Like A Bat Out Of Hell.

I’m guessing that today is the first day “back in the office” for the vast majority of you and depending on how much you enjoy your job that means you are either a) fed up that the holiday season is over and considering a career change or b) looking forward to the opportunities and challenges your chosen vocation will bring in 2012.

I’ve never talked about my “day job” (if ever) on RMW as I don’t think it’s particularly relevant to weddings and frankly, when there’s a whole lot of pretty to share and the main aim of these pages is to provide you with some much needed escapism, the last thing you want to be faced with is the monotonous witterings of a part-time bloggers nine to five.

However, if your answer to the above question was A and definitely not B I thought I’d share a few words of wisdom* and for those of you that have ever had a cringe-worthy experience in front of your boss, my own embarassing tale will make you feel that little bit better. Or at the very least give you a laugh…

Adam and I know each other because we work for the same business, a successful software and web design company in the West Midlands that specialise in E-commerce. At the grand old age of twenty five and having been made redundant, I was determined to bag myself a cosmetics buyers position at Boots. I was down to final interview stage when an old family friend passed my CV on to aforementioned software and web design company and trying to be sensible and not swayed by the potential of being able to spend thousands of pounds of someone else’s money on lipstick (I know – what was I thinking?!) I decided to go and meet with the Head of Marketing reference an Account Manager position they had available.

As soon as I walked through the door I knew I was supposed to work there. It was a bit like walking into the W-day venue you eventually pick or the house you buy – there are, when you think about it, lots of reasons that swayed your decision but ultimately it was just because you knew.

This came as a surprise to both my friends and family.

“So let me get this straight – you want to give up your dream job of surrounding yourself with make-up on a daily basis to working in a barn full of blokes and computers?!”

And yes I did. Because here was a company that had been started by a bunch of risk-taking entreprenuers that had an idea, threw their heart and soul into it and were making huge waves in their Industry after just five years of trading. I figured if I was going to learn and progress I may as well join a company that had big plans to evolve – I wanted to join them for the ride.

And Jeez what a ride. I was thrown in at the deep end without so much as a pair of inflatable armbands. I was managing the accounts of some major bank owned organisations and for a while I was way out of my depth, I knew plenty about eyeshadow but practically zero about the internet so I had to learn as much as I could and as fast as I ruddy could, there was a substantial amount of flying by the seat of my floral panties as it were.

I liked my job. Sometimes the travelling was tough (and I’m not talking glamorous first class type travelling here I mean a bumpy BMI flight to Belfast at 6am in the morning). I worked hard. I did well. I had a decent salary and a fancy company car. I worked with some great people. I loved the relaxed wear-what-you-want vibe and the feeling of being appreciated.

Then I planned a wedding. And wrote about it on-line.

And I realised that I really missed being creative and as much as you can be good at something and like it, it doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be your whole future.

So I founded Rock My Wedding. Didn’t have a scooby how it was going to pan out although I could obviously envisage the potential. Fast forward twelve months and I was basically doing two full time jobs, and what with my ‘regular” role not being regular hours I was teetering on the edge of burn out and not doing either as well as I should.

So I approached my Managing Director with a role within the company that didn’t exist but that I could see they desperately needed. And the best woman for the job? yours truly of course. A kind of PA to the MD, HR administrator/assistant/recruiter hybrid… which at first was met with much bemusement but eventually after some negotiation was accepted. I took a significant pay cut. But did manage to keep the fancy car (if you don’t ask you don’t get right? – that’s my motto anyway.)

It meant I could plan my week better. It meant (at least at first) I could have some kind of social life and spend time with Mr O’Shea. What I didn’t expect was that I would like this job as much as I did – pay cut and all. I was able to be involved in board meetings, find out how a successful technology company was run, what made it a success, the inevitable mistakes that were made and how they were put right. I was able to work along side a team of directors that had made a company go from being worth minus 50p to hundreds of millions of pounds in just under a decade.

I loved the adrenalin rush from having so many things to juggle at once, I loved the pressure and the deadlines and the fact the Marketing department I was located in was like a marginally smaller version of Heathrow – i.e. often a wee bit insane.

And at the beginning this insanity was great, until it um….wasn’t.

There is after all only so many things a person can do at once.

Picture the scene, Bat Out Of Hell is belting out full pelt from the design area speakers which is situated in the room above, the reason I can hear it so clearly is because there is a spiral staircase that goes directly into Marketing – i.e a great big bloody hole almost directly above my head. The graphic designers are going back and forth between both rooms on a fairly regular basis, not using the stairs like most people but the handrail – choosing to do so by sliding down on their backsides. And no, thank the lord I wasn’t responsible for health and safety…. There is also what seems to be a continual stream of people hovering over my desk and I am already late preparing an employment contract for a new Head Of Sales.

Our Finance Director is waiting for said contract, he has already called me twice and is sounding increasingly irate (at least I think he is – who can be sure when you’ve got old school rock music ringing in your ear), I tell him I will just be a few minutes and to head on over to collect.

Our FD (I feel the need to give him a name for the purpose of this tale telling – let’s call him Jeff*) ok so Jeff is standing by the printer awaiting both the employment offer letter and contract to come through, I subsequently pull up the PDF, press print and for what must have only been a nano second, bask in the relief of being able to move on to the next task.

Then I went very hot and very red very quickly.

Me (possibly with high pitched squeaky shriek):Uh Oh Jeff Um…. you don’t need that copy that is just to come off the printer! it has a um…a mistake! just hold fire a minute and I’ll correct it and print a new one right away!

Jeff: Charlotte how many times have I reminded you to proof read? honestly (actually now does look irate) you have had hours to do this already (To be fair I did but as well as the environmental distractions I was also writing a post about the importance of peach…)

Me: Um yes erm very sorry! anyway it’s fine, will be done in just two ticks no need to have a look at that copy! I’ll print this revised version off in a jiffy ….

Too late. Jeff is having a good old read whilst I sink lower and lower behind my screen in the vain hope no-one can see my horrified face.

Jeff: Charlotte O’Shea, have you offered our Head of Sales role to….. Meatloaf?

Me: Um, well yes I may have done, you see they were playing Bat Out Of Hell upstairs whilst I was typing and I may have gotten a little bit confused…

Jeff: (by now looking both irate and somewhat incredulous) You actually wrote “Dear Meatloaf we are pleased to offer you the position of Head of Sales” ….without realising?!

Me: Um… well you never know he might take it, I happen to think it’s a great place to work… (in the face of adversity tell a joke, or um…maybe not)

Jeff: (he is now definitely irate): I think you perhaps need to re-asses your priorites and in future make sure you ALWAYS PROOF READ, OK?

Jeff did eventually see the funny side, as did everyone else in the company. But he did have a point – what were my priorities? and how could I carry on working at such a pace when the result was potentially making tremendously embarrassing balls ups?

This is not the end of this story but as you are already either asleep or not reading anymore through sheer boredom I’ll get to the point for those of you that have stuck around:

January can often to be a crappy month. It’s usually grey and cold, all the festive cheer has been packed up in the loft and you have to get up early in the morning and go to work.

But it doesn’t have to be like that. Your job is a huge part of your life, huge. Don’t believe you aren’t capable of doing something else because I bet you can – even if you lack of self belief/can’t see the way forward/your colleagues tell you otherwise (they are probably just jealous anyways.)

Every job has it’s plus points – even if they are difficult to see sometimes, try and focus on those if it’s going to take a bit of time for you to move in a different direction. I’ve had my fair share of mind numbingly dull/motivation crushing roles but when I look back I can see how every single one in some way or another has shaped my goals for the future, even if it’s just to highlight what I shouldn’t be wasting my time on.

Expect the unexpected. Learn as much as you can from every experience and every mistake (yes even accidentally sending a job offer letter to an ageing 80’s rock star….Proof read until your eyes hurt O’Shea!). And whatever you do, don’t treat the appearance of January as a licence for thirty one days of the blues, treat it as an opportunity for a shiny new fresh start full of hope and happiness.

And that’s all I wanted to say.

Would love to hear your tales of career changing, red-face making events in the work place or any ideas you have up your bridal sleeves to do something you love in 2012.

Big Here’s To A REALLY Happy New Year Love

Charlotte xxx

*wisdom – I do not see myself as in any way wise, but I do see myself as just like any of you lovelies and sometimes it’s interesting to share experiences…especially if you can have a good old laugh at yourself 😉

Author: Charlotte O’Shea
Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.

63 thoughts on “Like A Bat Out Of Hell.

  1. That post is full of the optimism I don’t have right now. Since our wedding in October I seem to have lost interest in my job (and most other things tbh) rapidly. I’m currently fighting to keep my job which is leaving me feeling highly under-valued. However, with a mortgage to pay and no other prospects anywhere I can’t see a way out of this one for quite some time. Plus any other jobs I’ve looked at either don’t even pay the measly amount I’m being paid now or sound awesome but I wouldn’t even be considered for them.

    I’m turning 30 this month and so maybe I’m just having a mini mid-life crisis or something 🙁

    My wish for 2012 is to be a bit more like you Charlotte as you always seem to be able to be upbeat and see the good in situations xx

  2. @LadyFushia, why don’t you think you would be considered? (admittedly there are jobs you need certain skills/qualifications for) but it’s worth giving it a go if you really want something – even if it’s to be told no but get some feedback on why you weren’t successful.

    Here’s to a bright shiny New Year for you pet 😉

    Charlotte xxx

  3. Mrs O’Shea – I absolutely loved that post – and it certainly did make me giggle!!! After a year a soul-destroying job hunting straight after Uni, I took the 1st job I got offered – never a wise move EVER! But take it I did – even though it wasn’t what I wanted to do and I blagged myself the job – and got on with it. It says a lot that I wanted to quit after a few days – the woman who sat opposite me appeared to think I was her slave and no one else had the guts to stand up to her – including me. Cue not very happy Me! It took until August 2010 for me to come to my sense and admit I hated my job – I decided to take the one gamble I never thought I’d be brave enough to take – I applied for a place on a Primary PGCE teaching course – never for one moment thinking I’d get in. I used all my holiday to gain work experience and eventually found out I’d got a place. So in August of last year, I jacked in my job, took out another ridiculous student loan, and started my course. Its now been 4 months – and quite frankly I’ve barely slept in those 4 months but I don’t care too much because it’s only until June and then I will qualify and be an ACTUAL teacher!!!

    I guess what I’m trying to say is….if you have someone who cares enough about you to stand beside, its never too late!!

    Oh and Charlotte……what did you do?!?!


  4. Charlotte, like LadyFushia this motivation is exactly what I need to have myself right now!! I am currently in a job that I used to love but have completely lost enthusiasm for – for a mixture of reasons. I hanker after a job in the wedding industry….any job in the wedding industry (well, almost) but I know that it will take a while to get there. So this post has made me remember that I am the sort of person that always strives to give their best and that I need to give 100% to the job that I am in now, in order to get the job that I want!

    Happy New Year to you and all of the RMW – you are a constant inspiration today as always!


  5. I’m doing the “corporate job + wedding photography career” thing and I 100% feel you on the burn out issue. This past September-November? I had a wedding or multiple shoots every weekend. My editing que never seemed to get any shorter. I get weary just thinking about it!

    Am I tired of working in a job I don’t really like until I can make the switch? Yep. But the pro’s are all really good- I can put my profits from weddings back into my equipment, I’m learning a lot about time management, and the time I DO have off is that much sweeter :). Here’s to hoping 2012 brings enough business to be able to make the switch to full-time photography!

  6. Lovely write up Charlotte and great to get a glimpse into the world of another part time blogger trying to make it all work! Some much needed optimism is always welcome in January, hope the year ahead brings more great things your way!

  7. @Charlotte I trained at uni to be a primary school teacher but decided that’s not what I wanted to do. I took the first temp job I could get my hands on and am still at the same place eight and a half years later (altho my job has changed somewhat in that time) I have applied for numerous jobs while I have been working here, jobs in all kinds of different areas of the working world and have been turned down for every single one – so something must be wrong with me and my qualifications! I’d love to do something a bit more creative but I just can’t see a way in. I just don’t think I’m good enough at anything or love anything enough to be a success.

    Anyway, I shall take my moping elsewhere now! I hope 2012 is full of wonderful things for you xx

  8. On a day where daylight just doesn’t seem to be joining us and I am still lamenting the disappearance into the loft of my sparkly Christmas moose decoration, this is just what I needed. I once reached burn-out and threw coffee all over my laptop 5 mins before a big presentation (and I had no back up). But I’m a lucky girl in that they forgave me, and I still love my job and feel lucky to have it, when many people I know have lost theirs recently.

    Excellent post Charlotte – Happy New Year!

  9. Great Post Charlotte, I did the full time employment & Cake business for 2 years until last summer when the Full Time Job got the boot, and although right now I have no money for myself (luckily have a man to support me while I build things up) there is nothing more satisfying that working for yourself. In my full time job there had been such long days, it was incredibly intense, and I once made a mistake worth £500K….

    Being self employed means listening to lots of more radio & new music which I love, reading RMW as soon as new pretty is released 😉 & being able to go to the gym when its quiet. As well as being my own boss.

    I can’t wait for 2012 to get going

  10. Wow. You have summed up my state of mind absolutely!
    I had a lovely job working on reception for a criminal law firm part time while I studied Creative Writing at uni. I liked my job, it was versatile, interesting, sometimes exciting and, most importantly of all, part time!! Then the degree was over and after around 30 applications for exciting sounding jobs I started applying for boring yet sensible jobs. I needed full time hours. And with 7 years of admin experience behind me I applied for the first job I found that was paying a decent enough wage. And I got it. I left my lovely cosy job with amazing friends and jumped into the most boring, soul destroying PA/admin role I’ve ever done (apart from the 3 months of data entry I did as a temp. Snore.) And I hate it. 1 year, 3 months and 1 day in I still bloody hate it. Oh, the people are lovely and the money is ok. But it isn’t me!!
    The best 7 months of my 15 months in this job was planning our wedding on work time!
    So when our wedding was all over and I had no pretty to distract me I got to thinking about what I really love doing. And I came up with one main thing. Writing. And then I thought about what I might be good at. Teaching. And after some serious soul searching and researching of the web I discovered that the very best way to be able to write and teach is to do a Creative Writing PhD….but that costs a lot. “Get a loan and I’ll help with the rest” said hubby…OMG!!! (Seriously, I cried!)
    So, after 3 months of putting my application together today I have FINALLY sent it off to my old uni lecturer for him to have a butchers and give me some suggestions before I submit it for real. Eeep!!
    I can not believe I’m doing it. It terrifies me. More debt. More studying. More change. BUT I get to write! And I’ll get to teach and I’ll get to learn!!! And hopefully wake up in the morning on the first day back to work after the Christmas break and not want to cry! That is the dream. It is the least we all deserve I think!! So yes, many more months of boring job lie ahead. But I can see that big old glittery light at the end of the tunnel twinkling away at me! (“,)

  11. Ive always bounced around career wise as I work on the basis that I take opportunities as they present themselves to me. As such I’ve done admin, customer services, accounts, consultancy, sales, account management, project management and software development across industries from environmental to telecommunications. Did my degree prepare me for any of it in any way? Nope! The skills that carry you through any job (in my opinion anyway) are common sense, enthusiasm, initiative and curiosity plus a drive to be the best you can be at whatever you’re doing. Through all of these jobs I’ve nurtured a background creative streak which has reared it’s head through my kids parties, birthday cakes (I once made a 3D R2D2 completely out of cake!) competitive dancing and house renovation. I’m now in the process of setting up my own interior design business. I have no idea if it will be successful or not but it’s worth trying and I have a good mix of skills from all these past jobs so that should help me too! Oh yeah and never one to do things by halves either, I obviously decided that the perfect time to set up my own business was when I was in the middle of planning a wedding. Genius 🙂

  12. Brilliant, am currently giving myself a kick up the proverbial too! Trying to knuckle down and do what I want to do. (As well as looking after 2 kids and retired husband at home!) Motivation is just what I need to hear. Thanks Charlotte. Happy New Year to you and yours. x

  13. Afternoon lovelies, so nice to hear so many positive stories – I am smiling like a loon!

    @Keika – yes you are quite right, and actually that is an important part of the second part of this story – the having someone to stand by you I mean. I’m sure you will make an ace teacher.

    @Emma – thanks so much lovely, I wish you all the luck in the world – and I am positive you will get where you want to be!

    @Abby-Grace – Doing two jobs is tough but never forever, it sounds as if you are well on your way to being a full time photographer which is very exciting indeed!

    @Ciara – Ah thanks 🙂 I’m taking my own advice as this is the first January I’ve felt this positive, I’m looking forward to seeing how 2012 unfolds.

    @Val – Adam once threw Earl Grey all over his brand new Macbook 😉 and I know what you mean about feeling lucky, my husband was the only one out of ten or so friends in the property industry that didn’t lose his job when we hit the recession – we count our blessings every day.

    @One Jolly Girl – Yes you are absolutely right pet, and I will be trying to gym it when it’s quieter (although is it ever quiet in Jan?!)

    @Lydia – that is amazing!!! so happy for you, and what a supportive man you have there – very exciting!

    Charlotte xxx

  14. Job that has defined my career to date: working as a Police press officer looking after one of the most deprieved and crime-ridden areas in the UK (guns, gangs, prostitution and everything in between…)


    – Seeing my mum’s face when I showed her the made to measure, bullet and stab proof vest I had been issued with – priceless (shouldn’t laugh really, I am still her little girl)
    – Learning that at the tender age of 25 I could more than hold my own in a room full of senior police officers and politicians and give them sound advice. The moment I realised I was pretty darn good at my job was when I told a Chief Superintendent his idea was “quite frankly, bloody stupid and if you do that I shall wash my hands of the whole affair and go to Topshop where you clearly think I should be anyhow”
    – Being surrounded by lovely looking men in uniform who were always happy to make me a brew, take my ASOS returns to the post office and discuss the merits of a pencil skirt vs. tailored trousers for a court date
    – Working with families who had been touched by the worst crimes imaginable but were still able to conduct themselves with dignity, grace and strength. Humbling.


    – Being physically sick at lots of the crimes I worked on…the police get a lot of stick but by god, do they earn their pennies…
    – Having not one but two ‘skirt tucked in knicker’ episodes – a police station is not the place to have such a mishap!
    – Leaving; hardest decision I ever had to make but the best one for myself and the Big C (husband to be) – he worried about the pressure I often felt and the situations I ended up in, plus I now earn more pennies meaning the future looks brighter…Although you never really leave, once an organisation like that takes you to their heart they look after you forever…It’s like having lots of big brothers…they’re always watching out for you on a night out and making sure your skirt isn’t too short!

  15. @Lady Fushia, Have you considered doing something in your spare time? volunteering/doing stuff for free to get some experience? my sister has become a successful make-up artist that way, worked for a pittance but got some great pics for her portfolio. And don’t ever say you are not good enough – I’ll come get you with my big stick 😉

    @Shirley – You go lady, bloody hell – there is no stopping you!! (and I love a bit of interior design, any tips on what colour to paint my bedroom walls – I don’t want beige or white…)

    @Fiona – And a happy new year to you!

    @Kat – Ha ha, my resolution for 2012 is also to get better at Facebook 😉

    Charlotte xxx

  16. @LadyFushia – you might have already tried this hun, but have you got a friend / contact in the industry you are trying to get into that could cast their eyes over your CV…a fresh pair of eyes on the bad boy may be all that is needed…a few tweaks here and there…

    I know from doing my own when I was trying to get a foot in the door somewhere that sometimes you can get a bit ‘close’ to it – you don’t want to cut things ‘just in case’ but someone else can be more ruthless and make sure you only have the really necessary stuff on there…

    Just a thought…

    Big hugs


  17. Wow, ok I think my 2011 fits in nicely with this great post. After 2 years in a job I was really enjoying I got promoted into a role that had been newly created, it sounded exciting and at the time I was really encouraged by this opportunity. Within 2-3 months it became apparent there was no real need for this role and it just was not for me in anyway! Bummer. Luckily I had been planning my wedding – 18th June 2011 – which was absolutely the best day of my life! So it did not bother me that the job was dull, and I was just hoping after honeymoon things would pick up. I was wrong.
    I persevered through until September, when I thought that I owed it to myself to do the one thing I loved doing professionally – Planning Weddings! So I built and started a company (yes naughtyly on my previous companies time, but can’t say I feel much guilt now!)
    Having trained with UKAWP (Alliance of Wedding Planners), and got everything lined up to launch I promptly resigned and launched my new Wedding Planning business in November 2011. It’s tough and really hard work, but with 2 clients for 2012 already and facing the biggest challenge of my life so far (being responsible for other people’s weddings!) I feel like I am alive, and finally working doing what I love the most. Of course there are hard days when I think maybe a desk job would be easier, but who wants easy? I don’t. 🙂
    Happy 2012!

  18. i love a little bit of inspiration and realism and i think you have summed it up in your post today … thank you Charlotte 🙂

    I got married October this year and a week before my wedding my friend called me up… the convo went something like this ‘Geeeeem you know like we have been talking about having a bridal boutique for the last 5 years’ me ‘yeees’ Vic ‘well i have just bumped into this person and well they are basically selling the contents of a shop and i think we should do it’ me ‘ eeerm vic do you know i am getting married next week!!!!’……

    Anyway to cut a long story short i sat down with my hubby (then to be) to test the water and see what he thought and shock horror fall off my seat … he said we should go for it!! (i love him more for this if that is possible!!)… and so the story goes a week before my wedding we were transporting wardrobes and dresses and dresses and dresses, till we have something which resembles a shop. We have hit the ground running and are absolutely loving it … we are currently looking for our perfect premises and i am currently in limbo land of do i give my job up – stability and non creative – doesnt make me want to jump out of bed in the morning job and take a leap of faith and do this full time …. i think i know what my heart is saying!! ……

    Happy January everyone – 2012 is going to be a good one 🙂 xx

  19. Being an HR manager I can totally relate to that, some of the bizarre names that I have called people (aside from the bizarre names that I have come across) because I was thinking of something else while I was typing….

    I’m dying to find a creative outlet though, as much as I love it and make it as creative as possible (hello pretty graphs and MI) HR can be a little soul destroying…..

    2012 is going to be a great year, cannot wait to get married in the summer and loving all things wedding related right now! A good creative outlet!

  20. @Pamela – well goodness, what a brave soul you are – I can’t begin to imagine what working under those circumstances must have been like. Good on you for doing it and good on you for moving on – can’t have been easy.

    @Clare – go you, it’s amazing what the W-day world can lead to eh?

    @Gemma – Exactly, you take a leap out of bed straight into that swanky boutique young lady 😉

    @Kit – Glad it’s not just me then 🙂 and yes I’ve had my fair share of soul destroying in HR, as well as things happening that you just can’t quite believe…

    Charlotte xxx

  21. Whaat? You do a job on top of RMW? Holy cow, I’m impressed, I assumed you did this (and writing for wedding mags) full-time.

    I am a full-time writer (and I must confess I have always wondered if bloggers like you and Annabel get paid for writing for wedding mags or if it’s more of a PR thing, but not sure anyone would tell me if I asked). Currently I write for a couple of design magazines and am working on a big project with a youth charity. I mainly work from home, which I love.

    All of which sounds great, but I have loads of admin and accounts to do today, and am in complete denial about it being January.


  22. p.s. I forgot to say – I went back to full-time work last year ie for someone else. I hated it. It took a LOT of guts to admit that the job I fought to get was in fact not what I wanted, chuck it in and start my freelance writing career again from scratch and I’m very proud that I managed it.

  23. @charlotte – hard to comment on room colours without seeing your bedroom but I’m having a moment over charcoal grey right now. Combined with pops of brighter accessories it can look fab. Charcoal and just about anything works – teal/hot pink/acid yellow on the bright side or softest vintage pink / pale pale lemon (yum), sage green.

  24. THAT is hilarious! That’s such a funny yet uplifting story! I too ditched the day job in favour of a career in this lovely wedding wonderland and couldn’t be happier. I urge anyone who’s not happy to do the same if you can, life’s too short to be unhappy. x

  25. @ Anne – yep, I must be nuts 🙂 the youth charity sounds very rewarding – is that to do with writing too? Now I have my little office all figured out I really enjoy working from it, I actually enjoy having to be ultra tidy (if that makes sense!) and congratulations for starting from scratch again – it seemed to be exactly the right move.

    @Shirley – I was thinking grey actually, I have bought a few new bits and bobs for the room (the lights are a slate shade) and am looking at getting the furniture painted (we can’t afford new and it was quite expensive at the time so want to re-cycle as it were) … what are the best greys?!

    Charlotte xxx

  26. Too funny! Really enjoyed reading this!

    I came into wedding land as a second career like many others; ironically (given the start of your post) from the make-up team at Boots. Hated it. Imagine! I thought it would be the best job in the world. But no, I have that now. Wouldn’t change a thing though. My pre-photography roles have really helped shape what I do now. Taking that leap into the unknown is hard but like Jo said, life’s too short. You just have to go for it sometimes.


  27. @Charlotte yep, it’s to do with writing – advice on various things, training for their peer educators, and so on. Lots of words!

  28. Hi Charlotte-thanks for your uplifting, inspiring and very funny post! This could be just the kick up the backside I need to get my career back on track. I’ve been doing my current job for almost 5 years now but after lots of internal changes/internal politics (not for the best) I feel totally disillusioned and undervalued and need a new challenge-something I can really focus my creative energy on.

    After getting married in September I had more time to ponder a few ideas but it all seemed a bit too daunting and I didn’t have the confidence to take my ideas forward. But now, with the dawn of 2012, I really feel like this is make or break time for me career wise. I’m 33, newly married (having been with hubby for 13 years), have a stable home life with a supportive family and lots of great friends. Maybe I just need to bite the bullet and go for it-after all, life is too short.

    Thanks Mrs O’Shea for your wise words… xx

  29. Charlotte, I am LOVING these ‘alternative’ posts at the mo, the ones about real life, everyday situations.

    And I heart Meatloaf!! (Blame my dad!)

    This reminded me of a time when I was VERY run down (the day after a horrible break up),and shouldn’t really have been at work, but was adament I want to be there. I addressed a wedding contract to a groom and his… SECRETARY. And sent it. Thank the lord that I had a good relationship with the bride, and she saw the funny side 😉

    A great reminder that our jobs are such a massive, defining part of our lives. I went back to school today (teacher training – Keiko, great to hear you’re loving it too!), and am so excited about finishing the course (5 days before the wedding – eeeek!) Working at a school last year, whilst still organising events part time was HARD, but I’m so glad I did it – proves that you can ‘juggle’, and think on your feet, and like Shirley says – it’s these ‘life’ skills that are invaluable.

    MrsA-to-be xx

    ps: LOVE grey – want to paint our bathroom grey, with hints of black and white. Lovely stuff!

    pps: Imagine if Meatloaf actually was your Sales Director! Brilliant.

  30. Just read this post as I was coming out of work feeling like crap! Totally boosted my spirits and left me practically whistling ‘always look on the bright side of life’ on the way to beast iit at the gym.
    What an inspiration for women trying to have it all. Cheers honey. Made my day : )

    Oh and it’s the year of my wedding too so double whoopty!


  31. Love reading everyones stories! Pamela I may have job envy of your previous job!

    And on a sidenote I am so pleased Grey is in Shirley! We did our living room in more pale greys and whites the other year and I have been in two minds ever since whether to ditch it but seen as we have a huge and expensive charcoal grey sofa it would seem a shame to waste it!

    Erm I am happy career wise where I am (only been qualified 4 years this Jan), I know this is probably quite pathetic but I don’t have any huge ambition to climb the ladder or jump into another career at all. I finally work in Critical Care which is the area I always wanted to specialise in. I am planning on doing another degree after the wedding (still in Nursing) and doing some specialist training courses but none that will bump up my salary or give me a promotion, just make me better at what I do. I am probably trying to say I just want to get better at what I do, learn more and keep working to the best of my ability.

    On a personal note, in a month and a bit I will be married and will probably be floating around in a cloud of disbelief for a while, having lots of exciting holidays and hopefully buying our own house (the one we rent now) now his has sold and putting our stamp on it properly interior wise.

    I am more excited about 2012 than I have ever been about any other year and I cannot wait to start it off as a wife! Yay!

    I am also going to continue on my mammoth weight loss journey (nearly 4 stone up to now since last feb!) and reach my target hopefully by early summer (another 2 stone) and be happy and healthy!

    I hope everyone makes the best of 2012 and achieves everything they want to do!

  32. Happy New Year! Charlotte, can I work at your office / barn..pretty please?! Loving this post, it is important to remember the good things and not to focus on the negatives all the time. As others have said, work is such a huge and important part of our lives, it is important to be happy and get satisfaction from your work. Sometimes, my work is hard and thankless and damn knackering but I am also greatful for it too, not just because of the money. xxxxxxx

  33. What a great post, sums up exactly where I am right now!

    I have been in the same job for the last 5 years and although I loved it to begin with I have lost my enthusiasm. There have been lots of ups and downs, I worked hard and got promoted quickly but struggled being the only earner when my fiance lost his job and the crazy number of hours I do means we don’t get much quality time together. Luckily, things are picking up for him but my heart just isn’t in it any more and this has led to a few mistakes and I don’t feel like my position is secure. Part of me thinks this is a good thing as I can now focus on what I really want to do (which is being more creative and working from home and for myself) and it’s given me the push I need but it is still a scary thought!

    Maybe it’s also to do with planning our wedding in August and a change in priorities. New Year is always a funny time but it does make you think about what’s most important in life and for me that is being happy and spending more time with my husband to be and building our life together. So here’s to a great 2012, a year of change and exciting new challenges but most of all happiness 🙂 x

  34. Such fab stories on here to inspire especially on this miserable January day. I think it is easy to become complacent with a job you may not be totally in love with especially when the unknown is so scary. But agree that sometimes you need to be scared in order to take the next step as we only get one life! Also Charlotte I can’t get my mind round how you can have a full time job, plus RMW and find time to shop! I would love to get involved in creative writing in my spare time so any tips on how you manage your time plus not go crazy or ignore hubby would be welcomed!

  35. Evening Ladies, so glad you have enjoyed this slightly (as Mrs A-to-be put it) alternative post, I love reading your comments and thoughts on general every day subjects as well as all things W-day related.

    I think 2012 is going to be a good one, I can feel it in my bones 😉

    Charlotte xxx

  36. Oh and @Mrs A-to-be and @Tory – it would have been so cool!! funnily enough the guy who did end up getting the role turned out to be a prize berk and was promptly fired (but you didn’t hear that from me…) I think ol’ Meaty Loaf would have done a better job – he couldn’t have done any worse!!!

    Charlotte xxx

  37. Great up-llfting post and apt timing as a reminder of what my life was like 2 years ago almost to the day! I definitely fell within Charlotte’s a) category!
    2 years ago I faced going back to work – to a job where on a daily basis the owner of the company (small company of 8 people) would either bully myself or another member of staff within a small environment. In my loooooonnng 8 months at the company I had been told that I couldn’t use my name I usually do (sammy), I had to change my voice(?), been sworn at, put down, and I didn’t even get the worse of the bullying!! I went from being an incredibly positive, confident, always look on the bright side of life sort of girl, to crying every night, stopped eating, I would physically shake when the owner would enter work, all my friends and family said that the sparkle has gone from my eyes, and kept asking me to leave my job, but with it being my first ‘proper’ job since leaving uni I was so worried about only having 8months under my belt as experience (had also spent 2 years travelling/part-time work, so didn’t want to appear flaky) plus it was the beginnings of the recessions and I knew that without a job lined up, it would be tough!

    On 5th January 2010, my first dreaded day back at work after the christmas holidays, the owner/boss by midday had started on to me about something and had insulted me quite badly and I just snapped physically my body and mind couldn’t take anymore, then and there I quit. The weight off my shoulder’s was immediate, but the fear was also great!!

    I will get to my point sorry for my rambling! My boss had picked at my confidence so much that I was convinced I must be useless, rubbish at what I do etc. But as soon as I left I just got to work on the CV, kept up hope and within a month landed my job that I am still at currently 2 years later, and this time last year and this year I have counted my lucky stars! It is not my dream job (still in marketing as previous job), but there has not been one day where I have dreaded going to work, and they appreciate the work I do and you get thanked for effort you put in, and for that I feel like the LUCKIEST person!

    I guess my point is mainly for Ladyfushia (or for anyone feeling down about their situation), as it is so horrible to hear you so down about your situation and your self, as I remember how I felt, and want you to know that there really is hope regardless of how things may seem! And as Charlotte said take it maybe little at a time, getting experience where you can, which will also make you look forward to other things outside of work, until you make the change. Plus as Pamela said a few adjustments to a CV can make a massive difference! January is a great time to make those changes, and like I do now you could be looking back in January 2013 thinking I can’t believe how different my life is compared to last year!!

    Again really sorry for the longest post ever, but I guess I just wanted to help spread big positivity (if you got that far in my rambling) in a very gloomy January!!

    Here’s to a VERY happy 2012 for everyone!! 😉

  38. Alex – I don’t really believe in what colours are in fashion or not. It’s a bit like clothes – choose what suits you (or the room) and throw in the odd accessory to bring it up to date. Charcoal grey is a brilliant colour for a sofa – it will go with everything, hides the dirt (I’m big on practicality!) and can be updated with funky cushions if you want to inject some colour.

  39. This has really uplifted me this evening, I didn’t realise there are so many people feeling the same way as i am about my job at the moment!
    I am an Account Manager for a small family business (not my family) and Samantha you have probably taken the words right out of my mouth about how i feel i get treated at work.
    Yesterday i started looking at my CV having been at my company for the last 8 years, and today’s first day back just made my mind up further about trying to strive for something new and exciting.
    Thanks to Charlotte and to everyone elses comments, have a very happy 2012!

  40. Brilliant post as always!!! I am definitely in a similar position to a lot of you guys, I was made redundant from a job I loved, panicked about mortgage bills etc, and then jumped straight into a job that is OK but not really where I pictured myself being at 26!

    I am trying to figure out what means most to me at the moment, which will then in effect decide my future…decision, decisions!

    I do have a little bit of an embarrassing work related moment, when I sent a customer an email saying I hated them…I forwarded him the wrong one!!! Eek!


  41. As everyone else is saying – THANKYOU Charlotte for today’s little uplift (in fact for them most days!).

    I graduated from my first degree in 2009 and was offered my dream job out in South Africa. The boy still had another 2 years of medical school here so I gave it all up and stayed here and started university all over again to become a nurse. I haven’t regretted it at all for one major reason – the boy and I grew even closer and now (obviously) getting married in September.
    However, training has been hard and this last placement especially. Over the past 2 weeks whilst everyone else has been enjoying the holiday season I have been on a high dependency ward without any natural light. I don’t feel I have much support from the rest of the ward this time, feel massively out of my depth as it’s completely not my area and have just felt massively down. You made me see the light at the end of the tunnel Charlotte. 8 months left and I will be qualified and in control of my own life FINALLY and hopefully able to take a job on my favourite ward in my own speciality. Even better a month after qualifying I get to marry my man.

    Sorry this has turned into a bit of an essay but really wanted to let you know how much I look forward to your pieces of pretty each day, and appreciate the work you all put into making us smile in the mornings 🙂

  42. @Hannah – well if my big fat essay maybe helped you feel a bit more positive then it was worth writing! 🙂 Good luck with the search for something new and exciting, and hope you get out of your current job if that is the way you’re treated! 2012 is a great year for a wedding!! x x

  43. @Alice – thanks so much for your kind words pet, I’m so glad that even in some small way you feel better about your current situation, it sounds like you are doing a very rewarding (and bloody difficult) job and I am sure sure 8 months will just fly by… and then you will have a beautiful wedding!

    Charlotte xxx

  44. Just wanting to say a big Thank you for this post Charlotte! Definitely what I needed yesterday ( i did want to post on here yesterday but ended up making a cock up in work – the only thing I had to do all day and I messed up! Great start back) I’m a designer and been in my role for the last 3 and a half years… I should of got out after 6 months but being the person to not want to let anybody down I have stayed on with much regret and now I have lost confidence due to hardly doing any design work at all and in the last 8-12 months having pretty much nothing to do all day! Soul destroying is the only word I can describe my job now. I’ve dreading coming back after the Christmas break and just feel close to tears everyday at the thought of being in work. But enough of my moaning (i’m lucky to be in a job I know) your post has finally helped me give myself the kick up the backside I needed to get started on what I really want to do and that is Bespoke Wedding & Occasion Stationery Design – I designed my logo a year ago for this but got all panicked at the prospect of not getting anywhere with it – I also would love to get into the full Wedding Planning Process So I’m going to look into this more also – Here’s hoping that 2012 will be the year for me career wise!
    (Sorry for the long drawn out moan) xxx

  45. Thanks for the great post – it’s nice to read all the comments and realise that I’m not alone in hating my work situation! Rather being in a job I hate I’m actually not working at the moment and my self-esteem is completely shot as a result.

    I moved to Belfast with my other half as a result of a job offer that we just couldn’t turn down, but unfortunately we were off travelling in Asia at the time and had to decide there and then, without visiting. We took the risk and moved here in August. The city is fab, the people are lovely, but the job market is buggered. Naively I thought that having worked my butt off for 3 years to get a PhD would be enough to see me through, but sadly I was very much mistaken and have spend the last three months as a house-soon-to-be-wife. Obviously that means I’m not out meeting people so my social circle has shrunk to include my lovely hubby to be and a couple of his work mates. It’s been a bit of a shock to the system to say the least! Reading all about Jenny’s progress in Hong Kong makes me feel a little more optimistic about the next few months though.

    Thankfully his work pay for our accommodation costs so I don’t need to earn a certain amount to pay the bills and to afford to eat (a huge relief). I’ve spent the last few days really thinking about what it is that would make me happy in my work life and I’ve settled on writing. It’s always been there at the back of my mind, but I’ve never really had the balls to say it aloud before. Reading this post has sent me into a hive of activity and I’ve just sent a tentative email to the LSJ about signing up for one of their distance learning courses.

    2012 for me is going to be about being proactive and putting myself out there. Oh and finally starting writing that book I’ve been dreaming of for years…

    I hope this year brings you all the happiness that you deserve (not to mention beautiful weddings!!)


    p.s. Charlotte you are a ruddy inspiration – where do you get your energy from?!!x

    p.p.s. I’m getting wed in 10 days!! Woopie!!! x

  46. Interesting post and very welcome on a wet and rainy day like today!
    I was surprised that you used to work in marketing and write copy as (and this sounds picky but I’m hoping that it might help you) sometimes your spelling and grasp of punctuation isn’t great. You don’t (ever!) need apostrophes in plurals, for example.
    I love your writing though. Keep up the gorgeous work on the site!

  47. Oh Charlotte – what a wonderful post to kick off the new year – just the giggle, and perspective I needed!

    Juggling day job, blog, styling and a 7 month baby bump…I’m finding myself loosing my mind mid sentence…oh and occasionally finding the car keys in the fridge – it’s all a bit much at the moment!

    But I’m counting my blessings as I finally happen to be on the cusp of two wonderful things – motherhood & running my own business…

    Ladies, as the lovely Mrs O’Shea has stated – hang in there – the future’s bright – and it’s ours for the taking!


    ps Um Charlotte, I also know I owe you an email. Soon, I promise X

  48. 3rd time reading this post…brilliant start to beat the back to work blues. Love your writing style, so personal and engaging (engaging….must be all the wedding chat har har…). Think we could all do with a dose of Meatloaf blaring in our own work places. Who can be grumpy chair dancing to a bat out of hell?

  49. @Cathiewales – you didn’t write a letter to Meatloaf did you…?! and if you have a logo already then there’s the start you need pet – lots of love and luck to you, I’m sure you’ll be grand.

    @Hollie – it must be 8 days now right?! how exciting!!! can’t wait to see your book 😉

    @Sammy – I have a problem with apostrophes, I love them so much I seem to put them everywhere, thanks for the tip – glad you like the writing (questionable punctuation and all)

    @Sarah – Thanks for such a lovely comment pet, I have no idea how you are managing at the moment, you must be super SUPER woman!! and you are right, it is ours for the taking 😉

    @Steph – 3 times? that might be one of the nicest things I ever read. I vote that today you try and get a bit of Meatloaf played at your workplace!

    Charlotte xxx

  50. Possibly THE funniest thing I have ever read. Fact.

    Dear Meatloaf….

    hahaha, I once worked for a laptop repair company, and logged a Fujitsu repair call on our system with the fault of:

    ‘Floppy Dick Drive’

    The repair centre in Manchester thought it were right funny

    I, of course, was mortified.


  51. Charlotte and Adam – just wanted to say how 2012 has so far been pretty fab on these here pages.

    I am trying really hard at that moment to be my usual positive self, but struggling! Not enough of the £££ to do anything but save save for the wedding….EEK… Weddings really do test you dont they?!

    And Work, well I am still hoping to find something to get excited about. Hopefully 2012 I will get my head screwed on and do something about it.

    Anyway, I digress, great post and proofreading IS not my strong point either.

  52. Hi there Charlotte!
    I have just read your post regarding the new year and 2012 plans. I have a similar story… I studied fashion design and business management in London many moons ago but ended up working in Nottingham for a textile design company doing their accounts and running their office, admin, collections etc etc! Fed up after having two boys and still stuck in non creative roll I dreamed up and created Pompadour Garters. I wanted to design and make luxury garters, lingerie and Nightwear using luxurious silks, lace with either vintage pieces or in a vintage style. I am still working full-time plus my business in the evenings after putting kiddies to bed ( a 1 and a 6 year old!) So really 3 jobs! Exhausted but determined to make 2012 my year and be in a position to quit the day job before the year is out!!!
    If you have any queries for unique luxurious or vintage Garters please check out ?!!!
    Here’s to a fabulous lux 2012!!!

  53. What a great post! definitely inspiring during these gloomy days of January. I was in a similar position also. I had had a job in a large well known Scottish Bank & was stressed/frazzled/bored with mundane day to day and it was affecting my relationship/health and whole life, the job was the bane of my life! Mr Mac, my h2B on 29th june, was worried i wasn’t going to make it to the wedding the way i was going. After much deliberation with mama & Mr Mac…i handed in my notice. What a relief lifted from over me at that moment i knew i only had a couple of weeks left. What i haven’t to you is that during all this i had opened a business account and was making/selling my jewellery & hair accessories, had tested the market and thought life is just too short, just bloody go for it! 6 months in, early days i know, fingers crossed Lark & Lily Designs is going well. I have had to take a wage cut but i do believe money is not everything and what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger! sorry getting all preacher there for a moment 😉 Mr Mac & i worried about the wedding costs but we have cut back where possible & with myself and brillaint family & friends helping out we can still have a day to remember on 29th June this year.

    All the best for 2012 everyone! xoxox

  54. You’ll be pleased to know that Mr Loaf has transformed the business in your absence.

    I’m not sure about his commitment though – he wants us, he needs us, but there ain’t no way he’s ever going to love us.

    Hope this thing continues to be a huge success.

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