A New Adventure

The summer is over and – at long last – so are my travels. My work with Lucozade is at an end and this time last week, I finished up my stint with Oxfam as well.

As the title suggests, it is indeed, time for a new adventure.

Today I’m doing just that by joining 1000heads as Engagement Strategy Director.

I’ve been aware of and worked alongside many different people from 1000heads (aka ‘the word of mouth people’) over the past four years, and they’ve always impressed me with their ideas, professionalism and more than anything else, their ethics. We’ve often shared stories about our respective projects & conversation ideals and very recently I had the opportunity to talk to them much more openly about my long term plans and ambitions.

It was the synergy that came from these meetings that made me realise that working with 1000heads was clearly the next logical step in my career. When it transpired that they felt the same way, everything just fell into place…

Even if you don’t know of 1000heads, you might not be surprised to hear that they are word of mouth (WOM) specialists. The company works with a range of clients from various industries to understand and engage with their consumers, from Nokia and 3Mobile to Canon, STA Travel, Sky and the BBC.

I am absolutely over the moon about joining the ‘heads and can’t wait to sink my teeth into the work ahead. I’ve already been into the office to meet some of the team and I’m going to spend this coming week getting up to speed with the accounts, campaigns and overall strategies I’ll be working on in the coming months.

After an eventful summer (where I really feel like I’ve been getting my hands dirty again), this move makes complete sense to me and well, I look forward to telling you all about the new adventures, as they happen.

Said in the only way I know how:

Bring it on.


Life is good…

Yesterday I had one of the best conversations, EVER.
It was only when I had this conversation did I realise how good life actually is at the moment.
An old friend called me up and it went a little something like this…

“Hi James, s’been ages! How are you?”

“Me? I’m good man. Yeah, it’s been SO long! We should definitely catch up sometime soon.”

“Great idea, you free tonight?”

“No mate. Not tonight, going to see R.E.M. at The Royal Albert Hall.”

“Oh. Nice!”

“Yeah. I thought so. Random ticket appeared in my hands from up high. Can’t say no. Got a box and everything!”

“Cool! Ok, how about we do lunch one day this week? When are you in London next?”

“I think I’m in town tomorrow…”

“Ok, we’ll do lunch tomorrow. Sushi or something?”

“Oh. No. Can’t mate, sorry. Bugger. Got an interview at the BBC.”

“WHAT?!”

“Yeah! I know! Cool huh?! Rory-Cellan Jones, Technology Correspondent. Should be good!”

“Right then, the weekend? We could have a lazy pub afternoon on Sunday. A few beers, roast dinner.. proper Sunday y’know? How’s that sound?”

“No can do mate. I’m flying to Las Vegas on Sunday…”

“WTF?!”

“Yeah! Flying out with SpinVox on Sunday afternoon for a big Wireless conference called CTIA. Looking forward to it, should be cooool! Never been to Vegas before….”

“Ok ok ok! When do you leave Vegas?”

“Thursday…but…”

“Ok! We’ll go out Friday!”

“No, I didn’t finish. Thursday I fly to San Francisco to host a lunch for some west coast bloggers… Fly home Friday night. Land Saturday afternoon.”

“Jeez, you’re gonna be knackered!”

“Yeah man, I know. Then I’ve got my show on the Sunday at Madam Jo Jos!”

“Right then. I’ll come see that then.”

“Hehehe… Yeah! Ok, do that!”

🙂
On top of ALL that, found out today one of my dear friends (who has NOTHING to do with the mobile industry) just so happens to be in Vegas at exactly the same time as me!
So we get to hang out and stuff which is just all kinds of cool…

This, by the way, isn’t some massive brag of a blog post. Life is going well at the moment. And I’m loving it.
Had my 6mth review with SpinVox this morning.

SIX MONTHS!

It seems like only yesterday that I was handing in my notice at Refresh Mobile…

How times flies when you’re having fun eh?
Speak soon folks..

🙂

The Times They Are A-Changin’

Ladies and Gentlemen..
It’s official.

Tomorrow – Aug 24th marks my last day at Refresh Mobile.

Over the past 13mths I’ve worn many hats and gone through many job titles… so here goes –

Ahem – SO – I am leaving the role(s) of:

Mobizines Manager, Customer Champion, Chief of Blogger Relations, Content Merchandiser, Blogger, Product Manager, Quality Control Manager and Service Evangelist… (breathe) …at Refresh Mobile.

Phew… and where am I off to?
Well…

I’m off to go and be the new Digital Marketing Product Manager over at the voice-to-text specialists, SpinVox.
Working alongside another new(ish) recruit – James Scroggs – to help them expand the SpinVox brand and products across the world and throughout the entire universe!
😉
In the meantime – I wish the guys at Refresh every success with Mippin

…which, by the way, IS fantastic. I’m gonna be taking it along to the SMS Text News Unlimited Drinks event tonight – so if you’re coming too – grab me and I’ll give you a cheeky preview…

And I owe a massive amount of thanks to them also, for plucking me from obscurity many moons ago (more details here) and helping me grow in all sorts of ways…

(ask Scott Beaumont what I was like when we first met!)

It really has been an incredible journey* (which is by no means over for them – Mippin is gonna ROCK!) but at this point our paths are headed in different directions…

Good luck guys – The first round is on me at the next Mobile Geeks of London!

🙂

____________________________________
*Some key points in the Refresh Mobile journey so far – in no particular order:
(and I’ve probably missed a few too – so expect this list to grow)

Nokia Developer of the Year 2006

The Mobizines Blog

Launching Eyemags

Shortlisted for the Meffy Awards

Nokia Download!

Getting Mobizines live in the USHungarySouth Africa and Germany!

Mippin – Make It Mobile

I know… I’m rubbish..

It’s been OVER A MONTH since my last blog…
It is now 23:03 and I’ve just got home and I am shattered.
SO tired…

I’ve been meaning to update this for ages now – and I promise.. I will.

Good boys keep diaries.
Bad boys don’t get time.

That’s all you need to know for the time being I guess…

I’m doing two plays, a film, I’ve started doing charity stuff again and I’m trying to hold down a decent social life whilst also taking in the wonders of the new world that is known as ‘dating’ – it’s all very odd.
Jen and I are no more – not that there ever was an official ‘Jen and I’ but yeah – that happened a fair while back now..
So that’s that sorted – we’re still very much in contact though – she’s a top bird and we always said we’d remain firm friends – so I’m glad we’ve been able to..
Cheers you.

Anyway – enough about her.. Hehehe (sorry)

What have I been up to?!

WELL…
LOADS to be fair.

There’s nowhere near enough time to cram it all into one sesh – I’m shattered – NEED BED.

Quickly – I’ve rediscovered my love for clubbing/dancing.
I’ve got into the habit of not wearing underwear. At all times.
I have blonde in my hair.
I have some wicked plans for November.
I’ve discovered my uncle plays the bassoon in some weird band in Essex.
All very weird.
Also – one of those sentences is not true..
Answers via comments/messages to the usual address… ;o)

But yes.
Loving my job.
Loving my life at the mo.
Working hard and playing hard.
Catching up with me a bit now…
“HENCE THE NEED FOR SLEEP JAMES!”
..note to self – stop leaving notes for self.

Ahem – anywhoo – I’m signing off now.
I hope to come back with a (proper) update very soon..

In the meantime however..
Here’s me:

Photobucket

To quote:

“It’s dark… and we’re wearing sunglasses”

(what film?)

On that note: My Sunglasses… Too small do you think?

Yup – its been ages I know

My life in as little words and as many pics as poss.. ya ready?!

Here we go!

Last time we spoke I had spent the weekend in Canvey mildly drunk.
Here I am. Mildly drunk.

I went back to work after all that time off..
..and I went in thinking it was gonna be sunny..

But.. it wasnt:

It was rainin’..
Ah well..

That week it was Jobber’s birthday – we went to the pub:
Jobber and his mate Wing (more on him later), outside the pub…

He’s a good bloke our Jobs… that’s him on the right.
Gonna miss him from the Mail.. admittedly probably JUST him.

Moving on..

The weekend after that: England got knocked out of the World Cup.
It might’ve been the weekend before –
I really cant remember –
My days are swirling together through a mist of champagne and white wine..
Wergh.
Either way – Boooo.. England went out.
We don’t talk about who won it or whatever because nobody cares.
In all seriousness this World Cup will go down as the Cup of Cheats as SO many teams employed under-hand techniques on their road to the finals..

Not.
Good.

Anywhoo..

I watched our last game with my mate Jim.
..and here we are:


Yes.
We are drunk.

..and don’t ask about the sombreros.
I have no idea.

The following day I went to my see friends Roger and Aidan..
They live in this proper nice penthouse apartment overlooking Clapham Common..
The lifts are a bit old and scary mind..
Here I am, in a lift, a bit scared:

So yeah – that was cool.. the corridors are bit ‘Overlook Hotel’ too..
I keep expecting to see a kid on a tricycle screaming “Redrum.. Redrum..” at me… ahem.

But yeah – had a g-r-r-reat time. Roger did some fantastic food.
They’d been down to the farmer’s market in Balham that morning and got some lush veg..
Yum.
..and we spent the rest of the day yelling obscenities to passers by..
Yay.
(that was actually the most puerile fun I’ve had in ages – hehe)

Ooo oo oo!
I forgot!

The Friday before that..
My friend Vicky took me out to the ‘Che’ Exhibition at the V&A Museum.
The V&A:

It was SO cool… They had a big celebration of all things Cuban and there was food and dancing and Mojitos… oh how we love Mojitos…
I don’t know much about Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara..
Here he is:

Or in fact I should now say.. I didnt know much about him.
The exhibition was wicked – REALLY interesting man..
The guy’s a legend and it’s amazing how his image has grown in the way it has considering this pic was a complete fluke..
Amazing stuff.
So yeah - Vicky took me out to dinner afterwards to a place called The Priory in Olympia.
It was lush and we had SUCH a nice evening just chattin’ y’know?
Was cool.
Tors – if you’re readin’ this – I owe ya!
:o)

Anywhoo – where was I?
That’s right Sunday at Roger and Aidan’s.
That was cool – called a few people a few names and then went on my merry way home..
Bahahahahahahaahahah!
___

Monday – back to work.
Eugh..

But – It was the final leg of my three year stint at the Mail.
The week kind of happened without incident…
Well – aside from The Wing (remember him?) wearing this disgusting shirt…

Talk about Ocular Rapage.
(and yes – that’s Jobber again.. WORKING! Shock Horror!)
Heheheh…

THIS is how you look good at work:

Urinals and all.. lol

Anyway… My last week at work..!

It was cool..
Unsurprisingly I got hammered on my last day.. about two bottles of red wine at lunch.
Probably the best part of a bottle of champagne in the afternoon and then..
God knows how much white wine at the pub afterwards..

But yeah – these are my girls:

Christina, Laura and Louisa… lovely they all are too.
See ya girls – nice workin’ with ya.. Bless ’em.

Apparently they were at my leaving drinks..
But I REALLY dont remember…
Apparently I may’ve embarrassed a few people – I’m sure I’ll hear about it all eventually.. lol

Whoops..
Ah well…

But!

What I do remember (and this would be pretty damn hard to forget) is what my lot bought me for a leaving present..
Check it out!

A nice shiny shiny Nintendo DS Lite.. “Ooooooooooo…”

Yeah man! Awesome –
I am proper impressed..


Anywhoo… my mate Laws came over that night.
Came to my party and everything – it was cool.
She’s a good girl she is – helped me get home!
(dont remember that either – apparently I made us get on the wrong tube but I dont believe her – you hear that Laws?! You tell fibs woman!)
lol

So yeah – the following day my mate Martin threw me a champagne breakfast picnic on Twickenham Green.. it was brill.
Me, Laws, Roger, Aidan, Martin and his girlfriend Lyddy all went…
Here we all are:

Laws & Martin, Martin & Lydia,
Lydia & Adian, Aidan & Roger,
Roger & Me, Me & ….a big church!

But yeah.. the picnic was wicked – Martin made all the food himself and we got hammered… again! I think I didnt really have a hangover per se.. I just carried on drinking from the previous night.. lol
Anywhoo – so we’re all sittin there and Martin says:

“Dudes! Check it out! Pac-Man!”

We had a bit of a chuckle about that.. but THEN.. Martin says:

“Weergh! Those poor ghosts! No wonder those f**kers run! Look at him from the front!”

I laughed so hard… Hahaha.. One of the funniest dudes I know, is Martin.
Love him to bits..

So yeah – after our AMAZING picnic:

Laws and I headed back to Canvey to catch with friends and family.
It was all good.

Had a wicked night on the Isle of Canvey then headed back to Sunny Twickenham..
(not much of a story there I know – but I was out of it and I really dont remember much)

Back in Twix – I thought i’d get an early night..
Right up until I decided to move my room around…
You ever get that?!
No?

Just me then..

Ach well..
At least I have a proper cool desk now:

Yes true believers – that is where yours truly sits when he is recounting his stories to you…

Nice huh?
I think so.. makes life online a lot more enjoyable..

Moving on…

Started at my new job Monday.
All good.

I now work for a company called Refresh Mobile – www.refreshmobile.com

They make things called Mobizines – www.mobizines.com

Its absolutely wicked.
I love it.

The hours are longer – but to be honest – I only noticed that on the first day when I didnt really know what I was doing.. since then – its been cool.
Non-stop. In fact im doin more hours than I should be…
I love it…

Today is Thursday.
Well – its now Friday because its gone midnight – started this blog ages ago.

I’m shattered….

Laters

PS – Ooo! Check this out!
Its Me and Martin!
Aidan did it for us..

How cool is THAT?!

I love it..
In fact – you can tell I love it because i’ve got a printed copy of it above my desk…

My friend Naomi (we call her Roger – she’s Aidan’s girlfriend) says we look like some kind of twisted parallel universe version of Miami Vice..

Hahahahahaahahah..!

Resigned to the fact… cont!

Right folks,

Apologies for the ‘half-blog’ the other day – it was just too sunny to stay in and type this stuff up! As it stands – its 815am here and the Sun is up but I dont think its warm enough to warrant going outside just yet.. watch this space! Hehehe…

Where was I?

*opens new window – checks previous blog*

Ahhh…

Right then – I emailed Kevin back telling him how stoked I was that they were still interested etc.. and I left it at that.

That afternoon I get an email from their CEO asking me to pop over sometime next week… so we arranged a time and a date and last Wednesday I rocked over to Refresh Mobile in Fulham and went and saw them..

Now – bear in mind that my vocation at the moment is Accountant. So I bowl in there thinking I’m being interviewed for an Accounts-based position..

But no – turns out they want me to not do any accounts stuff at all!

They want me to work with them on improving their software and to help in making it a better experience for the user!

The two people that interviewed me didnt seem interested in my CV at all.. in fact one of the quotes from the interview was-

“James, if we’d have got your CV from some head hunting job agency.. you wouldn’t have made it through the door – its only because you’ve met Kevin and Scott that you’re here – they speak highly of you..”

Eventually Scott comes down and we have a bit of a chat, discuss the Mobizines in more detail.. he gives me a pop quiz on the software.. which, to be honest – I dont really know how well I did on!

But at the end of the interview said:

“Right then, I should make you an offer then really.. ”

YEAH!

“I’ll email you in the morning..”

COOL!

I give Scott my personal email address (so far all correspondence has been using my my work email – which is a bit …unethical i guess.. and probably against company policy too I’d imagine – know The Mail) and then I toddle off home.. after a near two hour interview!

Thursday arrives..

All day long i’m constantly checking my email.. lunchtime passes.. still nothing.. panic.. setting.. in.. it gets to 1630 and I decide to email Kevin – “MATE! No news! Should I be concerned?! ..or just more patient?!”

No reply!

AAAAAAAARGH!

Following morning I get an email from Scott to my work address.. turns out he mislaid my personal email address.. (THANK YOU LORD!) ..I send it over and within minutes I have a job offer and contract in my inbox ready for my perusal.. I browse over it.. decide that this is probably the best thing thats happened to my carreer in YEARS and email Scott back…

“I accept!”

I printed the contract off, signed it, sent it back… and by 11am I’d resigned from the Daily Mail!

Wooooooooooooooooooo!

Do you have ANY IDEA how nice that feels?!

To RESIGN?!

Well.. thing is.. its nicer for me I guess – I was made redundant from my last two positions and I’d kinda forgotten what it feels like to LEAVE a job instead of my job leaving me.. y’know?!

I’m so excited – this job’s gonna be great..

But now.. we have a problem. (Yup. Its never simple is it?!)

Right – so – I’l try and make this as simple as possible.

The Mail pays on the 15th of every month – two weeks in advance and two weeks in arrears. So you get paid for the two weeks you’ve just worked and then the two weeks you’re about to work… With me so far?

Cool – anyway – because of my trip to Thailand I’ve used up all my holiday at the mail and it turns out I owe them seven days.. so.. they’re gonna deduct that amount from my salary.. not NEXT month’s… no no.. THIS month’s. Arse. So in four days I get three week’s money. That’s June.

Then – on July 7th I finish at the Mail.

July 10th I start at Refresh.

July 15th I get paid ONE WEEK’S (!!) money from the Mail.

Now with Refresh things are different – they do it normally – there you get paid at the end of the month for the month you’ve just worked y’dig? So moving on:

On July 30th I get paid THREE WEEK’S money from Refresh..

Then I dont get paid again until the end of August. That pay cheque will be first full pay cheque since May 15th.

Ouch.

Fingers crossed I can survive til then.. I might be eating out of bins and stuff but I guess I’ll survive!

AARGH!

So yeah – thats my news!

Good and (slightly) bad.

Goodbye and So Long to The Daily Mail!

Goodbye and So Long to my Carreer as an Accountant!

Hello Refresh Mobile!

( oh and goodbye to my social life over the summer )

___________________________________________

Ok – thats that sorted – now to bring us bang up to date.

Yesterday was a beautiful day. Hung out with mates most of the day watching various World Cup matches..

GO ON THE ENGLAND!

Ahem…

…had a kickabout.. my mate Rich broke his leg! But he’s alright.. Trooper that he is! Gonna go see him later.. see how he’s getting on..

So yeah.. there we go.

I’m gonna go have a bath now I think…

Chat soon!

J.

EDIT:

Forgot to mention – there’s a fairly large chance that I might be going to see Bon Jovi in Milton Keynes today… Bizarre eh!? Hahaahah..I’ll let you know.

Kensington – 2pm in the Afternoon

Afternoon all..

I don’t know why but ever since Thailand I’ve got into the habit of putting my place of typage in the subject heading of my posts.. What do we think about that? Anyone?

Answers on a postcard… (or just click ‘add comment’ – either or)

Anywhoo – remember how I was saying how much I disliked my job?

Well I’m doing something about it. I called my old job agency yesterday and emailed them a new and updated version of my CV.. they called me back this morning and have asked to see me next week. So thats all good.

And also, I emailed that mobile phone software company that I had a chat with a while back, (those of you who know me know about this – if you dont – sorry, cant be bothered to explain – mail me about it if you’re THAT interested – hehehe), to see if they were still interested in me etc.. I just wanted to let them know that I was still available and I hadnt forgotten about them etc… they came back to me almost straight away telling me they were still keen to generate a role for me and they too have asked to see me next week!

So the wheels are in motion!

All I want to do is get a decent job where the stress and pressure is minimal so I can crack on with clearing my debt, sorting my life out, getting my TEFL and then buggering off to see the world. It’s gonna take time but I’ve never had long term goals before.. bout time I started eh?!

Keep smiling all –

J.