I am no longer a reporter

After spending three years as a reporter, I’ve decided to jump ship.

I left sixth form in June 2013, and after spending a couple of months working behind a bar, I managed to get myself a job at a local newspaper, The Pembrokeshire Herald. I was already acquainted with the boss through a friend, and I had recorded a song for The Pembrokeshire’s Best Magazine for him a few months before. You can view the video below!

And yes, that really is me in the video, and that really is me singing! I wish I was still that skinny.

I started off in the sales team aged 17, and to be honest, I was absolutely terrible at selling adverts.

I have a feeling that if I went back to sales now I wouldn’t be so bad because I’m a bit more confident, and I can speak to people properly rather than not knowing what to say and panicking when the person the other end actually answered my call.

I'm on the far right, if you were wondering!

I’m on the far right, if you were wondering!

Three months went by at The Herald, before my boss gave in and let me try reporting. I started off going to my local magistrates’ court, and I loved it. Court reporting always interested me, and I loved feeling as though I had a duty and a responsibility to get all of the stories into the paper.

Working at The Herald was fast paced and fun, and I enjoyed it immensely. I worked with a fantastic bunch of people, one of which was Al, who I quickly fell in love with. I don’t know if I’ll ever work in a place that’s as crazy as that office. From the people, to making funny promotional videos – that office was just nuts!

The second promotional video shooting, after The Official Pembrokeshire's Best song

The second promotional video shooting, after The Official Pembrokeshire’s Best song

After about a year or so of working there, I fell pregnant. I remember worrying that things wouldn’t be the same when I returned in nine months’ time, and that people would have moved on and progressed within the company without me. I remember feeling like crying on my last day, in case the people I was working with had left by the time I returned, and there would be a whole new load of colleagues I would have to try to get on with.

I was scared that I’d be treated like a newbie and not the veteran that I felt that I was, and I didn’t want to be forgotten about.

So, I went on my maternity leave, and hoped that my fears were just silly things that I was worrying about irrationally.

My last day in the office

My last day in the office

I had a fantastic nine months of maternity leave. It was difficult, but I enjoyed it. Within that time, I managed to get closer to my friend Sophie, who gave birth to little Arthur three months after I gave birth. Thanks to us both being mums around the same time, we could relate to each other easily and found comfort by talking about each other’s struggles regarding parenthood.

Although there were other people who understood as well, I did find that I enjoyed Sophie’s company immensely, and it helped me realise that nobody finds parenting easy.

So, after a gorgeous long nine months, it was time for me to return to work. I sometimes wonder if my own concerns and worries influenced my way of thinking within the workplace, because I didn’t feel the same when I came back.

I definitely had developed confidence issues regarding my image since getting pregnant, and I didn’t feel like the pretty, intelligent confident girl that I used to be. Instead I felt like a stuck out like a sore thumb and didn’t fit in very well any more. Almost like I’d lost my mojo.

Sitting at my desk - after returning from maternity leave

Sitting at my desk – after returning from maternity leave

I did court reporting now and again, but it wasn’t something I did all that often any more after my return. This was a little saddening, because it was important for me to go back to what I had been doing before, because my life had changed so much that I wanted to keep at least a small aspect of it the same.

But, two sister papers had launched alongside The Pembrokeshire Herald whilst I had been away, and there were new systems for me to get used to and different things that needed writing. However, I did make it back in time for yet another promotional video!

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Almost a year went by, and I ended up moving from the papers onto the radio station, Herald Radio. I was extremely excited to be working on the brand new radio station, and I really wanted to make it work.

Listening back, my first few months of news reading weren’t all that great, but I eventually settled down and my news reading became something I felt that I was good at. But, I still never felt quite settled.

Recording the news for Herald Radio

Recording the news for Herald Radio

I started looking for other jobs, and nobody seemed to want me. I felt like I needed a complete change, but whatever job I applied to, the employers always decided to “pursue other applicants.”

This was disheartening, because I really wanted to have a fresh start somewhere, but I wasn’t being given the opportunity. Until I received an interview for an “assessment centre” at my local job centre, for job vacancy I’d applied to to be a retail assistant at The Food Warehouse by Iceland – a new store opening up in my home town.

I attended the interview feeling extremely nervous – I really wanted to make a good impression, but I didn’t want to be some quiet, reserved version of myself. I wanted to be the fun, bubbly and loud person I usually am. So, I tried to put my nerves to one side, and I went for it.

My interview went really well. I felt as though my potential employers had seen the best side of me, and I had a good feeling as I walked out of the job centre after having a lengthy discussion with my potential manager.

A few days went by, and I had a phone call to tell me that I had secured a position within the company. I was absolutely delighted! I had been waiting for something to come along for so long, that I was ecstatic to have finally somewhere that I can start again. Have a new beginning.

I’m still writing my weekly column, but my reporting days are pretty much over for now. Maybe one day, I will return to reporting again – be it weeks, months or years. But it’s important for me right now to have a change of scenery.

Hard at work, conducting an interview!

Hard at work, conducting an interview!

I’m so excited to start at Iceland. The new shop is opening on Tuesday, November 22 and my training starts today. Wish me luck guys!

RachelSwirl

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