25. Nearly 26. Do I feel old? Not in my current job, I feel like one of the youngest (because I am) in the whole team but do I feel experienced? I actually do and that’s a great feeling. I thought I’d share my career journey so far because I loved reading Jess’s post here from a few months ago about her career journey since graduating and her journey to becoming a freelancer.
It’s probably easiest to break this down into the following four blocks because it’s how I think about it in my head. I’m not oversharing by telling you the names of the companies because they’re all over LinkedIn, you’d be able to find it anyway!
University & placement experience
My course at university was Fashion Marketing & Branding and we covered pretty much everything from buying to branding to social media to larger marketing campaigns and loads of other related stuff. It was an awesome degree for anyone that loves fashion and doesn’t quite know what to do with it. I knew I wasn’t a designer, it was definitely going to be something more on the business side of fashion, if anything.
My first proper ‘job’ and one that gave me some actual experience that gave me knowledge and insight into the sectors that I was interested in was my 3 month placement at Strategy Internet Marketing, an SEO/PPC/Content agency based in Bristol where I was a ‘Creative Outreach Assistant’. This included blogger outreach to get links placed on relevant blogs for our clients, writing content for our client’s websites, scheduling tweets, running competitions on Pinterest, filling up the boards, loads of different stuff. We had a huge range of clients from sunglasses to an older woman’s magazine and a party-supplies website so there was loads of different stuff to write about and I learnt how to outreach to bloggers in a personal way. This was where I learnt that I loved writing about loads of different stuff as well as my fashion and beauty content from my personal blog.
Around the same time I started working for the Image Consulting Company after applying for a competition with a local stylist for a Bath-based company. I didn’t win the competition but the lovely owner of the company Emmeline took me under her wing and taught me loads to do with styling and colours that suited people as well as some interior styling too. As well as the stylist experience where I styled live at Bristol Fashion Week for a few seasons and helped to educate loads of women on how to style pieces and find what suited them. I loved this seasonal role! I also did loads of social media scheduling, live tweeting from these events and blog post writing.
During uni I also worked for Albam Menswear as a stockroom assistant 3 days a week for about a month in the summer where I folded a lot of jeans, picked and packed orders for the stores in London and played with the office Jack Russell all day.
Job 1: UNiDAYS
I graduated with a 2:1 and had no idea what I really wanted to do but I knew that I liked social media and from my personal blogging I felt like I knew what I was doing at least in that area. I applied for a lot of marketing assistant, social media, PR, general helpful around the office jobs until I stumbled on the UNiDAYS job from meeting the guys at our degree show. They took me on as Social Media Intern to basically look after their blog and help their current Social Media Manager with scheduling, day to day reporting and admin jobs. I worked my way up to be Social Media Assistant and then Content Executive which also included leading on everything to do with influencers.
Whilst I was here I looked after the US and Australia social media, everything that went on the blog was sourced, written or signed off by me, I started to monetise the blog, I ran influencer campaigns of up to £90k budgets in the UK, US and Australia and set up influencer and celebrity events with some of our retail partners that received over 12million reach. This sounds like it’s from my CV! I was pretty much done by the time I’d been there for 3 and a half years and taken the blog views up by almost 4000% (not a typo). I felt like I’d completed it and there wasn’t much more progression for me so I had a look around for some different jobs.
Job 2: Together Agency
I joined Together Agency in Nottingham as a Social Media Manager and this was another agency role, I’d had my placement in an agency so I roughly knew how they worked but this was a role where I’d have clients that I solely looked after as well as a lot of meetings and calls. I loved the people, the culture and a lot of my clients but I knew that I much preferred ‘brand side’ where I had one focus. I learnt so much here and it was enough to enable me to move on after 10 months.
I’d recommend working in an agency for everyone just to see if you like it. I prefer to focus on one project or brand but if you like it when things are changing up all the time, you’d love agency life. I only left because I wanted to move back brand side and work towards a bigger content-related position. If I’d of stayed agency side I would have been working, eventually, towards being a Head of Social which would include a lot of new business pitches and that’s not really my thing. Totally no bad feelings, just not the right role for me but I’m so glad I tried it and I met some of the best people.
Job 3: The Nottingham Building Society
Here I am now, a month into my new role and I’m loving it. First up, it’s a lot of organisation, putting plans and structure into motion and crafting the future of the society online alongside the rest of the digital team. I’m the only social media focused person but other people dip in and out with their own needs which I accommodate. I love to focus on one brand’s message and really get immersed into a product or service and its benefits.
I’m learning so much everyday when it comes to financial services and although that may sound a bit vanilla in comparison to fashion or a tech start up, but it’s so interesting. Being sensible is pretty much my forte and I get to write about it everyday whilst doing some pretty fun and new stuff for a business that hasn’t reached certain digital realms yet. I get to use all my skills from my previous roles and they’re really appreciated so I’m really enjoying bringing something new to a business that has been around for 170 years and wants to become more modernised!
That’s my career journey so far, I hope it was interesting! Comment or Insta DM me with any questions about social media or savings accounts…These gorgeous homeware bits that are making my bedroom super cosy are new additions and they’re the perfect backdrop for some of my favourite books that have helped me along my career journey a little bit. Both the Grey herringbone throw and small grey velvet cushion from Beautify and they are super duper soft and luxurious and I do love a bit of millenial pink and grey mixed together! These are great little additions to brighten up our bedroom, that’s definitely not decorated properly yet, to make it feel fresh, pretty and relaxing. They’re lovely quality pieces and are super affordable. Check out Beautify if you’d like a little homeware update!
In terms of these books, I loved Girl Boss as I think Sophia is a kick ass gal who really knows her shit. Made by Millie Mackintosh is a great book if you run a lifestyle blog because it has tonnes of inspiration and I love the layout and style of it all. I also love How to Make Instagram Your Business as a little Insta-dreamer book, it’s cute to read and get inspo from how other people run their feeds. I have no ambitions to be Insta famous, I couldn’t cope with that amount of pressure that’s for sure but I find the whole thing fascinating.