Ok five days until I leave the BBC now. And in typical me style I’ve over-prepped. I’m not going to share the obvious stuff like sorting out my pension and updating my CV (I haven’t actually even done that!) because that’s not an exciting read. I want to tell you about some of the more fun stuff I’ve been doing to prepare.
1: Marie Kondo-ing my house
So if you haven’t heard of this best selling book, the principle is quite simply that you look at your possessions one by one and you ask yourself with each one ‘does this spark joy?’. If it doesn’t get rid of it! I actually booked a day off work so I could Marie Kondo my house. I wanted a streamlined house for my new life. I was convinced it would allow me to feel focussed and confident. I can smugly say it had the desired effect. I have to confess I got a little bit addicted to chucking stuff out and my boyfriend Jamie became quite alarmed at the rate at which I was culling our possessions. I’m sorry about the bread knives Jamie! But the upshot is – my house looks emptier and sparklier and I can access all my stuff I really like easily. Winner.
2: Fresh Walks – the funnest networking event
Fresh Walks is quite literally the best networking event I’ve ever been to. Combining twelve mile hikes in the Peak District with business networking, ending in a pub supping ale and eating pie. What’s not to like? I’ve met the most diverse mix of people on these walks – including a female painter decorator, a Casino Manager, a lady who runs her own wine tasting company and a director of a PR company. It’s given me a fantastic insight into a very colourful and successful business scene in Manchester and access to a network of people who are willing to go out of their way to help me with my career. Perhaps falling into bogs and having to sneak off behind trees for comfort breaks forces people to cut the crap that comes with traditional networking. Find out more here: freshwalks.co.uk
3: Getting active on Linked In
At my last Fresh Walks event I met a lovely chap who works as a Linked In trainer. As soon as I found this out this poor guy didn’t stand a chance. I interrogated him! I’m very aware that Linked In is a very useful career tool, but other than connecting with 720 people (a lot of whom I accidentally connected with due to an unfortunate spam incident!), I was fairly unconfident about using Linked In. However Mr Linked In encouraged me to view it as not disimilar to Facebook, in that if you are willing to show some personality in your posts and interact in a friendly, fun and human way, some very useful stuff could happen. Since then I’ve posted my blog on Linked In and posted a couple of very simple crowd surfing questions on there – all these posts have been effortless but proved very fruitful. My best outcome from Linked In is that I asked if anyone knew about blogging events in Manchester and a complete stranger informed me about an event called ‘Freelance A Lot’. Free booze, free food – I was in. And off I went – didn’t learn anything about blogging but met a couple of very useful and lovely freelancers who I’ve stayed in touch with and got some free nosh and wine to boot!
4. Redecorating the house
Ok we probably would have done this anyway, but my end date acted as a catalyst for this one. I figured I would be spending a significant part of my hours in the future in my own home and I wanted to feel inspired by my surroundings. A painter and decorator, some carpet stripping/floorboard sanding and furniture buying later and we have a rebranded and pretty cool looking house. Admittedly as Jamie pointed out my role in this has largely been supervisory having avoided any hard graft, but you know, I played an important role in the necessary blue sky thinking at the start.
5. Clothes shopping
Obviously, I couldn’t just rebrand my house – I had to rebrand me too! If I was going to be meeting so many potential clients and employers imminently I needed to look the part. Cue me buying a lot of clothes. Not sure how I managed to justify underwear and pyjama shopping with this project, but I’m very happy with my purchases.
I’ve relied on getting a wholesome amount of exercising by cycling at least 60 miles a week to and from work. My waistline could be in danger post leaving the BBC. I decided I’d better come up with a new regime. So I’ve scoped out a three mile running route from my house that I will do first thing every morning. New running gear, headphones, iPhone belt have been purchased and various new albums downloaded. I’m ready!