"Getting to where I am now for my career was quite a stressful journey…"
I just never thought I would be able to manage life in the ‘workplace’. I can’t exactly tell you what it was, but there was such a build up of nerves (that I created for myself), that I never thought I would be capable or good enough in whatever job I chose to do.
I guess it didn’t help that I didn’t actually know what I wanted to do coming out of school and I thought by going to university there would be more clarity… Yet that made me even more confused because I studied a degree for three years, finished it and then had no idea what I wanted to even do with it! Did I even enjoy my course, what did I ‘actually’ learn and was it something that I should have done or not? To this day, I still don’t know (but I ended up making it work).
I absolutely LOVED the lifestyle of uni and everything that came with it. The late morning sleep ins, the wasted ‘study days’ that I would spend just talking, my amazing exchange experience that let me travel and live in Europe for 8 months and the regular cash flow from working in retail and cafes.
Once I finished my degree, I got a job with a small start-up tech company working for an e-commerce brand. It was working here that I realised how little uni really taught me about the practical side of the workplace. I was basically thrown in the deep end and had to do a lot of research (thanks Google!) to work out how to use a lot of software and got a lot of example ideas for campaigns.
But, to be fair I think this worked in my favour, because I really had to research, learned to work autonomously, played around with a lot of ideas with trial and error, and eventually found my niche in how I worked and what I was good at.
My bachelor’s degree was in marketing and media, and after working at this start-up I realised that I loved the marketing side of my degree and was completely driven by getting results. I got such a buzz when I would create an ad for a new product from scratch and then launched it to our socials and got to see the click throughs and product purchases – it almost became somewhat addictive!
Eventually, I thought it was time to branch out and move into a bigger company to grow my career. Enter: anxiety!!
This is the part where I reflect on and think ‘wow, you really overthought it’. I just freaked out and I was legit scared to go and get a job, so I would purposefully sabotage interviews to not get the job. Why? Because I really didn’t want to have to manage any kind of ‘business talk’. Don’t ask – pretty dumb. I just thought, I would get to a workplace, they would talk about stuff I didn’t understand, and then I didn’t want to look uneducated and unaware.
Yet, here I am: four years later working full-time and completely capable in my job role. It just took a leap of confidence, backing myself (and support from family and friends) to realise I would never know unless I tried.
I won’t lie, the first month was hard and daunting jumping up to a bigger company. I was no longer the only ‘marketing’ person and instead was working with a team, so I didn’t want to let anyone down. But after three months I was more than okay! I realised in that moment, that wherever you go (especially as a junior/entry-level), there will always be support and some guidance along the way. As long as you continue to take initiative and show that you’re interested in the role you have, you will go a long way!
Always look to see if you can find ways to improve product, drive higher engagement or better results (depending on the job you’re in) because this will keep you motivated. If your job isn’t challenging you, find a challenge and if that still isn’t enough, take a leap and find a new challenge at a new workplace, or show your manager that you’re ready to take on more responsibility.
And if you realise you really aren’t enjoying what you’re doing, PIVOT (thanks Friends) – because there is never a time that is too late for a career change.”
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