First off, how are you and how is your 2021 going?
My 2021 has been great.. but seriously how is it September already?! I’ve just got back from holiday and am feeling refreshed, energised and ready to conquer the rest of 2021! Lots of exciting stuff is happening at Fairy Job Mother at the moment! I’ve spent most of the year working on and perfecting our first-ever physical product, which is launching at the end of the month – stay tuned on my Instagram! I also recently decided to combine my background in marketing with my expertise in the early careers space to launch a marketing and employer branding agency side of Fairy Job Mother called FJM Digital to help employers and brands attract and retain young people.
How did you decide to start sharing your expert career advice online?
I started Fairy Job Mother over my frustration at the lack of relevant career guidance and resources available for students and young people during and after university. At university, I found the advice given to me as a generic, ‘one size fitted all’ approach that didn’t come from people in my industry or that had been in my position. Leaving university, I didn’t have much idea of how the working world worked, and starting my first job after graduating was also just as confusing. I didn’t know how to negotiate a salary or even go about positioning myself for a promotion.
To fill this gap, I wanted to build a platform to empower young professionals with the skills and mindset to navigate the world of work, find their dream job, build their confidence and ultimately progress in their careers.
Fast-forwarding to now, I have 6+ years of corporate experience, working for both Fortune 500 companies, not-for-profit and start-up organisations and currently work full-time in a leadership position at a tech company, despite only graduating in 2017.
How has your journey progressed through The Fairy Job Mother?
I only started Fairy Job Mother in October 2020 and it’s been a crazy eleven months! Originally I started sharing content on Instagram and since then have built a community of over 7000+ young professionals across multiple social channels and my content is viewed by 50,000+ people monthly.
Due to demand at the beginning of the year I introduced 1:1 coaching sessions providing expert advice on CV building, preparing for job interviews, cover letter writing and general career coaching, where I’ve helped 200+ young people gain interviews and job offers at the likes of Google, Amazon, The Hut Group, RB, Johnson & Johnson, American Express and BT.
I’ve also been invited as a guest on multiple podcasts to share my knowledge on topics such as salary negotiation and figuring out what you want to do after university, invited as a guest speaker at several universities and worked with some really cool brands like Bright Network and RateMyPlacement and had the opportunity to provide career services for government-funded initiatives for those on universal credit which has been extremely rewarding.
Why do you think it’s so important to share career advice?
I think career advice is important because your choices regarding your career can have a huge impact on your life and future. Young people are expected to make decisions about their future pretty quickly after finishing school/university. Depending on their background, they’re either set up for success with great advice from role models and their school or at a disadvantage if they come from a background without parents/role models who went to university or had corporate careers.
I share career advice on social media so that everyone, regardless of background, can be educated and equipped with the skills and mindset to progress in their career.
To add, when finishing university I didn’t even consider small things like salary negotiation, can have a huge impact. I read a figure the other day that said accepting the first offer you are given for a job can leave you with anywhere between £1 million to £1.5million of lost earnings over your lifetime. I think that figure in itself shows how important sharing accessible career advice is!
Do you think there is enough education at school or University in regards to the job market?
The simple answer is, no, I don’t. The job market is constantly evolving and has evolved and changed so much due to COVID. I honestly don’t think universities and schools can keep up! Students have always been sold this notion that if they get good grades and go to university, then they’ll get a good job at the end of it.. which just isn’t’ true! There are more graduates than there are jobs, and universities need to do a better job at increasing students employability whilst they are studying, encouraging them to do things that make them stand out and showcase the value they can bring to employers. And whilst universities aren’t doing it Fairy Job Mother will !
I also think there isn’t enough education on building a fulfilling career in general. We aren’t taught about choosing a job that actually makes us happy! We are just taught that we need to find a job! We aren’t taught about burnout or toxic work culture. We aren’t taught that grades aren’t the end-all of and that work ethic and mindset are what matters! Education on simple things like these will enable young people to have happier and more fulfilling careers.
What are your top tips for understanding what kind of job role people should be going for?
Be kind to yourself! Trust me; no one really knows what they’re doing anyway. There is a huge pressure in society around figuring out what you want to do and picking one career and sticking to it forever (which is completely outdated by the way, you can change your career as many times as you like!). When figuring out your career path, remember to be kind to yourself. You have time to figure things out and throughout your career, as you grow and learn, you’ll always be exploring and experimenting with different areas, and that’s OK!
Note down what makes you happy (and what doesn’t!) What are you actually interested in? What makes you smile? What are your hobbies and favourite brands? Write a list of your top 5 brands and sectors and start researching different roles within these. You know these are brands and industries that you’re actually passionate about, so you’ll feel motivated and confident exploring them!
Start reaching out to people in via LinkedIn! Once you’ve researched the role types within your chosen industry or brands, start reaching out to actual people in these roles to figure out if they’re really for you! LinkedIn is an amazing tool for doing this as you can search absolutely anyone at any company and message them! Remember to personalise each message, try to find some common ground and position the message in a way that shows you’d love to learn from them by jumping on a Zoom call – so that you can directly ask questions and build a relationship with someone in your chosen industry! I shared a video on my Instagram about reaching out to people on LinkedIn, which can be found here.
Try out as many different things as you can if you aren’t sure! Once you’ve learned about each role type, shortlist your top 3 and start applying, internships are great for learning about a particular industry, and they are short term, meaning you can explore each of your target industries in a short period of time to determine which your enjoyed and which you didn’t! I have a video that touches a bit more on finding local internship opportunities here!!
I recently recorded podcast all about figuring out the right career path/job role for you which and would definitely recommend checking it out!
What are some of your most popular posts online?
My most popular posts are related to job searching (for those on the job hunt) and career progression (for those looking to progress in their current roles)!
Here’s a few of my most popular..
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on the launch plan for Fairy Job Mother’s first-ever physical product, which is launching at the end of the month! The product is all about setting goals and figuring out what makes you happy from a career perspective and is honestly something I wish I had when I was starting out – keep an eye out on my Instagram page in the coming weeks for more info!
The other very exciting thing I’m working on, which I briefly touched upon above, is FJM Digital, the marketing and employer branding side of Fairy Job Mother, to help brands and employers attract and retain young people. I’m really excited to combine my unique experience and expertise in marketing and attracting young talent in this venture and am excited to help employers and brands thrive using the same techniques I’ve used to build my own business from Fairy Job Mother! If you are a brand or employer that is looking to attract young people reach out!
Do you have any top follows for finding a new career on Instagram?
Some of my favourite follows are:
@prettylittlemarketer – if you are interested in exploring the world of marketing, Sophie is your girl! After leaving her full-time job and starting university at 21 to pursue a degree in Marketing, Sophie has spent the past four years creating her own experience working for agencies, volunteering and working as a freelance social media manager. She shares her top tips and tricks over on her Instagram!
@gradvance – If you are a graduate that’s just finished university and feeling unsure of how to navigate the job searching world, then Dan is your guy (in addition to Fairy Job Mother of course !) After struggling with the graduate job search post Dan developed a winning formula which saw him land job offers from Amazon, Vodafone, Sky and Virgin Media.
@beyondeducation_ Beyond Education is a social enterprise that aims to bridge the informational gap between educational institutions and the working world! Their platform connects students to a network of prestigious employers, mentors and career coaches that can provide career advice and employment opportunities to those who need it!
What does your perfect weekend look like?
The perfect weekend for me would be being outdoors in the open exploring, walking or hiking somewhere new, followed by a relaxing swim, chill in the hot tub and a massage! Dreaming of a winter getaway as we speak!
What do you always carry with you?
Apart from my phone, I always carry a good non-fiction book in my bag! My current read at the moment is organisational psychologists Adam Grant’s ‘Think Again’ which is all about the art of rethinking and learning to question your opinions and open other people’s minds.. 100% recommend it!
What would your last ever meal be?
Definitely Spaghetti Pomodoro! So simple, yet so delicious
What is one positive piece of advice you could give to our audience?
My piece of advice is on rejection as it’s something everybody is bound to face at least once in their career! Rejection is redirection and is completely normal. KEEP GOING. You will find something, you will get to where you are meant to be! Here is a video I created to normalise rejection that those reading may find useful!