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