I recently had the opportunity to chat with Laura, a Digital Marketing Account Manager and Blogger at Lazy Girl Manifesto. Laura happily shared her journey around moving from Canada to Wales to pursue her Master’s degree, starting out a content writing job before taking on the entirety of a digital marketing role and then her blog. I love how honest Laura was about the transition from student to professional life and the importance of embracing a resilient attitude through it all.

In her own words ‘You’re going to get so many doors slammed in your face while looking for a job and that’s super normal and not a reflection of you. Ask for feedback from interviewers and find out how you can improve going forward and most importantly, Don’t Give Up’

Grab your cup of tea and enjoy Laura’s story from Canada to the UK and how she manages her day job and creative side as a blogger and do check out her blog and feel free to follow her on Instagram.

Tell us a bit about your background

I can’t say that I always wanted to work in marketing. For a long time, I thought that when I finished my undergraduate degree I wanted to go to law school. Part of the way through my undergraduate degree I realised that law school probably wouldn’t be the right fit for me. I decided to pursue a Master’s degree in political communication in Cardiff, Wales. I’ve always loved travelling and moving from Canada to Wales seemed like a great opportunity to keep exploring the world all while continuing my academic development.

Hurdles faced as an expatriate abroad

Upon graduation, I actually had a really difficult time getting hired in my field. I think there were two main reasons for this: my immigration status (I was a Canadian riding out the remaining 6 months of a student visa) and I had very little real-world experience. I worked for AllSaints in House of Fraser for three months after graduation to ensure I still had steady income coming in while I continued looking for a job.

Eventually, I was lucky enough to secure a content writing job at an online pharmacy based in Wales. I knew that I wanted to progress more into the digital marketing side of things (content writing is a huge part of digital marketing, but that’s not where I wanted to focus all of my energy), so when the main marketing person left the company, I asked if I could take on his role in addition to my content writing duties. Ever since that moment, I’ve continuously worked in digital marketing roles! Two years later, I’m now working as a digital marketing account manager in a Norwich-based agency.

In the early days of my career, being an expat definitely impacted my ability to find a job. That being said, as soon as I secured my immigration status, things drastically improved. I know that in some industries and cities, employers are much likely to offer sponsorship. However, with my limited level of experience and because of the nature of the roles I was applying for, that wasn’t an option for me.

Tips for transitioning from school to work phase

Through my journey from student to professional, I’ve learned that the one main quality you need to have is resilience. You’re going to get so many doors slammed in your face while looking for a job and that’s super normal and not a reflection of you. It’s really hard not to let it get to you, but it’s important to remember that it’s probably for the best. For every ‘no’ you get, there’s a lesson to be learned. Ask for feedback from interviewers and find out how you can improve going forward. Seek help from professionals, have someone else review your CV, maybe see an interview coach and, most importantly, don’t give up!

I’ve also learned that it’s important to have a good work-life balance. While working in digital marketing, I decided I needed a creative hobby that also gave me an outlet for my love of fashion, beauty, interiors and (most importantly) food. That’s where my blog began. Starting my blog, Lazy Girl Manifesto, has also provided me with an amazing platform for trialling any new digital marketing tools and tips I hear about. It gives me a platform for experimentation where I’m not taking big risks with client website’s and accounts, which is super important.

The early days of your career will be the hardest. It’s important to persevere and not let your job define your self-worth. It’s easier said than done, but keep your head held high and keep on keeping on!

PS: Look out for the next guest post and if you love Paris, you’ll definitely love this one. Lastly, if you’ll like some tips to help you ace your next job interview, I’ve shared some helpful examples here and here on answering common interview questions.

Love and light

Chisom xx