This month marks my three year work anniversary. On one hand it’s completely flown by, and on another, I feel like I’ve been here my entire life. I don’t mean that in a negative way in the slightest, I mean it in the sense that I feel at home. It’s where I feel comfortable, where I feel creative and where I get to do what I love with the people i love around me.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Manchester was never in my ‘life plan.’ However I also heavily believe in fate and going with the hand life deals you. When I applied for the job I never imagined how my life would turn out now or how happy it and the people there would make me.
I still remember getting the phone call offering me the job. It’s definitely in my top ten moments of sheer happiness. I’d finished my Journalism degree the May of that year and within weeks of moving back home, I felt empty without having a purpose to my day to day life and dramatically would tell myself I was never going to become employed. Luckily my parents had no problem with me being at home (well not that they admitted to myself) which gave me time to update my CV, research the industry and get my applications correct.
I’d booked internships in London with some great brands over the summer to boost my portfolio and it was also the year I literally went down under to Australia to see family I’d never met before. Part of me went there with the premise that if I’d not heard back about jobs, that I’d just wing it and stay out there and travel for a little bit. However as life and fate would have it, my application was taken to the next stage by boohoo so after just under a month in Oz, I headed back home on a (mindblowingly big) plane to pursue my career in England.
I carried on with my London internships whilst my application was being processed and had initial interviews before being asked to come in for a face to face. So I pushed my London dream out of my head to give Manchester a go. And three years later I’m still here and still loving my job, which when I first took the job I was surprised about. I thought I’d hate Manchester, after being led astray by the mesmerising London lights and buzz. I thought it wouldn’t compare, and in some ways it won’t ever. When I visit now I do miss aspects of London - there’s so much life there but the happiness and content feeling I have here makes my life what it is.
You spend more time at work than anywhere else and I know from myself and from others who observe the way I talk about work, how incredibly lucky I am. Not only are they my colleagues but my friends and my support network too. They’re creative and inspiring - I learn so much about working and life in general from them and their experiences. I owe at lot of confidence I have to them today, because the person I was three years ago is so different to the person I am now. Life in general has of course also shaped that, but mainly my job.
I also feel like I need to eat my own words to my sister. I remember giving her grief for when she’d come home late from work, telling her ‘her job wasn’t her life.’ But really your job is your life, not in that it’s life or death but hey, you need a job to pay the bills to have your life outside of work and you spent most of your time there so ultimately it is your life. I hope I’m making sense here. So sorry Clare, because it turns out I’m guilty of my job being my life. But as they say, if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. And whilst all days aren’t perfect, I’m learning and growing every week, every day, every minute. I get to build on my strengths and develop my weaknesses and I get to do some pretty amazing stuff - Pictionary with Charli XCX anyone?!
Going into a job in fashion was also something I was a little apprehensive about. Let’s face it, the industry doesn’t have the best reputation and I’ve watched enough Devil Wears Prada and heard enough horror stories to warrant me running a mile from it. But boohoo ain’t like that. The ‘fashion’ aspect is of course there and yes the majority of people there dress impeccably but the people are down-to-earth, friendly and absolutely hilarious. That’s not to say I wouldn’t like a sample cupboard of Chanel or for Nigel to be my best friend (going back to DWP here, apologies if you don’t get the reference).
My immediate team are some of the best people I’ve met in my entire life. We’re all so different and comment that if it wasn’t for work, we probably wouldn’t ‘be friends’ in how separate our personalities are. But we each bring something different to the team, we all have different visions, different opinions, different talents and we all bring that out of each other. They’re hardworking, inspiring and pretty damn hilarious - so much so, I’m going to need a hell of a lot of botox in the next decade to cope with all the laughing we do. We all support each other both personally and professionally - one person’s success is the whole team’s happiness and when we come across stumbling blocks, we conquer them as a team - strength in numbers and all that right?!
You’re brought up to believe that your university years will be ‘the best of your life’, heck teachers drill into you at secondary that those are your ‘best years too’ but for me, these past three years top any of those stereotypes. So thank you boohoo, thank you to my amazing Brand team and all my other colleagues past and present that have shaped my life to what it is today and thanks life, fate, whatever you want to call it - you’ve given me the best three years of my life with memories I’ll never forget.