around them it is ok. You have to start the coursework quite early because if you don’t you will easily fall behind. My lecturer was quite helpful in the fact that he had set out a timetable as a indicator of when different parts of the coursework should be completed, so I just followed that.

The final course work was Digital Marketing and that module practically broke me. It consists of six tasks. One of which is a podcast, Powerpoint, two blogs a briefing paper and a report. This module was so hard, in terms of sheer workload. I took about four days off and was working almost every Sunday from the start of the module to make sure I kept ahead. Again this module had a timetable to keep by, I did feel that we spent too long on the podcast (I think it took us three weeks) and not enough time on the other tasks.

My experience balancing both is that it certainly is doable especially if you don’t have any caring commitments (I don’t know how parents do it!). You just have to stay on top and try and dedicate a day to getting all the revision and course work done. I would also try and see if you can use a project for work as also part of your coursework as you are then killing two birds with one stone. Certainly booking annual leave helped as it allowed me to have a weekend and helped me not to burn out. If you do feel burned out or you end up with extra commitments – don’t be afraid to take some time out. I decided to take a year out between my second and final module and I am so glad I did. Yes it was annoying that I had to wait a whole year but the module felt so much more manageable and I could fully focus on it. I couldn’t believe the difference in my attitude from 2016 to 2017.

When things get tough try to remember why you decided to take the qualification in the first place for me it was to give me a better chance for the future and also for me to take the experience back into my current workplace and implement – which I already have.

White desk with computer , keyboard, bag and sunglasses

Hello, hello, today this post stems from the fact that I get asked a lot how on earth I got to work in Marketing when I studied Geography. I don’t think appreciated that in Marketing certainly people tend to do a business or marketing degree and then go from there.

From Geographer to Marketeer

When I finished Uni I had no idea what I wanted to do. I originally did want to become a primary school teacher but after some work experience I realised that, that wasn’t the path that was most suited to me. Whilst working as a cleaner over the summer I applied for literally everything and anything and the job I got was to a Market Researcher year long internship at a students’ union. I got the role and as the role was in the marketing department I pitched in and helped out. The year flew by and a Marketing Assistant job came up at the current students’ union where I worked. I got the role and worked my way up to my current position as coordinator. Since then I have passed the CIM Certificate in Professional Marketing as I wanted to have a bit of academic knowledge to back up my experience.

I want to go down a different route to what I did with my degree. What can I do?

Firstly, be realistic. There are a lot of vocations where a degree is essential such as becoming a Doctor. If your vocation doesn’t require a degree look at doing some voluntary work or work experience in or around that area, as it gets your foot in the door. Look at joining some professional bodies, I am part of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Most employers want evidence to see continuing professional development and joining a professional body is one way of doing this.

If you want to gain another qualification then again a professional qualification may be the best way of going about this. They are often cheaper than a three year degree and a lot of employers either want the degree or the professional qualification.

I also look at Linked In at other people who are in Marketing roles to see how they got to where they are, it really is fascinating seeing the routes over people have taken. Finally don’t under estimate your soft skills either. Try and position your skills on the application form in a way that if you don’t have the right key skills other skills you have may plug the gap.

Have you made the move from one career to another or landed a different job to what your degree originally was. Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

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