From News Rags to Pitches; My Career Journey
Updated: Sep 27, 2020
When I left college I didn’t have a clear direction to speak of. I knew I enjoyed the performing arts and considered myself to be a thespian of some sorts, so toyed with the idea of pursuing a life of showbiz. I also discovered fairly early on I had a zest for writing so considered exploring the way to becoming the next J. K Rowling, figuring my debut million-pound book deal could only a few years away. After some serious contemplation I came to the realisation that I probably wasn’t going to achieve a scholarship to RADA, so decided to follow my passion for writing.
Junior to Journo
Being the tenacious, young go-getter that I considered myself to be (and still seem to think I am, or at least that’s what I tell my LinkedIn profile) I didn’t really consider how I would get my foot on the career ladder, and initially deliberated whether or not I needed a degree to succeed in my field. Turns out unless you have drafted the magnum opus of novels or rub shoulders with HarperCollins, chances are you’re not going to get your pen in the door without a qualification. With that realisation I chose to pack my pencil case and enrol in the University of Gloucestershire to study Journalism, the course I thought would provide the most viable career options.
Three years and a Journalism degree later I rode off into the Cornish sunset and back to my hometown, sat on my bed and thought; what now? I had the education gear, but absolutely no idea of how to go about putting it to good use in the land of the employed. I was fortunate enough to complete a couple of internships whilst at Uni with The Times Magazine and The Gloucestershire Echo, as well as some freelance work, which I thought might help boost my journalistic appeal to potential employers. It did not. I needed more, and Cornwall wasn’t going to provide so I quickly realised I was going to have to go further afield. This lead me to my first paid internship at Medavia Media, a Bristol-based consultancy that managed press coverage and sold stories to real-life magazines. When the month was spent along with my sanity (I stayed in hostel for the duration, it wasn’t pretty) I decided I was going to have to embrace the bright lights of the big city if I was going to further my career.
This little post-grad went to market
It seemed London was indeed calling to the faraway towns, and I chose to answer it. Although a month after moving to the Big Smoke I was still no closer to becoming editor of the BBC News, and was starting to feel disheartened. It seemed no one wanted to hire a humble post-grad on a wage that could sustain a life in London, so I went back to the drawing board. Having trawled the job sites there was one industry that kept catching my attention; Marketing. It was a career I had considered in the past but wasn’t sure how to break into it, however the more I thought about it the more I realised my skills cultivated as a journo could transfer into the Marketing world, and was determined to earn my place within it. With this newly-ignited fire in my belly I sent my application in to become a Sales & Marketing Coordinator for Young’s & Co, and thus kick-started my career in Marketing.
Young’s, wild and free
Throughout the two years of marketing my beloved pub The Bishop in Kingston, I developed vital skills that were necessary in becoming successful in the field; including campaign and event management, and ideas pitching. Although learning on the job was no mean feat and at times fairly challenging, I loved every minute of it. It gave me freedom and the chance to exercise my creativity in ways I’d never thought I’d enjoy as much as I did; particularly in blog writing and social media content production. I eventually decided I’d got out of it all I could and ventured on to pastures new.
This was my first role in an actual office (previously I worked in the pub) and it was daunting to say the least. I suffered with imposter syndrome slightly throughout my time there, believing my peers were a lot more experienced and feeling out of my depth, but I made the most of the opportunity nonetheless. Unfortunately when the company, that was formally known as Exterion Media, an out-of-home advertising business, was bought by Global and merged, my previously varied role changed and although it allowed me to strengthen my data and analytical skills, it lacked any creative opportunities which I so sorely craved. I figured my expertise could be utilised better elsewhere so I hit the road once again in search of a more suitable role.
Fast-forward to 2020; the year that started out with so much hope, and then went south very quickly. Having secured a job in my dream sector, the Travel industry in November 2019 I was elated to be in such a diverse role where no two days were the same. Caribtours is a small-but-mighty tour operator where we worked together like a family, maintaining a strong team-first attitude. Here my creativity was cultivated and encouraged to flourish, and I was given the reigns to produce content for exciting campaigns across both print and digital, including my favourite two dedicated to Romance and Culinary themes. I learned a lot in my time there and even got to frequently exercise my Photoshop and InDesign skills, before being put on furlough earlier this year. I decided to use my time wisely by starting this blog and completing LinkedIn courses to help me improve in certain Marketing areas such as Google Analytics, before receiving the devastating news that I had been made redundant due to COVID-19 (my previous post goes into more detail). Since then I have been feverishly applying for roles and attempting to navigate my way through the harsh job climate, which has been challenging to say the least. However I’m choosing to perceive it as a positive experience and am maintaining the understanding that everything happens for a reason, and my ‘forever job’ may be just around the corner. I guess the conclusion to be drawn here is that you can transverse into your dream industry in unconventional ways if you’re determined and don't lose sight of your goals. Don’t be afraid to veer off from the path and create a career journey along the route less travelled, that’s unique to you.