A Change In Career Direction: Consider This Before You Call It Quits

This month you may have noticed a little flurry of posts from some lovely guests here on The What Now Blog and today I bring you the last (for a while) but by no means the least. Bella is a fellow blogger over at The Other 'F-Word' where she writes and shares regular and inspiring lifestyle posts. As she puts it, 'musings of one perpetually seeking happiness', so certainly a girl after my own heart on that one!

Having made the tough decision herself to leave a career in finance behind and concentrate on her writing, Bella is certainly well-placed to offer advice for those considering making a big change in their working lives. So today she shares some very useful and practical tips that are well worth considering if you too are sat at a career crossroads trying to decide which direction to head in next. Over to Bella ...

Image Source: Pexels 

Image Source: Pexels 

Many of us have been at a point where making a professional change seems to be the only viable solution to cure the anxiety, uncertainty or dissatisfaction with our jobs.

Today, I wanted to discuss some practical points that I had to consider, when changing my work and switching from a steady and lucrative career in finance for the bohemian and uncertain freelance writing field.



1. Be Honest And Figure Out ‘Why?’

Are you genuinely hearing a calling that can’t be ignored or are you simply dissatisfied with your current project, team or manager?

From personal experience, I can say that had I been a little more honest with myself a year and a half ago, I would have started writing earlier. Instead, I switched jobs within my industry only to find myself mentally writing my resignation letter a few months in.

On the other hand, the sheer volume of enticing calls to become an entrepreneur on social media can tempt you to make unnecessary and very drastic moves.

Get some distance and decide what kind of change is right for you.

2. Money Talks

On the assumption that starting over is your heart’s desire, planning for it financially is the most important consideration for most, as the uncertainty over paying bills could nip your life makeover in the bud.

Firstly, talk to your family, not only to ask for help but also to allow them to plan for this eventuality too.  In the absence of a trust fund or “family money”, it is best to take at least 6-8 months to prepare for a drastic move that will cut your household income in half.

I tend to believe that the very moment you get an epiphany to free yourself from the shackles of a hated job will be the precise moment some unexpected event occurs that will need serious spending power. Hence, I would aim to save up for roughly 8 months of expenses, in ‘emergency mode’, not the usually recommended 6.

Figure out ways to make money, whilst your big dream is cooking.

Leverage your existing professional network to get freelance projects doing what you know best. Typically, such projects are only ‘advertised’ informally, so let it be known that you are looking.

3. Out With The Old, In With The New             

You are planning a completely new life for yourself and it will require you to change a few things, including the people around you.

Networking is probably the most important factor in any field and is what really gets you the best job, project, brand name. If you are going to make it in a new industry, you need to network with the people already in it. Make time for them at the expense of your other time commitments if needed.

These are the people that you can learn from, develop new habits with, get fresh perspectives from and thus, help you advance. Having someone lead you by example is imminently less time consuming than ploughing through the mass of information out there on your own.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” – Jim Rohn

4. Prepare For Mental Warfare

The biggest issue with starting over is the uncertainty. It is always there, rearing its ugly head and making you doubt yourself. Make sure you are mentally tough enough not to fail before you give it an honest shot.

Prepare to buckle down and wait out the dark spells. Because they will come.

Similarly, prepare to curb your enthusiasm because any little win will heighten your expectations to no end and that’s a painful high to come down from. I'm not saying do not celebrate your gains but be prepared for the very real possibility that they are temporary for now.

There is a great article written about this particular quality that I love reading. ‘Duck’ references aside, very valid points through and through.

5. Take Inventory

Of yourself, that is.

You might think you are starting over and have nothing yet to add to your new chosen field but in reality you are already more equipped than a newbie getting out of university. Most jobs have a technical aspect acquired via training and a personal one, which is part-inherited and part-practiced.

If you have worked a job for a significant amount of time you already have quite a few personal skills that that are transferrable. Find out what they are and find ways to apply them. For anything else, there is the internet.

Seriously, if you want to get technical knowledge of a particular trade, Udemi and Coursera have the answers for you, often free and with a diploma to back it up.


And the most important practical step of all is as simple as this:


Planning is essential, analysing your decision is critical but eventually, the most important step you will take is actually getting up and making the move. Don’t wait another year, month or week, unless there are valid reasons to stop you. Because another year, month and week will pass by and the only thing that you will think is where would you have been now if you’d made the move right there and then. 



Bella Sovmiz.jpg

Bella writes over at the blog The Other 'F-Word' where she shares her passions for travel, beauty, fashion and food amongst many other topics that inspire her. 

For more from Bella find her over on Twitter @bedazzled_B and get inspired by her adventures on Instagram @bedazzled_b.


I'd like to thank all of my lovely guest bloggers for their contribution this month. It's been a great experience to collaborate in this way. If you missed any of their brilliant posts then you can catch up here.


Why Is London THE Place For Creatives?

I've aways loved our wonderful capital city, London. Having travelled to many a city all over the world London is still one of the very best places to work and play. Plus it constantly tops many worldwide polls to prove it.

Today's guest post comes from Lola, a recruiter working within the Creative Advertising sector in London and with an insight into why this is always one of the very best cities in the world for creatives. So what is it that truly makes this one of the most inspiring places for creative minds? Let's hand over to Lola to find out ...

Creative London

I hear it all the time, London is the best hub to be right now in the global creative community and more specifically it’s the right place to be if you work in Advertising. But why London? Why not cities like New York, LA, Amsterdam, Tokyo - home to some of the greatest creative agencies such as Droga5, Perreira O’Dell, 180Amsterdam and if we are talking Digital, Birdman in Japan or R/GA in the Big Apple. 

Having been brought up in France I have never truly felt like a real Londoner and therefore have always been intrigued as to what creates that buzz surrounding creativity in London. I started headhunting whilst living in Argentina and this was my first insight into the world of Advertising. Having helped many Creatives from different parts of the world explore new opportunities, I have come across a number of answers to the question “Where would you like to work next?”. The one city that always comes up is of course London! So now that I am living here, I find myself asking, what makes London so special?

As Moorey MacLennan, Chief Executive of M&C Saatchi once said “London has a confidence bordering on swagger, which is reflected in the advertising industry”. This swagger he refers to is hard to define but if I had to start somewhere it would have to be with Music and Fashion. If we think about the talent that came from the UK and the boundaries that were broken, from The Beatles’ new pop sound to Vivienne Westwood’s designs which shaped the punk rock movement, us Brits left a trail of creativity that does not cease to capture the imagination of the rest of the world.

This trail continues today with talent emerging from every angle… you just have to look at the recent success of the British Film industry or the breath-taking voice of Sam Smith to the iconic designs of Fashion Designer Alexander McQueen. 

From my experience, Creatives in London also have that ‘urge’ and certainly the ability to create ideas strong enough to leave their mark.

But these ideas wouldn’t be able to exist without the freedom of creativity given by the clients. Gerry Human, Chief Creative Officer at Ogilvy & Mather London said, clients are taking a “more confident, less risk-averse approach to advertising”, which in other parts of the world might not be the case. London’s creativity mirrors the London vibe. I use the word vibe as it seems vague enough for anyone to decide on its definition. Spontaneous, eclectic, carefree, true to its history and always looking to innovate without being pretentious. 

We all know that London is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world and this transcends into the work we see distilled from agencies. From Brazilians to Swedish, South Africans to Germans the advertising scene is packed with a variety of talent. And with this diversity comes a different approach to solving problems, a different and more collaborative way in tackling briefs from increasingly demanding clients. London has a strong sense of individuality which we all know Creatives seek. They seek to be different, to come up with that one idea that will change the way we view our world and to be rewarded for their talent. 

What better place to be in than the one that offers the freedom to pursue your ideas and to go all the way in accomplishing them. London is truly the city where one can allow creativity to run wild and to see those ideas come to life!



Lola Black Profile

Lola Black is a Creative Consultant at Headhunting Firm Daniel Marks London where she works with creative teams, art directors, copywriters and designers looking for new opportunities in the creative advertising sector.

Keep up to date with Lola and the rest of the team on Twitter @TeamDanielMarks.

This post originally appeared on the Daniel Marks London Blog in May 2015.


Post Work Drinks At The Ice Bar London

It's Friday and time for another guest post to get you in the mood for a fun weekend ahead! Today's post comes from the lovely Carolin from the fashion and lifestyle blog Style Lingua

With an M.A in Linguistics and a Literature Researcher by day, Carolin is an incredibly smart and stylish blogger who always captures my imagination with her enthusiasm and drive. Sharing regular style posts, writing about her own adventures and divulging her passion for film and literature, you're always guaranteed an open-hearted and honest read over at Style Lingua.

Today she is going to share the details of her recent escapade to the Ice Bar in London. So if this is somewhere you've been intrigued to visit and haven't yet had the chance to go, check out today's post for an insight and more info on exactly what to expect on a chilly visit to this popular London hot spot. Over to Carolin ...

Ice Bar London

Whenever I’m in London I’m fascinated all over again by the constant hustling and bustling of the city. There’s always so much to see and to do especially in the summer when you’ll often come across the occasional pop-up store or exciting experience. One of these special experiences for me involved my recent visit to the Ice Bar in Heddon Street. Just off of busy Regents Street far from the shoppers and tourists, Heddon Street takes you into its own little world, a quiet zone of restaurants, cafes - and the Ice Bar!

Ice Bar London
Ice Bar London

You may have heard of the famous Ice Hotel in Sweden and it's the same company that runs the Ice Bar in London. The concept of a bar completely made of ice changes a few times throughout the year for refurbishment so each design is only available to see for a limited period of time. The next design will be revealed later this September.

With this in mind I booked my tickets online for a visit earlier in August. The prices vary depending on the time you’d like to visit the bar and there’s a small discount on online purchases. I got two and paid £13.50 per ticket which included a 40 minute stay at the venue and a free drink. However, you can’t shake off the weird feeling of having to pay for entrance to a bar, but I've never been to a place like this before, so my curiosity and expectations were high.

Ice Bar London

On arrival, my friend and I were greeted by a receptionist who handed out capes to keep us warm during our stay. Together with 15 other people, we started our time slot and made our way into the venue. The place itself is rather small and apart from the floor, everything is made out of ice: the walls, the cupcake and pineapple sculpture, tables, a seating area and the counter. Touching the impressive constructs felt surreal as the ice wouldn’t melt under my fingertips. It felt dry and more like thick glass. Though the place is kept at cold temperatures, at no point did I feel uncomfortable or freezing. 

Ice Bar London

However, the initial excitement flattened down very quickly once we had taken pictures, sat in the ice car and joked around touching everything. We made our way over to the counter and ordered our drinks. My friend opted for a fruity beery cocktail and I picked a non-alcoholic orange, apple and pineapple juice. The drinks were served in ice glasses and sparked the excitement once again - especially given the fact that the glasses melted in an instant once touched. My drink tried to slip off a few times so I kept my gloves on in the end to avoid a mess! Though the presentation was everything, there wasn’t much liquid in the glass and another drink would have cost £6 which I found slightly overpriced.

Ice Bar London
Ice Bar London

The 40 minutes flew by and we were the last ones to leave as we wanted to enjoy every second of our visit. Overall we enjoyed our time and I would describe the visit as a unique experience rather than an ordinary cocktail bar. The Ice Bar is a unique place and definitely special. I mean where else can you enjoy drinks in an icy environment? It’s a venue for entertainment and fun. Perfect to hang out with colleagues after work or if you’re after a special party venue. The allocated time was just enough to appreciate the artistic work that went into the sculptures and to catch up with a friend over refreshments. 


Carolin blogs about all things fashion, film and lifestyle over on her blog Style Lingua. Keep up to date with Carolin over on Twitter @Style_Lingua and Instagram @StyleLingua.





Are Successful Career Women More Likely To Fail In Personal Relationships?

Happy Monday everyone and welcome back to The What Now Blog.

Today I have a very thought provoking guest post from fellow career and lifestyle blogger Laura Vonka from the blog LauraVonka.com. Laura blogs about real lifestyle for real women and I love that she always has a unique and interesting perspective on the topics that she chooses to explore. When this particular post landed in my inbox I was very intrigued. It isn't a topic I had thought of writing about myself so I've really enjoyed reading Laura's take on the subject and am interested to hear your thoughts.

So without further ado I'll hand you over and please do let both myself and Laura know in the comments below, what your take is on the subject and your personal experience of success vs relationships.

Image Source: Pexels

Image Source: Pexels

I have enjoyed in my career working with women and bonding after work. Women make sympathetic colleagues, hard workers and always get the job done. I love working with women, though in my profession they are often less and less from a certain level up. 

Nevertheless, what strikes me the most, and I have good case to prove my point, the more a woman is successful on a professional level, the less she is on a private level. This seemed for a long time like a paradox to me, in the sense that I really couldn't understand how women who have the political skills to “make it or break it” in the boardroom, are so clueless about handling relationships at home.

Though a paradox, I have made my own observations and drawn some conclusions which I will summarise below. Please have a look, give it some thought and comment if you wish. So without further ado, here are the:



1. They Treat Their Partners As Their Employees: I have seen and heard this a lot “where is your warm jacket?” “did you call your mother?” “don’t forget your sweater!” Having employees is a very nurturing experience for a woman - you get to develop, guide and form somebody who you hope will prove your expectations right and have a great career, walking in your footsteps. Unfortunately at home it doesn't always work the same way. Our partners do not need “career development”, they are growing together with us and they are our equals. That’s why we chose them, remember? If they forget to take their umbrella to work and are going to get wet, well then they are adults and they can handle it. Being a partner equals being responsible for your own decisions. Treat your partner the same way that you wish to be treated.

2. They Bring Their Supervisory Attitude Home: Your relationship is not governed by employment rules, your man is not somebody who needs to be supervised, submitted to hourly check-in’s and SMS proofed. I have seen this paranoid behaviour with intelligent women, so I don't think this is dependent on education or social level. Your man is your partner, and your relationship a partnership. Partnerships are based on freedom of choice, and not on performance reviews! Calming down and a change of perspective always helps.

3. They Plan Everything: Yes they plan, because planning works. You have a presentation to do, you plan preparation time. You have to meet the customer, you plan the meeting. Unfortunately life at home doesn't work this way. Life happens, and being open to ad-hoc events is one of the greatest joys, because that’s when something wonderful will generally takes place. You get to meet somebody new or discover an interesting place. Be open to changes of program and don't get frustrated. You won’t lose any customers or revenue points because of it.

4. They Keep Score: Yes, they do because at work this is how they prove to the boss that you did a great job. Or that your employees did. It's always good to keep score. At work, that is. At home, not so much. At home you unconditionally love, and try to not review performance. Not even in bed!

5. They Hang On To People: Women like to give second chances and thirds. Because that’s how employees develop and learning from mistakes is something beneficial. Unfortunately when it comes to the home front, women make the same mistakes. Why? Because they do not make clear the difference between: mistake 1: sending an email to the senior management with the values from last year and mistake 2: cheating on you with his ex-wife. Telling you he is still in love with her. And what do you do? You say that everything will be fine, because he just made a mistake. We all do.

Well, again, there are mistakes and mistakes, and second chances work only in the movies and yes, in the office. Unfortunately this is exactly the moment when you should say “you are fired” and show the door or “adieu” and pack up your bags. Because this is not about giving him a second chance, but yourself. You deserve better and being a partner is not what you do, but who you are. 


I hope that this gives you a new perspective on things my friends and if not please let me know your thoughts and your own experiences in the comments below.



Laura Vonka

Laura Vonka is a Business Consultant by day and Career and Lifestyle Blogger by night!

Keep up to date with Laura over at LauraVonka.com and follow her on Twitter @LauraVonka.