Tag Archives: Work

Back in Business

3 Jan

Readers, fellow bloggers, people of the net – we are 3 days in to 2014 and I’m still without a calendar, own no diary and ate a whole pack of cookies before my chicken and chips tonight.

My hopes and aspirations for this year are supposed to be to grow up. I’m going to learn to cook a few healthy meals, dabble with a bit of box room interior design and I may even begin that novel I’ve been scribbling in notes since last Summer!

To be able to achieve all of the above I am in need of three very important factors:

1) Inspiration: – Excuse the boring old cliché but it’s true. On those days when willpower just isn’t enough to kick you into gear you need something (or someone) to remind you why you’re doing what you’re doing. SO..What exactly is my inspiration? Or who..?

This is my 2014 mood board – in all of it’s hope and glory! From Vegas to a new bedroom to my boo Bey…this year is the year I get my shit together.


2) Plans: – Keeping busy is the key to a happy life. Some people keep on the ‘No New Friends’ path but I’m not about that hermit life anymore. This year will be my busiest yet…

kim @ yeezus

3) #WERK: – Without working my arse off I won’t be able to do all the things I dream of doing to get my big-girl life set up! Hustle on!


What are your new years resolutions?! xoxo

Young’un of the Week – Lucie Bevan: Teen Travel Photographer

23 Apr

It takes a lot of energy, self-belief and passion to start your own business aged 18, but that is exactly what my Young’un of the Week has achieved this year. Lucie Bevan from London Colney, Herts went to New York in Sixth Form and came back with big dreams and high hopes:

“It was my friends mum who actually got me into photography. At the time, she was studying in a night time college course and seeing her go from not having a clue about the camera to running her own business now, it has given me faith that someday I could do this too.

I started photography in 6th form, which is when I went to New York. I met some amazing people during this time who allowed me to improve my images without being too harsh.

Since receiving an offer for a small job abroad taking images of people’s villas for their website in Spain, I knew I wanted to travel with this job, too.”

Despite being so young, Lucie hasn’t allowed herself to become overwhelmed by the scale of her ambitions: Now she has her heart set on travel photography she is ready to work for it. She says:

“I would absolutely love to work for a travel company. Travelling the world, doing what I do best. I am a keen photographer who loves learning from other peoples work. I guess what’s stopping me is the fact that you need experience to gain experience; it’s really just a catch 22.”

Lucie adds:

“I do not believe in myself all the time. I find it difficult to think that I could actually do what I want to do. But since setting up a Facebook page for my photography and receiving compliments on my images from my family and friends really boosts me up on a bad day.

I try to keep myself busy with little jobs for friends and family, updating my portfolio each time I can. If I have spare time on an afternoon, I will go on an adventure of sorts to seek out great photo opportunities.

You have to have the experience to gain the experience. That’s the most difficult challenge. I have found it difficult applying for jobs that I could really see myself in because of the fact I have no experience. Also, to gain the experience, it is usually assumed to work for free at the beginning in the hopes of a permanent job, but I, like many other young people, cannot afford to do so.”

Facing the same economic struggles as the rest of us, Lucie remains defiant on her work ethic: Not only does she continue to work as a Customer Assistant outside of her photography, her mind set is ahead of her years as she sticks to the business budget. Lucie explains:

“At the present moment, I have a part time job which allows me to pay off the money for the equipment I need. I have always believed in the fact it’s not how much money you spend on the equipment that makes your images amazing but it’s the photographer’s eye.”

So as her website has launched and her strenuous promotion continues, what’s next for the teen travel photographer?

“Basically, I have really high ambitions. Although I am not really sure where exactly I want to be in life, I know that I want to travel the world taking pictures. I have always loved travelling, and since being to New York, I realised that my dreams are possible – no matter how cheesy that may sound. I am considering working for a travel agency taking images of landscape and holiday places for them to advertise. I think this will be a great career path and could take me to some amazing places around the world.”

Photography is a very popular hobby and career choice amongst young people and, as you can hear from Lucie’s accounts, the competition is rife! What advice can she give for other budding artists out there?!

“If you take a series of images for each genre of photography, you will be able to see for yourself which one you prefer. Email different photographers asking them to view your work and give feedback. Constructive criticism is better than them keeping quiet if they don’t like it. So I would say, get your name out there. Make a Flickr page or something similar so people can view your work and leave comments.

Keep at it. It’s simple. The more you persist, the more you will achieve. It’s not about the fancy equipment or the people you know, it’s about your belief in yourself. Everyone has different opinions of a photograph; some say it can be amazing, while others may find it a bit dull, but if you believe in yourself, you can achieve anything.”


Visit Lucie:

Flickr: Lucie Bevan

Preview & Bookings for Lucie’s Work:

Lucie Bevan Photography – Official




If you are thinking about joining the same career path and hope to be the next world-famous picture-taker, here are some handy links to get you started:

Photography for Beginners

Photography Community

London Photography Courses

Photography Tutorials

Photo Contests

And as always if you have an inspiring story to share or want your ambition to be recognised then get in contact! OWT features someone every single week to silence the negative media coverage of us young’uns! We are NOT lazy and we are NOT dumb…HELP ME PROVE THEM WRONG!!

Tweet Me: @sheldan2207


Comment below!


Young’uns of the Week – Sister Act: Abbie & Ellis Sontag

8 Apr

As you are probably getting to know by now, here on Obsessed With Them I am featuring inspiring young people every single week. Last week Kane Surry gave us a little insight to the working life of an aspiring actor and the week before Katie Valentine shared her struggles of juggling children, studies, volunteer work and big ambitions! Nothing brings us kids down, though, and this week we have twin-spiration from Abbie and Ellis Sontag. They’re not actually twins but it sounded good…here’s their stories:

Name: Abbie Sontag                                                              Name: Ellis Sontag
Age: 23                                                                                      Age: 20
Location: Harlow, Essex                                                       Location: Harlow, too!
Current Job: Travel Agent                                                   Current Job: Waitress

Dream Job: I’m working my dream job: Travel agent!  Dream Job: Hairdresser

abbi and ellis


Growing up I was raised by my extremely hard working single mum. She always worked and taught us from a young age things don’t just get handed to you, you need to work really hard for them. At 16 when I left school I didn’t want to continue in education and wanted to get out there and gain experience & earn some money. I had loved the idea of a job in the travel industry and set about applying. I was lucky enough to get a job in Thomson and even though it was a low salary I thought it was the experience I needed. It confirmed what I thought anyway – that I wanted a long and successful career within Travel. I was made redundant a year after being there and in the years to follow I had to travel to Hertford, Barnet & Basildon (from Harlow) just to remain in the industry. Jobs are few and far between and I was just grateful to have one. It was tough though, my salary was still low and travel costs were making money tight. It was January 2011 when a friend told me about a job vacancy in Old Street, London. I was nervous as I’d never considered working in the city before but my family told me just to go for it. I got offered the job and loved being a city girl from the start. I am so lucky my job has allowed me to travel so much: I had never even been on a plane until I was 14 but since then I have been to Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, the Caribbean, Dubai & lots of America. I love every second. In the last year it has been my main focus to save hard & save enough for a deposit on a house. I have finally done it!! It feels amazing to have saved every penny myself especially because my family aren’t in a position to help me as much as they’d love too. When I was younger I thought this kind of travelling and to own my own house were practically impossible for someone like me. But I always was very ambitious and wanted to work hard to make things happen. I’m so glad it’s finally all paying off 🙂


 After leaving school I wasn’t interested in furthering my education and drifted from job to job. Then at 16, I discovered I was pregnant and 3 months into my pregnancy I lost my job! I then struggled through whilst being pregnant and knew this wasn’t how I wanted to live once I had my daughter. So as soon as she was born I started applying for jobs then the opportunity came up for me to work in a coffee shop; I jumped at the opportunity as it was flexible hours around my daughter and a regular wage. At first I was just happy to be back at work and providing for my daughter but I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do long term. I had always been interested in hair so that’s when I decided to go to college and study hairdressing. It was a hard decision as it meant me working 3 days and doing college 3 days as well as a lot of homework in the evenings while looking after my daughter but it’s all been worth it as I’ve recently qualified as a hairdresser! I now want to take it even further by going back and studying my level 3 next year! After being a pregnant 16 year old I never thought I’d accomplish what I have! I passed my driving test, bought a car, I have a job and am now a qualified hairdresser. I am also now able to save money for mine and (my daughter) Ruby’s future and hope things will continue to get even better

Useful links:

Thomson & First Choice (TUI UK) Recruitment Opportunities

Volunteer Travel Holidays

Becoming a Hairdresser

Hairdressing Apprenticeships

Hairdressers Journal

You don’t have to be an aspiring rock star with superstar experience under your belt to feature as my Young’un of the Week! If you are working your arse off to get where you want to be in life then get in touch! We’re all in this together and the we rarely get media coverage when we do something right! Tweet me @sheldan2207 or comment below!

Young’un of the Week – Katie Valentine

25 Mar

Every Monday from now on will be a celebration of a so-called ‘dying breed’. The media have young people pinned to the lazy, unambitious and even dangerous stereotype, and quite frankly I do NOT agree. I know far too many inspiring young people that never get any recognition for the extremely long hours of hard work they put in every single day just to better themselves and get ahead in this impossible country. None of the people featured in this weekly post have been born with a Silver Spoon up their bums, nor have they been handed anything on a Golden Platter. These young’uns don’t want fame, not even fortunes. They know what they want and how they are going to get it.

Without further ado, meet Katie Valentine. Katie is 22 years old and lives in Manchester with her son, James, 3, and her dream goal is to be a Probation Officer: “My goal is to be a probation officer as I am passionate about the community and reducing crime. I think having a son myself (makes me) worry about the world he is growing up in!”

This hasn’t always been Katie’s plan, though. She says, “My passion for this didn’t come about until a few years ago when I had just turned 19, had my son and moved away from my home town due to my relationship breaking down. I decided that now I had a baby it wasn’t an excuse to sit around at home and do nothing, it was more of a reason to MAKE SURE that mine and my son’s future was going to be the best (it can be).”

Katie continues, “I decided to go back to college and then to do a degree at university, as I never actually went to Uni at the age your ‘supposed’ to. I hardly attended school in my most important year – Year 11. I just about passed my GCSEs. I would definitely try harder if I could turn back time. I (didn’t let this) impact my life too much; there are lots of good educational opportunities for adults – you just have to look hard enough to find them!”

With the UK in dire straits at the moment, young people are lacking important funding and opportunities from potential employers, yet Katie has defied these odds to get ahead. She explains, “I’m currently at college studying an Access to Higher Education diploma in Criminology, Psychology and English along with GCSE Maths. If I pass this diploma it will enable me to start university in September this year or next.”

“At first I wanted to do community and youth work. I looked into voluntary work I could do to support my university application and landed myself a role within the youth offending team. I absolutely loved it and decided it would be brilliant to work with adults too. After months of harassing the local adult probation team about any opportunities they finally got back to me with an interview. I smashed the interview, completed the training and am now a fully-fledged alcohol and substance misuse mentor!”

Through her own grit and determination Katie has not only gained work experience that just aids her next step, it has also given her the self-confidence to go further: “The love I have for my voluntary work made me more determined to do an even more challenging degree so I have set my sights on Criminology and Law LLB. I’ve been accepted into four out of five universities and I am just waiting to hear back on the fifth. After this degree I hope to be able to work within the criminal justice system as a probation officer.”

Are things as hunky dory as they appear? For those of you reading wondering how anyone has the time or money to pursue such commitments, pay attention! Katie shares her tips for battling through; “The main challenge for this is time management; I have to plan my days down to the last minute! Even with the help of my partner it is still hard juggling voluntary work, college, assignments, running a home and being a mummy. Somehow I do it! My assignments are always handed in on time, my house is clean and tidy and James has everything he needs – including quality time with me. I make sure I am organised – my Filofax is my best friend!”

“At the moment I get child tax credit and child benefit, my mum helps me when she can if I need some extra money although I hate asking and I hardly ever do. My partner is also amazing and supports me in every way; he works and is actually going to university too this September! When I start Uni I will have my student loan to keep me going and after that I really hope to have work. The charities I volunteer for pay my expenses like travel costs, petrol etc. It’s hard but I would rather do it the hard way than just claim job seekers allowance!”

She adds, “I do get very tired, sometimes I just have to give in and have an early night. I wanted to book in to get my nails done the other day and realised I actually have no time to do this! I think I spend more time helping other people than doing things for myself but then I thought to myself, ‘Do material things like getting my nails done really matter?’ I would definitely rather be spending time with my clients, helping them achieve their road to recovery; I cant explain how much satisfaction I get out of my work.”

Other than adopting a steely work ethic, having the self-belief that you WILL achieve and being organised, what other advice would Katie give to other young people looking to get into the Criminal Justice industry?

“Do your research very well; if you know what career you want in the future then contact people that are already working in these roles, ask them how they achieved their goals and then if there is a way you could do the same then look into that. There are plenty of courses at local colleges and universities that are specifically for adults too. You can usually get bursaries to help with financial costs (for books, equipment, etc.) and my college even pays for my childcare – as long as I keep my attendance above 90%. It’s definitely worth looking into, where there is a will there is a way! I believe everyone has it in them to achieve their dreams.”

Finally, Katie adds, “Although I am still quite far away from my dream, I am closer than I have ever been and I am so excited about my future – I just want to make my son proud. I never, ever want him to go without anything and I want him to follow in my footsteps and work hard for the nice things in life.”

Katie Valentine PHOTO


Helpful Links

What would working in Criminology involve?

Volunteer Work in Your Area

Where Can I Work After Graduating in Criminology?

What Courses Are Available To Me?

To get in touch or if you want to feature as ‘Young’un of the Week’ then comment below or Tweet me @sheldan2207


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