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Then Suddenly Society Changed

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IN THIS POST

Working in media for the past seven years has been one of the most educational experiences of my life. OK yes school was amazing, my favourite subject was Textiles. I was never really supposed to admit that to my parents because it had to be Maths. My route to be an Accountant you see. 

In English lessons I’d read through ‘Of Mice and Men’ half heartedly. However, I’d be more excited to chat to my best friend Rhiannon. School backpacks, how much I loved Papa Roach (specifically Jacoby Shaddix) and who I fancied at that point would consume my conversations with her. Oh and annoy the teachers. No surprise then that in most lessons with her I was moved to a table by myself. Rhiannon went on to be a solicitor in London and we still chat but these days it’s more about which red wine we like or how much the pressures of work are getting to us. At Uni I studied ‘Accounting and Finance’, actually getting good results and compliments from the tutors. However, after a year it just wasn’t for me so I changed courses. It was the best decision as it led me to media and my life in London.

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Where is started…

I began my career in magazines (Esquire, Harpers Bazaar and the nation’s favourite Good Housekeeping etc). London was the most opportunistic place to be. Oh my word, editors get things for free to write about?! So naive. I was that first year of graduates who were really up against the recession. It was 2008; companies weren’t hiring; people were being laid off; profits for businesses were declining. A real eye opener. Going back to Bristol for my graduation ceremony I couldn’t believe that I was only one of a handful of people in that entire business graduate year who had managed to gain employment.

What people don’t realise is that as soon as I left Uni, I went back to Wales and sat everyday on my mum’s kitchen table. I’d email out my CV. I applied for two hundred and fifty jobs and got two interviews. One for a Commercial Analyst at Mulberry and one for the magazines. The one for magazines was the one I got. I started working in advertising for the print brands and slowly but surely started to see the increase in numbers for their digital counterparts. We started selling ads on websites. All of a sudden brands were seeing they could actually track where people were coming from in terms of viewing their ads and clicking through. Great.

Then…

Flash-forward to working at News International (now News UK).  I’m sat in an induction session learning about The Times. Hearing about why there’s a paywall and how the newspaper survived during the war; I’m understanding how the paper is often a target to hackers who want political information; Learning about injunctions and which celebs are cheating and the stories that can’t be printed because they’re not allowed to, (yes you the ‘squeaky clean’ married footballer). Working there when they had just closed ‘News Of The World’ we had to choose our words carefully when discussing why it closed and how business was doing. There I also had my first legal training and suddenly I was learning skills that I never knew existed. 

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Private Jet Lounges…

Moving over to my next role in private jets came the next discovery. Sitting in one of London’s private jet lounges watching a mother of one flounce into the room with her husband animatedly chatting on the phone, her makeup artist, nutritionist, nanny, hairdresser and stylist in tow for me was like looking into a rabbit cage and observing them in their natural habitat. It’s a world that couldn’t be any further away from mine if it tried and one that is actually more difficult to obtain than you think.

Bloggers, vloggers etc…

Now that I’m back in magazines, what’s evident is that the media market isn’t just about glossy books any more. It’s now print, website, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, events, awards, video, iPad editions, mobile phone editions, apps, pictures, Snapchat, YouTube…phew! It’s about how to use bloggers, vloggers, models, editors, stylists… Gosh, it’s even deciding how to best commercialise your products to be more sharable, interactive, engaging. I never dreamed that I’d have a blog as I’m so business and money/number focused but here I am using writing over yoga to relax, taking snaps of my lunch, my outfits and my bunny instead of going out clubbing, smoking and sleeping off a hangover (ok, I do still get hangovers hah) but society is changing. Hell, bunny is even about to have her own Instagram.

Media is changing faster than ever. Even music. Check out Drake’s Hotline Bling for instance. A carefully designed social media campaign by a PR, a stunt to promote the song by encouraging vines and gifs to mock the video which actually was probably filmed that way on purpose to make the hashtag-ing, ridiculing and sarcasm easier.

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Uni…

My dissertation at Uni focused on ‘Quality In Business – Fad or Fashion?’ and at the time I thought what a load of boring nonsense. Looking back, everything I wrote is now relevant though. Clothing, beauty, media, every industry you think about does consider quality. Whether it’s the low quality fast fashion that in five years time probably won’t exist because of their awful supplier methods right through to premium snake serum in beauty creams – what’s their future? 

In government, decisions are being made and suddenly everyone on Facebook has become a politician with some form of opinion (I’d like to know how many of them voted by the way) but does the quality of their arguments really make a difference to society? Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t but either way it doesn’t stop people writing about their political stance for all to see on the Internet. What does this mean for the voting system, will there come a time where voting in the elections isn’t done in private in the local church but online with the option to ‘share’ who you voted for?

These days…

Today people are more open, more prone to over sharing and dare I say it, much more opinionated. In terms of expressing ones self, you only have to check Instagram to see the herds of people (I’m one of them) uploading pictures of their ‘ootd’, ‘today’s look’ and the horrific (my biggest bugbear) ‘tap for credits’. As a society are we becoming more ‘alternative’ and ‘individual’? Or has it become fashionable to be ‘individual’ so much so that actually we all look completely the same? Check out “See how I styled my Topshop coat with stuff from New Look that millions already own anyway”, “Look at my lovely mascara that 99,099 others also have”…

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What I’ve learned most from my ‘life skills’ (cringe) is that the older you get, the more noticeable changes in society are. But weirdly, you predicted it this way. At 17 studying for my A Level in I.T (computing), we learned about ‘contactless payment’, ‘digital adverts at bus stops’, ‘download websites’. They didn’t exist then but guess what, now they do. I wrote this while listening to ‘SHY FX – Shake Your Body’. Many of my readers won’t know what that is as it’s so old but wait a couple of years and there will probably be some sort of remix in the charts. History and hindsight truly is a gift and I look forward to what my future and my children’s future might bring.

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Life is an adventure and way more exciting in good clothes. Welcome to my blog, the place where I keep my notes on style, beauty and life in London.

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