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Happy New Year

It’s time to reflect on the previous year and make some new goals for the year ahead, by observing the nature around me and making some bold decisions.

Addressing where I work online cause some attractions to recruiters and while I could stay away from this as much as possible, I realise why people higher up the chain remain anonymous to the web. It’s a no brainer really, you’re exposing yourself to the web, a chance to rank up or down in your career, or the fact you could gain work for the company too.

By doing this I made some new contacts. Yes, maybe some were irrelevant and some relevant. I mean some will support you based on no knowledge of what you do, or some that do and will recommend you to others who are in the same or similar industry. I recommend those that don’t to do a little more research – after all it’s about being honest to yourself and others around you.

Having spent 3 month jobless, I realise in future I’ll have to remain anonymous to keep hold of my job – though I like to be open about the things I do; sharing is caring!

Another issue is why are all IT related vacancies held by recruitment companies? Surely there’s a can of worms here about to explode.

I can see several options for companies in which one might not have the time to find employees or the cost that arise in investing in time and passing this onto recruitment for a little fee, but one could argue to find a suitable candidate for employability could cost more than its worth with recruitment.

Arguable, but the truth is everyone has cost to pay and therefore cutting salaries down from an employee, could make an employee think twice about the work they do, in which is the reason some employees jump from companies to companies.

During this period, I had to be active as more than ever looking for vacancies at a time when vacancies are rare and same time finding a way to support myself. I realised the word trust was something that is pretty hard to rely on and trusting your gut instincts puts you on an edge – out of comfort zone; making you do things that was never planned to happen.

Trusting gut instincts, I referred back to using my previous skills from upbringing and those gained from being a merchant seller for Amazon to eBay. Now you will be wondering why not create my own website platform for this? Again it’s a complex issue right now, while going through a transitioning period with career movement (maybe something for the future to think about or blog about).

Many different suggestions was given by people around me while being out of work and some sounded off the wall and so strange that I thought why not give it a try.

Continuing to pursuit the eBay platform, which is now gaining attraction with my previous reputation with Amazon. I am learning and developing behaviour patterns by buyers and advertising strategies. I am also learning about the products that I sell and always up for learning something new whether it’s worthy or worthless.

Anyway while that is going on in my personal life and focusing back to my day job, I was listening to a few podcasts recently, which relates to career goals and life in general that did inspire me to do more things. Somewhere along the lines of having a day job to pay your expenses and a hobby or passion to pursuit, but if you do the same thing as a day job then make sure you have got the stamina to progress.

As always for me, a chance to adapt new roots suits me fine, finding niches, doing things differently are what I am interested in, but most of all doing a variety of things. I really don’t like to be limited; its dull being repetitive and eventually does gets boring.

So that’s the past and now for the present; I am looking for changes and new challenges with my day job. With my personal life, I have piles of resources that have been accumulating from being busy at my previous job. So top priorities are to sift through these as quickly as possible and start to refine my skills for my day job.

The best bit of my day job is having a passion for the career I’ve always worked for and to work there more than having time spent at home, which allows me to develop better and also give me a little room to try something different from home.

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At least I didn’t quit!

It all happened so soon and I thought I could turn things around when things got tough.

It’s been just over 2 months finished at my current employment, ending in a sticky situation with a client and company management. My job was terminated; I was told to leave and had been paid out.

The dilemma when client don’t stick to agreements and ignore advice from company management, to management given up convincing what’s best for their future business and eventually leading to agreeing with client. All in all, resulting with work that may not generate great online experience with users, nor develop better sales.

I battled hard during the last 3 months of employment to keep simplicity and usability the main focus of online experience and still there were complex ideas being added. By complex ideas being those that would tarnish user experience.

Looking back at this situation, I can say this was an experience, an experience that management would see as usual on a daily basis to make client perform better than their previous.

During my time in employment, I realised not everyone had the same thinking process, which made technical know how discussions harder in meetings without demonstrations of examples. This point seems to be the norm in many businesses after listening to a wide range of web podcasts. So, I feel not alone here.

I’m back out in the market of employability, now looking for another vacancy with some new experience.

Having just over a year experience including the 3-month probation period, moving forward and overcoming this situation, I found it hard ignoring the negatives and thinking positive, especially when going back into interviewing process.

But this didn’t stop me, I had nothing to hide and clearly had great online present from previous activities to date.

The day I left I tried something different I met a few recruiters. I discussed my situation and my concerns and listened to their procedures and T&C’s. Many said I was very brave to start looking straight away. Together we drew plans to action and proceeded applying to relevant and suitable vacancies. As time went by more recruiters had been in contact and a similar process started again with telephone calls.

At this point, I have never had to talk to so many recruiters all wanting to know something about me. I felt there were different views forming from this.

Why choose a recruiter to proceed with vacancies, why not apply directly with companies, why not have more than one recruiter to find suitable vacancies?

These were just some of the thoughts running through my mind at the time and have tried all in respect and respected those who have helped me in the process.

Recruiters should know their clients very well and know what employers are actually after and having more than one recruiter can cause concerned to both parties, that’s if they apply to the same vacancy twice. Companies may also be thinking one may not have much self-respect, passion or care about their career, if they rely on others to do their work. After all, if one doesn’t have self-respect, clearly they don’t have respect for anyone else.

Doing nothing will cost, therefore trying something will gain, whether it’s good or bad, aim to stand out. At least one has tried; one hadn’t quit and remains positive to try again!

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Private Life, Public Spaces (Part 2)

At the start of FdA Web Design, I found this course pretty interesting on how we were taught to communicate with the fellow students. In work related learning (WRL), I have learnt that communication is a big key role in any employment and as working in small groups or big teams. This also helps meeting clients and discussing work processes and presentations. I also found time management was crucial, but as I wasn’t working at this time, I had achieved plenty of time to check and recheck my work.

In my typography module I have learnt more, how type were first invented and how the process from hand written to printed and finally web-based type was generated. I recognized how the olden days were very hard and frustrating to set out each letter for the printing press. This takes a lot of time and effort, which would ideally cost more in the present reality. I also now know the differences between typefaces for print and for web. This was something new as I have been taught most of my life in print work. I recently took a 3 day placement working as a web designer while studying. I have also learnt quite a bit in the web design industry through this.

For my interface design, I have never professionally created a web design layout for a client before. This was something new as well. I knew websites had some sort of grid structure as to print, but after hearing about the 960 Grid System, and taking time to explore the various grid system structures, I thought I had learnt more. The elements placed on a web page look so big, but when printed out on paper, this looks very small. So scaling from paper to web has some maths involved. Choosing colours for screen was more difficult as they appear to look different to print based colours. Matching the right colours I found a little time-consuming, but when the colours are right, it is more easier to set all the web pages right.

The next stages of my learning process is to concentrate on revising for my exams and also for coding. Coding is the most important element for me as this is a whole new field. As working for a company, for family and self, I have found time management a big issue. I noticed most of my time goes in traveling places to places, especially in town areas where there is always traffic. I try to avoid most traffic by setting my travels ahead of time but sometimes there are unexpected traffic on the roads. So to balance my work load I may have to cut a day or two from working to self learning.

So for my next modules ahead, I will try to plan more time for self studying and maybe use the facilities that my tutor has given to me on particular days. This will be very essential.

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Private Life, Public Spaces (Part 1)

So here I am a year from being a graduate student at Teesside University. I studied a bachelors (BA) honors (Hons) in Graphic Design. My specialism was in Typography. How I actually got to this stage was an incredibly long cycle of studies.

From attending public schools in Yorkshire; Martin Frobisher, Altofts Middle School and St. Wilfrid’s Catholic High School & Sixth Form College.

I graduated from high school at the age of sixteen receiving five GCSE’s, which included Art, Maths, Science, Technology (Resistant Materials). Summing up with these GCSE’s, I decided to take a route in design. I already had ambitions to be an artist or designer at a young age.

Ending sixth form in 2006 receiving three A-levels; Art & Design, Art Graphics and Technology (Resistant Materials). This was the nerve racking time when I had to make my life line decisions. Whether to take an apprenticeship or straight into university with some sort of knowledge what I actually wanted to work as a profession.

By this point I was struggling what to do and wanted to keep my options opened at the same time. I had asked my tutors in each of the subjects I studied for some advice, but ideally this felt as if I was narrowing down to one set of skills.

I took a work experience as an in house Graphic Designer at BMB Group in Leeds. They are a big company creating and supplying major designer labels or brands in men’s suits and women’s garments. I enjoyed the placement designing advertisements for the company and their clients.

Eventually I came around after taking many advices from tutors, careers advisers, parents, relatives and friends. I chose to head towards university studying Graphic Design.

My theory was I enjoyed working with new technology from the Art Graphic course and also learnt in the realm of reality, technology was just the start of a new era, especially in computers and the web. My placement also help me to convince this was the right choice as all hand drawn designs were moving towards digital designs.

During my studies at university, I also took another work experience in print production at Cast Media Group, which is also based in Leeds. They design for print, web and also manufacture prints for products. This helped a lot how to design for print and handle the different sizes, textures, finishes for different printed products and the manufacturing processes for formats..

After achieving a Bachelor’s degree at Teesside University. I tried to find employment in the profession I did, but this was proving me harder then I actually thought. I was in the middle of a recession and companies were tightening up their expectations on what would be their ideal employee.

Beginning of this year 2011, I had been working for a publishing firm as a freelancer, designing magazines and controlling online media. Personally this was to show a strong passion in design and that I worked for free for a period.