Finding Your Feet & Fitting In At Work | #ThisGirlEats

We all have times when we feel a little uncomfortable in our own skin. It’s hard to always feel like yourself, especially when you’re environment you aren’t used to with people you don’t know. It happens to some of us more than others, but I think it’s pretty much a universally accepted fact that trying to fit in and find your feet in a new job is always a challenge.

After being yelled at down the phone by strangers every day, I finally decided call centre work just wasn’t for me (although who on earth is it “for”?!) and applied for a few other positions, including one at a big, scary London office that I was well under-qualified for. But I thought, hey, what the hell?!

After that I thought practically nothing of it; I can’t even COUNT the amount of times I’ve sent off job applications and never heard back. It’s like they’d get lost in some sort of internet void as soon as I’d hit the ‘Send’ button. When this application was even acknowledged it was a surprise, so you can imagine my shock when I actually interviewed and then went and got the damn thing!

I was excited, happy and proud of myself but, of course, also anxious and nervous. It sounds mad, but it wasn’t the fact that I had zero experience, loads to learn or even the thought that I might not be very good that worried me about starting a new job; it was the thought of having to try and feel like I belonged all over again.

Before work picture in black peplum top and tartan skirt

When you’ve worked somewhere for a long time, it almost becomes your home away from home, right? We often refer to our colleagues as our “work family” and, sadly, many of us spend more time at work than we do anywhere else! You find yourself settling in, you realise who you get on with (and who you don’t!) and you pick up on all the little quirks of the place.

For me, the social cues of every workplace are different, and it’s figuring those out that often make it hard to feel like I fit in. I’m incredibly socially awkward and I get hugely anxious when meeting new people, especially in an office where the social side of things usually comes with so many unspoken rules.

I’ve only ever worked in small teams and casual environments, so moving up to a fancy London office with these equally fancy people was so nerve-wracking for me. There I was, being introduced to these slender, sophisticated women and suited-and-booted men, shuffling around in my Converses and talking about festivals with my skull tattoo creeping out of my sleeve…

Pink, blue and yellow sugar skull tattoo

I looked different. I felt different.

No matter where you are, whether it’s a corporate head office or a small team out in the sticks, a new job can sometimes feel like a whole new world. It’s still early doors for me so, if I’m honest, I still don’t think I’ve found my place just yet.

All I can do is think back to one of my earlier jobs, when I’d walk around the block at least twice every single day before going inside because I was so nervous about fitting in – and then think about how much I loved them all by the time I left. It takes time, but hopefully one day I’ll look back on how I felt at this point and laugh at myself because, now, it finally feels like home.

Check out similar posts:

Fuck Shame: How This Blog Snubbed My Career-Shaming Habit (Yes, That’s a Thing)

25 Things That 25-Year-Old Me Would Tell My Younger Self


New Year’s Resolutions & What I Want to Achieve in 2019 | #ThisGirlEats

Plenty of people hate this “New Year” stuff, especially the sudden proclamations to change just because the last number on our calendars flips over. People roll their eyes at resolutions but, I’m sorry, I LOVE New Year’s – and everything that goes with it!

So what if people choose to plan their goals now? And who cares if they give up before January is even out?! I’m in no position to look down on people who want to make positive changes.

It helps me feel optimistic about what’s to come, and having defined goals in a clear timeframe motivates me. Maybe it’s not for everyone, and that’s fine, but it works for me. So here’s what I’d like to achieve in 2019!

HOME. Moving out last year was huge for me. I don’t regret it one teeny, tiny bit but, of course, it’s expensive and time-consuming. I love our flat but there are so many things I’d change! A definite goal for next year is to make some serious home improvements. I’m hoping to make our home a cleaner, tidier space with much more personality and a few extra homely touches. I want it to really feel like somewhere we can de-clutter, de-stress and soak up those happy vibes.


BLOG. Blogging is my only creative outlet and I really love it. This year, the intention was to grow the blog, turn it into something I could envision making an actual living from one day… but that hasn’t happened. It’s totally my fault! But I’d like 2019 to see more engagement, bigger numbers, real progress and a fresh coat of paint, so to speak.

WORK. This time last year I’d just started a new job and felt like I’d really made a positive career move. That’s still true, but I’ve been doing the same thing for a year now and, honestly, I’d just like to change things up a bit. I don’t mean finding a new job; I’d just like to change up my daily routine. New responsibilities, different tasks, maybe even a change in department – basically, I don’t want to be doing exactly the same thing this time next year.


BODY. I’ve not looked after myself this year. I’ve gained loads of weight and really felt the impact of not living a healthier lifestyle. I mean, I wasn’t happy with my body before, so I’m having a bloody nightmare now! I’m still fighting the uphill battle to love myself, but I think regular exercise and healthier eating, consistently, would be super positive for me. I’ve made no secret that I struggle with that, but it’s playing havoc with my mental health now, so things need to change.

MONEY. Money isn’t everything, that’s why it’s at the bottom of my list. There’s food on the table and a roof over my head, I’m grateful for that. But it’s also pretty hard living entirely out of my overdraft; I honestly can’t remember when my bank balance didn’t start with a minus. I’ve dipped into savings, nest eggs and rainy day funds, I’ve taken out loans, I’ve borrowed from family and friends… Honestly, it’s exhausting. Getting out of my overdraft would lift a bloody huge weight off my shoulders and make a massive difference.

Underestimating the Value of Being Productive, Proactive and Preoccupied | #ThisGirlEats

This time last year, I made absolutely no secret of the fact that I hated working in retail. I mean, who wouldn’t?!

retail gif

I hated the hours, working weekends and bank holidays. I hated the work around Christmas. I hated being on my feet all day. I hated the busy days. I hated the rude customers. I hated the random shift patterns, sometimes working until 9, 10, 11 o’clock at night.

In December last year, I found an office job that fixed pretty much all of those problems and, most importantly, took me away from retail hell. Nice, normal shifts, a comfy office chair, only having to talk to customers over the phone where you can eye roll to your heart’s content… I also had plenty of time on my desk computer to write, research, keep up with social media, etc.. Living the dream, right?


Well, now it’s nearly a year on and I’m starting to think that perhaps having such a chilled out job isn’t all that good for me. Don’t get me wrong, I like where I work for a whole bunch of reasons, and all the benefits that lured me to the job in the first place are still true. But at the same time, it’s left me at a bit of a loss.

My old job wasn’t exactly fulfilling but it kept me busy, there’s no doubt about that. I was always rushing here, there and everywhere, and I had responsibility on my shoulders; if I wasn’t there, certain jobs wouldn’t get done. I’d walk into work with a to-do list and, at the end of the day, I’d ticked it all off. I never quite realised the value of doing a productive days’ work, thinking on your feet and having a shed-load to do, and what it was worth to my mental health.

Now I’m in very much a re-active job role; I wait for people to come to me with their problems and I help solve them. There’s not a whole lot else to do in between.


Doing very little and getting paid for it is an absolute dream for some people. It is a pretty sweet deal and, as I said, I really do like where I work. But my mind is crying out for some stimulation. I need to be challenged. I need to feel useful. I need to use my initiative. I need to feel like I bring something to the table, like if I hadn’t been there things wouldn’t get done. Right now, I feel like a zombie.

I’m not saying I’d like to go back to retail – god no! But I really do miss feeling like I’ve done a productive days’ work, knowing I’ve been a proactive worker and being preoccupied for eight hours a day instead of wrapped up in my own head. I never appreciated it at the time, but I definitely miss it now.

Does Anyone Else Get “Sick Day Guilt”? | #ThisGirlEats

In lots of ways, I’m very lucky. I don’t have any ongoing conditions that keep me off work for extended periods of time, nor do I have to explain mental health days to people who don’t see past the stigma. On the whole, I’m pretty healthy (touch wood!) and very able to work.

But I do have a weak-ass immune system 🤒 I don’t know why – maybe I just need to eat more oranges or something! In the past year I’ve picked up colds, flus, sickness bugs and a viral infection and when I’m ill, of course, I call in sick. If I’m just a little under the weather I’ll go into work – it’s close to home and not a physically demanding role – but if I’m ill to the point where I know it’ll have an impact on my working day and make said day incredibly tough, I’ll call in sick and take the day to recover.

But I always feel bad. Even when I’m stuck indoors all day feeling really, truly awful, I still feel guilty about not going into work. It’s as though I’m just taking a day off, which isn’t the case – trust me, any girl will tell you being doubled over with period pains so bad that you can’t get out of bed is NO FREAKIN’ HOLIDAY!

baby box

It’s just an underlying sense of guilt which I think (or at least hope!) other people feel too. Of course I know it’s important to look after yourself and if you need to take a day to care for your own wellbeing, be it your physical or mental health, then you should definitely do it. People understand. Colleagues understand. Any good employer will understand.

I just get this horrible voice in my head asking “what if..?
“What if it gets busy and I’ve left my work friends in a sticky spot?”
“What if people think I’m faking it?”
“What if my boss is annoyed at me?” 
“What if I miss a day’s pay?”

I spend so much time worrying about things like this – and I’m sure I’m not the only one – that I forget about what’s really important: my health.

You can’t guarantee anything in life. You can’t guarantee your health will last forever. You never know when something might come along out of nowhere and destroy your happy, healthy life. We need to look after ourselves; yes, we want to work hard, do our bit, take responsibility, but we also need to make sure we’re in a good, fit, healthy place to do just that.


Thin Privilege is DEFINITELY a Thing | #ThisGirlEats

When this term first found its way to me online I thought to myself, “Thin privilege? Surely that’s not a thing? I’ll just have a quick read…” Turns out, it’s a thing. It’s very real, it’s very obvious and it’s very dangerous.

Maybe it’s not the BIGGEST ISSUE EVER – yes, the world has lots of problems right now and it’d be awesome to fix them all but life doesn’t work that way. This is the one I’ve chosen to talk about because I get it. And yes, plenty of overweight people are so because of their own choices. And no, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a slim figure. So now we’ve cleared all that up, let’s acknowledge that how we perceive people often depends on nothing more than their clothes size and, to me, that is not okay.


Being “privileged” because you’re “thin” doesn’t mean you’ve had it easy. It’s not an all-encompassing phrase. What it means is gaining certain benefits from being thinner, and being relieved of societal pressures that affect overweight people.

For example, those of a smaller figure are more likely to get jobs they interview for; more likely to be the object of affection from potential partners; more likely to be popular among their peers. Fat people, on the other hand, are perceived as too lazy to advance in the workplace; portrayed openly in film and TV as unattractive; often picked on at school. If you think none of this damages someone’s emotional well-being and self-worth, you must be dreaming!

The inclusion of plus-sized and promotion of body positivity has definitely improved, but common beauty standards still essentially say that thinner is better. And because of that, we end up being literally worth our weight. Who says someone bigger isn’t the perfect person for that job? Or great company on a date? Or the best friend you could ever have? It’s all in our heads.

Thinner DOESN’T mean better. It doesn’t mean anything! Size shouldn’t matter this much. What makes up a person is so, so much more than that. I can’t believe we’re still in a position where weight really is so important when there’s honestly so much more to every single one of us.



Read more… (the internet is literally full of this stuff, these are just a few)

Only 15% of hiring managers would consider hiring an overweight woman

Portrayals of Overweight and Obese Individuals on Commercial Television

How Obesity and Bullying Are Connected


How Watching ‘Friends’ Gave Me a Totally Unrealistic Idea of Adulthood – But Still Made Me Feel Like I’m Doing Okay | #ThisGirlEats

Friends is my all time favourite TV show. Have I ever mentioned that?
(Check out ‘Why Being A ‘Monica’ Isn’t That Bad (And, Yes, I Know She’s the Most Annoying One‘ and ‘Kickass Female TV Characters Who I Totally Relate AND Look Up To!‘)

Watching these six funny, beautiful New Yorkers living in their cool city apartments with their exciting careers and bustling social lives gave me hours of entertainment as a teen. You know what else it gave me? An incredibly unrealistic expectation of how my own life would turn out.

fine gif

Thanks to the optimistic glow of ’90s American television, I assumed my life would be just like that of the Central Perk bunch.

I thought, for starters, I’d live in the city. That was a given. London really was calling me, and I imagined my own funky purple flat in the heart of the capital. I thought I’d inherit a fashion sense – maybe kooky, like Phoebe, or sophisticated, like Rachel – and totally own my self-confidence, at last. Sure, I’d probably work a brief dead-end job – for like, what, six months? – before finding my destined career path. I saw myself surrounded by peers – pizza after work, cute coffee dates, weekend brunches at the kitchen table. My social life would flourish, as would every aspect of adulthood.

But things don’t always work out that way, do they? I don’t live in the city, I live in the closest commuter town I can afford, which is pretty grim and still at least an hour outside of  London. I wear the same clothes I wore as a teenager, just with a little less “scene kid” and a couple more office blouses. I have worked retail and customer service jobs since leaving uni, fresh-faced and full of sitcom-enhanced dreams, just waiting for my perfect job to come along. It’s been three years now. I’m still waiting.

My life is NOTHING like Friends. And I gotta be honest, that kinda annoyed me for a while.

rachel gif.gif

But having recently re-watched the series (yet again), I realised that although Friends blew my expectations sky-high, it also has so many moments of comfort for when you feel like you’re not quite where you hoped to be.

Like when Rachel, Phoebe and Joey don’t earn much money and find themselves ordering side salads and teeny tiny pizzas just so they can afford to go out with the rest of the gang.

What about when Chandler quits his office job and plummets for an unpaid internship in his thirties, with absolutely no idea how his career is going to pan out, simply relying on ingenious slogans like, “Cheese: it’s milk that you chew” and “Bagels and doughnuts: round food for every mood“.

chandler gif

Or when Rachel freaks out about turning 30 because she thought she’d have the whole married-with-kids thing sorted by now but instead she’s dating her immature office assistant and Prada haven’t started making maternity clothes yet.

While they look like shiny, happy people on the surface, the group really don’t have it all figured out. Sure, by season ten Joey is a huge soap opera star, Monica is head chef at the flashiest restaurant in town and Phoebe finally marries Mike and gets the “normal” life she’s always dreamt of. But most of the series is spent trying to piece together the mistakes and mishaps of their lives – they’re just lucky they’ve got a great bunch of people to do it with.

friends hug.gif

Stop Stressing About Your Job, You’ve Got So Much to Thank It For! | #ThisGirlEats

We’ve all had jobs we hate. God knows I grew so sick and tired of my last job that I took a temp position with LESS pay just to escape it!

You might be stuck in the job you hate right now, spending your working day desperate to get out or being filled with dread every Sunday night at the thought of starting all over again on Monday, and that’s a rubbish place to be.

When you don’t like where you work or what you do, it sucks. It’s the worst. We spend more time at work than anywhere else so if you don’t enjoy it, it can kind of consume you. You spend so much time wrapped up in all the bad things – crappy pay, bad managers, horrible co-workers, nasty customers, long-ass commute, boring tasks, awkward shift patterns… There’s a lot that can make you feel down about  work. So much so, we often forget about all the great things about work!

I’m not talking about perks of the job as such, but we all go to work for a reason, right? I was really down in the dumps at my last job, but in reality I had an awful lot to thank it for.

While I was working there, I moved out and rented my first flat 🏠 I took driving lessons, passed my test and bought my first car 🚗 I took holidays to Disneyland Paris, Edinburgh, Tenerife and Ibiza 🌴 I set up this blog, paid for the domain and bought all the foodie bits that have gone along with it 🍕 So many things have happened in my life that would never have even come about if that job hadn’t enabled them to.

Alright, so I’m skint right now, but I’m much happier doing what I do on a daily basis and, hey, my current job is helping me out with plenty too. It’s keeping that same rented roof over my head, it’s putting petrol in my car and feeding my recipe ideas, it’s buying festival tickets and saving up spending money for summer days out. It’s keeping me afloat, really.

It’s natural to complain about work, we’d all rather be somewhere else 99% of the time. But to keep it from dragging you down, think every now and again about what your job actually does for you, rather than just the negative. Ask yourself what would happen if you DIDN’T have your job. What would you do if you lost your job? I’m sure you’d appreciate what it does for you a hell of a lot more then.

be happy text

How Changing Jobs Finally Allowed Me to Enjoy My Christmas | #ThisGirlEats

Shout out to all the frazzled retail workers: I feel ya. This time of year is awful for you guys – until very recently, I was one of you guys! After my time as an Xmas sales assistant, three distinct experiences spring to mind…

1. The queues. Oh dear God, the queues…

2. The questions. Just so. Many. Questions.

3. The very rude, inexplicably angry customers. “Why don’t you have this in stock?” “I’m actually in a rush, I don’t have time for any of your offers.” “5p for a bag?! Outrageous!” “Why can’t I return this without a receipt? I know my rights, you know!

It’s shit. You get zero time to yourself. You’re expected to work crazy hours that give the bigwig CEOs – who sit in their comfy offices and work nice, normal hours – cartoonish dollar signs in their eyes. You’re there at the crack of dawn for the early shoppers. You’re there until late at night for the after-work buyers. You’re there on Christmas Eve for the last minute-ers. You’re there on Boxing Day for the sales fanatics. You’re literally always at work.

There’s no build-up for you. No lovely festive shopping trips, no pre-Christmas get-togethers, no cosying up on the sofa for a day of mulled wine and Christmas films. Grabbing a spare few hours between shifts to purchase, wrap and deliver presents is a military mission. You get one day, ONE DAY, to celebrate – Christmas Day. My ‘one day’ had to be split between mine and my boyfriend’s family, so I ended up with half a day to see my ‘rents, my grandparents, my extended family (who I bloody love)… everyone!

It makes getting into the festive spirit really, really hard.


This year I left retail at the very last moment – I was Indiana Jones, rolling under the store shutter and snatching up my trusty hat just in the nick of time. I switched to my first office-based role in December and, thanks to the time of year, I’ve instantly felt the benefits.

The Christmas party, for one. When you’re a retail worker in a shopping centre or central city location, it’s impossible to arrange the perfect time for a Christmas bash – someone, somewhere, is always working and, inevitably, we’re told the party will just have to wait until the New Year… Again. But the office Christmas party – much like the recent Jennifer Anniston flick – went all-out and, for the first time, work felt Christmassy to me.

The computers are decorated with tinsel. Treats sit waiting for you on the desk – a secret santa gift, a thank you from your manager. Everyone wants to go for pre-Christmas drinks after work because, why not, it’s only 5pm. Not to mention actually knowing in advance which festive days you can spend with your loved ones – including Boxing Day and the glorious feeling of not facing the crazy ‘o’ clock shoppers first thing in the morning!

I don’t at all envy those who are stuck in yet another year of Christmas retail. I sympathise – no, I empathise – with you. Who knows, I may well end up back there again one day, the office might not be the place for me after all. Only time will tell. But for now, I know for sure that I’m so, so glad I left my retail job when I did because I finally feel like I can enjoy Christmas, just like everyone else.


Fuck Shame: How This Blog Snubbed My Career-Shaming Habit (Yes, That’s a Thing) | #ThisGirlEats

Like a decent cuppa, #ThisGirlEats has been brewing for a long time. As it became less an idea and more a reality, my passion exploded and it was suddenly super important to me. It was like a new lease of life (is a mid-20s crisis a thing? It really should be) and I wanted to make it work.

penny gif drink

If you’re sitting at home, perhaps feeling defeated, perhaps finding comfort in a bag of Kettle chips and a bottle of wine (no judgement here), wondering how a foodie blog that probably only my family and some very nice friends will ever read lifted me out of a similar funk, let me tell you…

I don’t like my job – I know; newsflash, I’m not the only one, bla bla bla. I mean, it’s not toooooo bad (‘cept rude customers, late nights and the absolute nightmare of Christmas retail, obviously), it’s just not my passion. And when you slog away day in, day out, at something you don’t feel any passion towards, it can get kinda depressing.

I’m SO guilty of letting my day job knock me back – I can’t count how many times I’ve come home feeling utterly rubbish. Still working at what I imagined to be a temporary stop-gap (HA HA HA) and not exactly making waves with my degree – or the £30,000 of debt I spent getting it! – led to endless hours punishing myself. I’d often turn a completely fine day into a living hell because I’d make myself feel so down about it.

full length selfie - editBut then I came up with this blog. Something to focus on, to aim for, to work on. Something exciting, motivating. It was a new adventure, the start of something. Once I realised that, everything else, including changing my negative mindset, just seemed to fall into place.

What was I criticising myself for? For being fortunate enough to have a job? For earning money, which allows me to have my own creative space, a decent laptop, and food to cook and experiment with? Is that really so awful? Isn’t that actually something to be proud of? Everyone who is successful, who I admire, has been in my shoes at some point. I’m a work in progress.

I thought having an “ordinary” retail job instead of being an award-winning journalist, music mogul or internet sensation of the blog-o-sphere made me unambitious, uncreative, underachieving. But did I look at my colleagues, doing the exact same job as me, that way? No. I saw them as funny, independent, interesting, creative, etc.. So why did I find it so hard to look at myself the same way?

We need to stop thinking that if we aren’t creating, organising, housekeeping, social media-ing, exercising, seeing friends and finding time to chill, all in one day, that it’s not a successful day. Productivity doesn’t have a time limit. The clock doesn’t refresh and start all over again after 24 hours. There’s no shame in working hard for bloody ages to get what you want. Fuck shame – take shame, disappointment and frustration into your own hands and mould it into inspiration, motivation, work ethic, passion, hunger.

Starting this blog gave me a bigger picture. It made me see my day job as a stepping stone rather than an obstacle. We are all a work in progress, and that’s okay.