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Lifestyle | Dreams don’t work unless you do. (Plus exciting life update!)

I never thought I’d write a post like this, but I’m so happy to say that after years of hard work, and forcing myself to take huge steps out of my comfort zone, I’m finally on my way to achieving my dream career. It’s taken hours and hours of studying, countless train journeys, weeks of unpaid voluntary work, time spent alone in big cities meandering through the crowds unsure where I was headed, lots of uncertainty, stress and worry. But finally, I’ve started my journalism career in London and, though it’s only a few months of freelance work thus far, I’m so incredibly proud. 

Up until four years ago I had barely set foot outside of Wales. Yes, I’d been on family holidays, but my comfort zone was my small rural town, with all my friends and family surrounding me. It’s a place where everyone knows everyone. My parents went to school with my friends’ parents. A stroll through the high street means bumping into at least ten people you know, and you can never get away with popping to Tesco makeup free and in your lounge clothes as you’re guaranteed to run into several people whilst browsing the grocery aisles. But now I’m upping sticks and moving to London to work, and it feels surreal but also incredibly exciting. 

I’d always imagined myself working and living in a big city in my twenties, before moving back to my rural town when I was ready to settle down. I could see myself living in a cosy flat, high up with a view of the cityscape and working in a big office, where everyone was driven and motivated, striving to create new and exciting projects for the world to enjoy. This all fell kind of flat when I moved away to university and found it incredibly difficult to settle. This was the first time I’d ever been away from my family, and I spent the majority of my time pining for home, and counting down the days to when university would be over. 

I decided that I’d just have to make do with a journalism job at home. It would mean I’d still get to write and would be close to my family and friends. But in my heart I knew I wanted more. I’d worked so hard throughout school and university, achieving top A Level grades and a First Class Honours degree. Then I started my Masters in Magazine Journalism, and it was here I realised that if I truly wanted to fulfil my dream I’d have to step right out of my comfort zone, bust a gut in unpaid internships and on my blog and assignments, and would have to muster up that motivation I’d always had, ready to take on the world with my a little more gusto. Meeting industry insiders and being surrounded by people who’d worked incredibly hard and talked so passionately about their jobs and companies was so inspiring. It made me realise that I could do this, I wanted to do this, and I’d have to work bloody hard to do so. 

I finished my MA degree in September and was filled with excitement, looking forward to starting my career and seeing where it would take me. This all fell kind of flat when I started searching for jobs. I started to worry. Was I good enough? Could I do this? I decided I’d look for jobs closer to home. It would be easier. I could come home more easily on the weekends. I wouldn’t have to leave my family and boyfriend behind again. It still meant I’d be fulfilling my dream, right? Again I started trying to convince myself that settling in my comfort zone would be better than breaking out of it and pursuing my passion. It was pretty exhausting if I’m honest. 

Then an e-mail entered my inbox asking if I’d like to intern at Stylist. Thrilled, I accepted. It was only two weeks in London, it would be amazing on my CV and it was certainly more appealing and exciting than spending my days slogging away in my retail job. Whilst at Stylist an e-mail from Elle Magazine appeared offering a month internship. I simply could not decline. An internship in one of the world’s most prestigious magazines being offered to me? A girl from the tiniest little town who could barely survive four nights away in Cardiff when I first started university. It was completely surreal, but absolutely amazing. 

And as these internships got underway and I started spending more time in London it took me back to that mindset I previously had. I wanted nothing more than to work in this incredible city, even if only for a few months. I loved the buzz of the office. It was so great to be back working in journalism and to be behind the scenes of these incredible publications. I loved the hustle and bustle of city life. Worlds away from the rolling hills of farmland that I’d always known, I started to accept that I definitely could live in London and I was finally stepping closer to achieving my career goals. 

Halfway through my Elle internship, an opportunity came up for some freelance work as a video assistant working on Superdrug Loves‘ YouTube channel. In what can only be described as a whirlwind week, I applied, got accepted, and started last Monday. Yesterday I handed in my notice at my retail job, and I’m starting to look at permanent places to live in London, as living out of a suitcase in a hostel is really starting to lose its appeal. It’s really been the craziest few months but I’m finally working in journalism and I am so so happy! 

I’ve pretty much just blabbered on in this post, updating you all on what has been a roller coaster few weeks, but I guess what I’m trying to show is that if I can do it, anybody can. Having a little faith that everything will work out, but also having sheer determination and realising you can do whatever the hell you want to do is so important. There’ll be bumps along the way, you’ll have to overcome hurdles and will go through some serious lows in order to reach the highs, but being determined and motivated is key. Work hard, be humble and accept all opportunities that come your way. You’ll most definitely get there in the end.

My first journo job is also pretty incredible. I get to pitch ideas for YouTube videos, work alongside some amazing bloggers, and there is even an office puppy! I’ll be staying with Superdrug Loves until the end of January, so who knows what the next chapter of my story will be, but I finally feel as though my hard work has paid off. I’m pretty excited to see where all this takes me. 

Lots of love. xoxo

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35 Comments

  1. Issy Aldridge
    November 27, 2016 / 10:41 am

    This post has really inspired me to continue on my hopeful career path. We DM'ed on Twitter a couple of months ago about studying journalism at University and since then, I have applied to study Music Journalism in Brighton! Congratulations on finally getting to hand in your notice and pursue Journalism, hopefully one day I can do the same.

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      November 28, 2016 / 9:25 pm

      Thanks so much lovely and all the best with your journalism venture! If you ever need any help/advice then you know where I am 🙂 Can't wait to hear all about it. xx

  2. FlareAForte
    November 27, 2016 / 10:44 am

    This is absolutely amazing and so inspiring. I am going to be starting a Journalism degree in September! It must have been so exciting for you to get one internship after another! Hopefully I will be as successful as you one day! xwww.flareaforte.com

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      November 28, 2016 / 9:26 pm

      Thank you so so much! Your comment really made me smile and best of luck with your degree. I'm sure you'll love it and please get in touch if you ever need any help/advice. xx

  3. Chichi
    November 27, 2016 / 11:58 am

    This has inspired me so much! I really want to get into journalism/writing and after reading your post, I feel so inspired.:)Chichichichi-writes.blogspot.co.uk

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      November 28, 2016 / 9:26 pm

      I really am so happy that you enjoyed the post! 🙂 Thank you so much xx

  4. Hannah Lucy
    November 27, 2016 / 12:46 pm

    What an inspiration you are! You should be so proud of yourself for the commitment and what amazing opportunities to have under your belt!Hannah | Oh January

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      November 28, 2016 / 9:26 pm

      Oh Hannah, thank you SO much!! xx

  5. Jasmin Charlotte
    November 27, 2016 / 6:43 pm

    Yay congrats that is so exciting! Glad it's all going well for you and we will have to meet up for a London drink when you're settled!! 🙂 Jasmin Charlotte

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      November 28, 2016 / 9:27 pm

      Yes!! A London drink is definitely in order 🙂 xx

  6. Sophie Rebecca
    November 27, 2016 / 7:16 pm

    This post made me smile so much, Jessie! I think it's always been clear from your blog how hard you've worked, and it makes me so happy to see all of that pay off for you! I really hope everything works out wonderfully :)Soph x | http://www.sophierosie.com

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      November 28, 2016 / 9:27 pm

      Sop this means so much coming from one of my fave bloggers! Thank you lovely lady. You've made my day 🙂 xx

  7. Amelia May
    November 27, 2016 / 8:07 pm

    Your achievements are so wonderful to read about. Very well done in everyway. You deserve all the very best for working so hard to reach your dreams. It's lovely you can now live them. Congratulations!!Very best wishes . . .Keep Calm and start writing ~ http://www.23millymay25.blogspot.co.uk.

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      November 28, 2016 / 9:28 pm

      Thank you so much lovely! That means so much. xx

  8. Tasha Townley
    November 27, 2016 / 8:45 pm

    Ahhh Jessie! Reading this post just makes me so happy for you! You must be so proud of yourself!! Goes to show that hard work really does pay off. I wish you all the best of luck lovely!! xxxTasha http://www.hellotasha.co.uk xxx

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      November 28, 2016 / 9:33 pm

      Aww Tasha, you babe! Thanks so much for your lovely comment 😀 I'm so pleased it's finally falling into place. Thanks girly xx

  9. Shannon Boyce
    November 27, 2016 / 9:52 pm

    This post made me smile so so much. Not just because you deserve all of the amazing things that have happened/are happening to you….but because you have given me a much needed dose of inspiration. It is definitely hard out there. It can be so discouraging when you are trying to pursue a creative career. But your story pushes me to keep going and never give up. Thank you <3the-creationofbeauty.blogspot.com

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      November 28, 2016 / 9:34 pm

      Aw thank you so much Shannon, and once again thank you for always being so supportive of my little blog! Your comments really mean the world. It really can be discouraging but keep pushing! I don't know where I'll be working (if at all) in two months time. Just got to go with the flow! xx

  10. GeorginaGoodman
    November 28, 2016 / 10:20 am

    You are so brave to move to London but its all worked out! Amazingwww.georginadoes.co.uk

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      November 28, 2016 / 9:34 pm

      Thank you! xx

  11. Niamh Serena
    November 28, 2016 / 1:04 pm

    This post was so inspiring and reassuring. Magazine journalism has been my dream for so long and I'm currently in the process of trying to secure my next internship. I dropped out of my history and politics degree a year ago to pursue a career in the fashion magazine industry and have been interning every since. It's such a tough industry to crack but you've done amazingly well and it's really reassuring that hard work really does pay off. Hopefully some day I'll get a chance to do some of the amazing internships you have! So glad I came across your blog today. Niamh xxniamhserena.co.uk

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      November 28, 2016 / 9:37 pm

      It really is such a tough industry to crack – it's taken years and I've only got a two month freelance job thus far. But it definitely sounds like you're going the right way about it and I wish you every success! Please let me know if you'd ever like any help as I'd be more than happy to help you. Thanks so much for your lovely comment Niamh. xx

  12. Sarah
    November 28, 2016 / 1:57 pm

    Congrats girl! Loved reading this post :)Sarah xwww.palmtreesandheels.com

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      November 28, 2016 / 9:35 pm

      Thank you lovely! xx

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      November 28, 2016 / 9:37 pm

      Thank you very much Emily! xx

  13. its Jessica & Danielle
    November 28, 2016 / 8:28 pm

    Wow this is such an inspiring story! You should be so proud of yourself! X♡ itsjessiejane ♡

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      November 28, 2016 / 9:25 pm

      Thanks so much lovely! xx

  14. WineAnd Whine
    November 29, 2016 / 8:32 pm

    My goal in life too is to be a journalist or content writer and i am so envious of the opportunities you've recieved, it's something i would love to do xhttps://wineandwhine99.wordpress.com/

  15. Don't Cramp My Style
    November 29, 2016 / 9:54 pm

    Amazing! Congratulation! It's the time to cut from those tickets of hard work! I hope it will only get's better 🙂

  16. Eboni Dixon
    December 3, 2016 / 10:23 am

    Oh wow! What a brilliant 2016 you've had! Welcome to London! Congratulations on the new job, and have a lovely Christmas 🙂 Eb xHttp://eboniivory.blogspot.com/

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      December 4, 2016 / 7:44 pm

      Thanks so much Eboni! 😀 xx

  17. Rush & Teal
    December 5, 2016 / 6:42 am

    This is such an inspiring story, well done Jessie!You should be really proud of yourself, you have done so so well.Allie | Rush + Teal

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      December 13, 2016 / 9:03 pm

      Thank you so so much Allie! xx

  18. Blogger
    April 3, 2017 / 3:15 pm

    Just received a check for $500.Sometimes people don't believe me when I tell them about how much money you can earn filling out paid surveys online…So I show them a video of myself actually getting paid $500 for paid surveys.

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