My IWD 2021 interview with Bain & Gray

Usually I’m the one doing the interviewing, however for International Women’s Day this year, London-based recruitment agency Bain & Gray asked to interview me as part of their series recognising and celebrating professional women in the UK.

I was happy to participate, and thought I’d share the interview here too. I hope you enjoy reading a bit more about the author of this blog!

What do you do, and what are your hobbies?

I’m a freelance content writer and editor, and outside of work, I enjoy playing the piano, painting, photography, cooking, and long walks in nature. I’m most interested in the arts, as well as sustainability, tech innovation and psychology. 

What time does your alarm go off and what is your morning routine? 
I never set an alarm actually, I wake up naturally with the sun between 6:00 – 7:00 am (admittedly a little later in the heart of winter). I prefer not to have caffeine in the morning, instead I’ll have a glass of water as soon as I wake up ​as ​I’ve heard this is great for your metabolism, flushing out toxins and of course rehydration. Following this, I’ll do roughly 45 minutes of yoga, which is honestly the best way to wake up, energising the muscles and brain. Afterwards, I’ll read the NY Times’ Morning Briefing and do a little language lesson while I eat breakfast ​—​ at the moment I’m learning Portuguese. It took some time to stick, but this has now been my routine for about 5 years and I find that it really helps my mood and productivity each day. 
How has COVID-19 and the fact we are all working from home changed your routine? 
In all honesty, I’ve enjoyed having the extra time. I’m never rushed or stressed in the morning, I’ve been fortunate to be able to enjoy walks in a nearby nature reserve, and have had more time to cook lunch and dinner. Working remotely is something I’m quite used to, and I prefer not being constantly restricted to the typical 9-5. Mornings and evenings are when I’m most productive, so working freelance from home gives me the freedom to have a longer break if I’m having a lull in the mid-afternoon.  
How do you feel right now? (About 2020, COVID-19, BLM, and the rest of 2021)  
There’s been a lot of negativity floating around with everything that’s been going on this past year. It’s so easy to give in to fear and frustration, but I’ve realised it’s a waste of time worrying about things out of your control. Although it’s been horrible seeing the ugly side of inequalities in our society brought to the surface, it’s good that these inequalities are finally being challenged, and I’m optimistic that this will be a catalyst for a better future. 
In regards to the lockdowns and restricted life during the pandemic, I’ve worked on staying positive; focussing on what I can achieve in the present, trying not to pine over what I’m missing or get too stressed about the future. Using my extra spare time to contribute to society in little ways such as volunteering for a homelessness charity has been rewarding. Overall, I feel happy with the way I’ve spent my time during the pandemic, but I’m also very happy that the end of lockdown is in sight! 
What are you responsible for in your current role? 
Working freelance as a content writer and editor, each project I work on is different. The majority of the time, I’m responsible for writing long-form articles and blog posts for international businesses and online publications, mostly on topics around technology, business development and sustainability. As I often work on multiple projects at a time, every day is different for me, which keeps things interesting! One day I might be writing an article, another day I could be editing a whitepaper, or interviewing a start-up business. Due to my artistic background, I sometimes do a bit of design for marketing campaigns too.
What has been the greatest challenge in your career to date? 
I think the greatest challenge has been getting to a place where I’m doing work that really fulfils me. It’s taken many years, as well as having to take on some not-so-great jobs in order to support myself, but I never gave up on what I really wanted. Having kept striving and trying to grow professionally, I finally feel I’m in a good place, doing work I’m actually interested in and progressing in the right direction. 
What advice would you give younger people getting into the profession today? 
Take responsibility for your career, have patience and perseverance, and accept that it might take some time to get the job you want. Things don’t always happen the way you plan, but don’t let that discourage you or cause you to lose sight of your ultimate career goal. Most importantly, don’t measure your success by what people around you are doing, or by what society dictates you should’ve achieved by a certain age. I’ve been under scrutiny and had my career choices questioned countless times. It has been incredibly hard, but the reality is everyone has their own journey, and success means something different for everyone. 
What was the best career advice you were ever given and by who? 
“If you’re comfortable, you’re stagnating”, a friend who’s a life coach once said to me. It really sparked something in me, and is now a concept I frequently remind myself of. My career hasn’t seen the normal progression that’s expected or recognised by traditional society, and I’ve moved around a lot. I felt motivated hearing this advice/concept, and it encouraged me to keep embracing new environments, taking on projects that are sometimes out of my depth and doing things that scare me. Because I’ve constantly pushed myself, I think it’s helped me continue growing and achieving, both in my career and as a person in general. 
Can you recommend any books or podcasts? 
How To Be Human by Ruby Wax is a fantastic read. The narrative follows a conversation between Ruby Wax (she’s so much more than just a comedian!), neuroscientist Ash Ranpura, and Buddhist monk Gelong Thubten. Together they delve into the evolution and science of the brain, additionally exploring the idea of mindfulness. Ruby has written it brilliantly, it’s extremely relatable and highly entertaining and enlightening to read. I especially recommend it to anyone struggling at the moment with lockdown/pandemic blues. 
To celebrate International Women’s Day, who inspires you and why? 
Dame Jane Goodall is someone I find incredibly inspiring. In addition to the extensive work she’s done with chimpanzees and wildlife conservation, she holds and advocates such profound respect for the natural world, which I think is so important to foster in everyone. I admire her candour when speaking about the fact that it’s our disregard of animals and nature that’s causing the acceleration of the climate crisis, natural disasters and pandemics such as COVID-19. She’s a dedicated ethical and environmental activist and has been doing such purposeful work her entire life. Despite the destruction we’ve caused to the planet, Jane’s unfailing hope that we can change for the better is most powerful and inspiring. 

Original post was published by Bain & Gray.

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