Day 46: Celebrating half way point!!! 46 day to go!

Kat doodles about life and celebrates:

Today I reached the half way point of my challenge. Something quite unbelievable to me. So I thought I look back on what I have been up to and see how far I have come:

  • I have now 36 blog followers, 2 828 views and most visitors come from UK, Czech Republic, United States and France. All together I had people from 45 countries visiting and they include even places such as Trinidad and Tobago, Laos or Oman. Well I feel I honoured to entertain you in all those places.
  • With the rest of the social networks- here are the stats. On Instagram I have so far posted 95 images out of 15 are personal and the rest belongs to the blog posts. And with comes 18 Instagram followers. With Facebook page we have onto moved 92 likes and hoping soon to cross that 100 mark! Last but not least is Twitter. You can obviously see there is not much love between me and this social network going on, as I still did not get the idea about hashtags and only have 9 followers.
  • I had some great reactions from readers, who were random, meaning the virtual ones. But also the ones, who I do not know that well and they suddenly popped up on my real world telling me, how much they do  (or do not)  enjoy it and lastly had friends, who have been so lovely saying it is almost like sitting in the pub with me having fun times. (And I guess without the stress of them not getting a word in..well I hope I am getting better in this since I wrote that post about honest truth…)
  • I have blogged for the last 46 days, which meant 7 days a week and if it somehow did not happen, I did something, but posted about it a day later. Which meant I had to do another post the very same day. I amazed myself, I can tell you. At the moment I go between the adrenalin of what do I write about today to thinking I cannot wait to tick my done box today. My days have definitely become productive.
  • I have been nominated for Liebstered award by @learnermother and to prove that there is something you enjoy in my posts here are the five most favourites: Day 1: Keep motivated! 91 days to go! ,  I noticed in your cv that you don’t currently drive , Day 30: No passion for fashion! 62 days to go! , Day 20: A place you call home. Crossing that nine year mark!72 days to go! and last but not least Day 28: Week four review and my first ever driving lesson! 64 days to go!
  • Over the past 46 days I have been telling you about CVs, Cv sites, organizing e-mail, joining Headliner and Polyvore, which I have not had time to discover yet properly.How to update the page and which settings work and do not work on the blog. I have been spreading the blog love and attended a blog party, which brought more readers to my page and I also got introduced to some great writers, artists and people, who share the same passions. I have been telling people about David Allen and how his Getting Things Organized book changed my life in getting over the fears like exams or that driving.
  • There have been the slightly less interesting posts when I was going on about doing the typical household duties, cooking, cleaning,  shopping for lamps and bookcases, presents and recommending what to watch, read or listen to. Including sending some Bristol love out into the world in a form of a kiss on a postcard. Just don’t forget that I also run between the club, the kitchens, occasional interpreting sessions and yes that design work I am trying to get into. Plus this daily blog… since when is a day only 24 hours?

So the question is ‘What I have happened to do in order to achieve getting that full-time job or becoming full-time freelancer’?

  • Well I realized I am definitely not a quitter!
  • I have inspired other people in joining me with the challenge with their personal challenge.
  • I had some nice words about this country, when I reached 9 years of living here.
  • Received a real Swiss chocolate as present for one of my the commissions I did!
  • I have bought books on learning how to drive, got in touch with my driving instructor, ordered a provisional licence, got over the fear of getting into the car and now actually enjoying it after my just second lesson. I mean the malarky I had to go through, I would give myself a slap for it. What a drama queen!
  • Got a scenic painting job and helped with the design of the production based on Nick Cave’s songs Carny. Also helped with the costume sourcing.
  • I had four teaching sessions on hat making workshop with year 9 pupils.
  • I have a new art project coming up- meetings in progress.
  • I have told people about my scrapbook collections and finally managed to start dividing images to the right places such Costume one, Set or Architecture one or totally Random one.
  • I have also organized a costume store, so it looks nice and neat.
  •  And I have told people about different bed storage solutions.My  friends asked me few days ago: ‘Would that ever happen without you writing the blog every single day?’ And with no hesitation I said : ‘No, it would not.’ Finding that something I know, which pushes me, is the most important thing to get myself going. Give me two years of time off and nothing will get done. Give me two hours and you will see the miracles. I have been getting better and do not think about doing tasks as burden or something very scary and overwhelming anymore. I do not have time for that. I just simply get on with it, looking forward telling you about it. So Thank you for reading, and for your support. I would not get this far without the silent pressure of knowing that people are reading. Have a lovely Friday night and I am back tomorrow. Kat xxx
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Day 2: Oh the CV malarky! 90 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

So day two of the challenge.  I woke a bit tired after not being able to sleep much last night thinking about the challenge plus I blame two cups of strong tea I drink straight after each other. Yesterday after posting, I sat down and cleared all the e-mails into relevant folders and made all tabs clear, so every day, when I wake up, I can deal straight away with what is relevant. There is lot more deleting and organizing within my e-mail to be done, but that is for another time. This morning it only took me less then hour to reply and organize all e-mails and social media I have received during the night with nothing more hanging to be done in my account. How brilliant.

When going through tasks and trying to get yourself out there, I have realized that keeping up with cv and updating all social media is the most important thing nowadays. I decided to dedicate the day to updating my cv and uploading it to different sites.  Recently I did that with LinkedIn account. That is quite a good one to use as a starting point. However they allow you only to put limited amount of characters under one job, so when you work as self employed, listing all the little jobs in one may not be enough.  So I looked at all sorts of the jobs I did and under my company name created three kinds positions. One for theatre design relevant work, one for painting and decorating, interior design and decluttering and the last one for general artistic work. It suddenly made lot more sense for everyone to look at and understand what I do. I have applied the same system onto my cv today, but just make sure you keep saving the document as you go.

In the summary of who I am I used to use one particular paragraph for years, which may have sounded professional , but I felt it no longer had that crisp fresh sound, so I wrote, who I see myself as with simple few adjectives characterizing my life and work attitude, current state and aspirations into the future. No more then five sentences should do the trick.

Within my e-mail account I had e-mails from about 4 different job sites. I went through each of them and with different levels of luck managed to upload my cv. Jobsite as first, which keeps sending me not very relevant job offers for design positions. Unfortunately all the ones, where you need to be computer  geek and somehow the beauty of designing or building real model is no longer needed. You would think that website like which is advertising on national level would have different options for uploading your cv apart from word file. Perhaps jpg or most likely pdf, separate fill in  boxes, if it comes to the worst as txt. Especially after you have just spend hours tweaking your pages to making it look the part. Several uploads of the files have failed. Well not only that, after I spent updating details in the form, they have disappeared after the file hasn’t uploaded properly, so I had to do it again.  Cup of tea break was needed to lift my spirits up. As soon as I sent in the help line form in I have finally figured out the problems. Turn your fancy word document into plain text with no columns or anything else. When saved as rtf, after save it again into document, but keeping it plain. Hallelujah, it uploaded, but let me tell as a designer, it is not looking exactly great. If you are not able to change your details within the site program, it feels pretty useless even having to upload it in a first place.

Guardian website was lot more user friendly. They had all my previous details saved already, so I just checked if they are correct, updated and moved around jobs and ready I was. Highly recommend it. I did not have that many e-mails from them as website in the past, but now with fully updated previous jobs I am hoping for more luck.

CV Site e-mail ended up in my account somehow without really knowing how. I have a feeling it came together with paid membership for LinkedIn I had once tried. They offered me free CV check as a member of their anticipating partners, but have never used it, so I decided give it a go since it is needed now more than ever. With technical issue of not letting me to the free check up as advertised I e-mailed them and within few minutes I had lovely lady messaging me back asking me to send her my cv. Brilliant. Will definitely post you on that one. Their site has a partner site called CV library, so I will be uploading cv there once it is returned.

Lastly UK Staff Search  was probably the most quickest in the whole process. They simply asked for e-mail, uploading the file and within second you had the form with all boxes filled with relevant information taken from the uploaded cv. I have corrected the employment and education history just by simply copying and pasting information from my original document and here it was , done.

So that is for today, enough for sitting around at computer. I am reminding everybody join me in my challenge, or please spread the message around and let me know what is your dream. Keep that 92 days spirit and get it achieved by the end of the year. Better start now and really make it happen, than attempting to turn it into New Year’s resolution. Have a lovely day a take care. Kat xx

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Day 1: Keep motivated! 91 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Staying focused can be very difficult. I am bright example of that. Unless it is exciting enough and does not involve food or paint brush, my mind wonders off miles away from thinking is it cup of tea or lunch time yet or what is going on in the world of Facebook. Getting myself recently into position, where my room/studio is getting into the right shape, purchasing new A3 printer and just generally sorting stuff out, things are moving in the right direction, but how can I stay focused and motivated.

Well, I turned back to my “friend” David Allen and his theory about “Getting Things Done”, which I have been practising for more or less year and half and it worked wonders for me. I recommend to read his book to fully understand the theory and how it works. In a simple way he is telling how to make the things happen from little idea in your head into the final outcome by following simple rules. So for example when I have been hassled for years by my family members to get that English certificate done. To me although I did not feel I need to, as well as looking like a very daunting task. I went from little tasks such as researching online to doing little practice test on the Cambridge University website. Then moved on to researching the exam days, paying application fee, ordering test book, going for the first part of the exam and then passing the second part. Now more than year late holding my certificate, it feels like it was not difficult at all. Why was I even scared of it for all these years? I am applying the same technique now with learning how to drive. Some of you surely know from reading my previous posts.

So here I have my challenge. Today as it is 1st of October 2013 I start and by the end of this year, which is another 91 days away I would like to be fully free lancing or employed as an interior designer or anything to do within the theatre/ visual merchandising/ decorating industry. Turn my four jobs into one and show there is hope and it is achievable since I am sharing this blog with readers in similar situation.

Recently ordering my new set of business cards I ended up with many empty boxes, so I turned them into reminders and I keep them now next to my computer. Each task with a date on it is written on a separate piece of paper and they are constant reminder of what to do even I wonder of somewhere else for a mili second. You start with ‘In basket’, where you put any pieces of papers, receipts, objects, notes of things to do you need to deal with. The next step is ‘Process’ them, after ‘Organize’ them, ‘Review’ them and finally ‘Do’ them.  During practising this theory I have realized there are two types of tasks I tend to do. Practical ones like file this bank statement into right folder and computer based ones like research this particular company.  I have decided to divide second group into four different boxes and name them : “At mac”, “When Online”, “E-mail Account” and “E-mail to:”.  As I am not feeling very well at the moment, I have taken that time off today to go through “E-mail to:” and managed to sent 19 e-mails,  11 Facebook messages and 2 LinkedIn InMail messages.  Obviously you don’t want to spend every day just answering e-mails. However  it is that little by little, which gets you, where you want.

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To finish this post I am adding the basic diagram David Allen is using for working out tasks to give you an idea. Are you currently thinking of starting personal challenge yourself?  Is it loosing weight, learn certain skill or saving money for trip to Australia. Please do get in touch here or send me an e-mail katerina.t.designer@gmail.com and share your challenge. We can support each other  in this process and make it happen. Take care for now and looking forward to hearing from everybody.

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