I found it hard to decide on whether to call this post “Working it” or “Working ON it”…. I went with the second as I thought the first was a liiiitttle bit too Beyonce for what is ostensibly a career-focussed blog! Although as working role models go, you could definitely do worse.
Anyway. I know it may be tempting fate to say this, but so far, this week is pretty good! Yesterday I had my first big client presentation. Eek. Our biggest client were having their 6-monthly “Strategy Day”, and as this is the first time they’ve had any external PR team, they invited us to present. I’d been working on it while my manager was away, and was chuffed when he had hardly any changes to make. This was the first time I’d done this kind of thing, and I wanted to get it right.
I was more nervous the day before than when I actually stood up and spoke, as, geek that I am, I’d been practicing my section out loud, so I knew what I was going to say. I really enjoyed it! This was a big deal for me – pitching is a vital part of this industry that I’m starting to feel like I’m part of, and something I really want to be good at. No, scrap that, something I want to kick ass at!
I’ve only been in the job 5 months, and sometimes I feel a bit like its a constant stream of crises of confidence. One minute you’ll be feeling fine, loving life, la la la, and then suddenly – Am I a good enough writer? Or – did I email that to the right person? Or – should I be being louder, giving more ideas, pushing things more? Sometimes you have to just trust yourself, and accept that if you are about to get it wrong, you’re going to at least learn how to do it right. But sometimes you do just get it right. Which really (REALLY) helps the confidence thing.
It just seems like things are starting to fall into place. I shared a real “confidence crisis” post with you guys a few weeks ago (I was in Starbucks, being mardy with their wifi?) so maybe this could be considered a flipped perspective. I can actually do this.
We had some great coverage today for said big client, a 3 page spread in a trade mag, with photos – and for free. And I kind of made that happen. I manage our Twitter, and we were retweeted by both a Government minister and the huge shopping centre in town, both of whom have ofer 4,000 followers. That’s good!
Even little things like when our latest work experience girl comes in, and I find her things to do, or talk her through things – I remember it being explained to me, and here I am explaining it to someone else. It buoys you up in those moments when you feel like you don’t know anything.
Over the past few weeks I’ve started to think about what I want, and I’ve slowly come to the realisation that I’m actually a lot more driven than I thought I was. I had kind of plateaued, but now things are starting to gear up again. I want to be amazing at pitching. I want to be one of those people who gets business, who keeps business. I want to see my ideas happen. I don’t want to be one of those women who gets to a point that’s, you know, fine, and just carries on ploughing with that. I remember at Sainsbury’s being morbidly fascinated by some of the people who worked there, thinking, “But don’t you want more?”. Maybe I’m watching too much of The Apprentice. Or maybe I’m hitting my stride. I don’t know. But it’s exciting. Ambition isn’t a bad thing, and it’s in me after all. I kind of knew it was there but now it feels like its got an outlet. There are only so many high 2:1s you can get knowing that, as one of my lecturers put it, “nobody gets a first in English Lit”, before they become disheartening. And the passion you once had for it starts to go a bit grey.
It’s exciting to think about the future. It’s exciting to think about MY future. I know it sounds weird but I haven’t really focussed just on me before. I went to Uni because, well, that’s what you do. And my MA, again, was out of bigger considerations that just my own interest in the subject. I’d never really been able to answer the question, “Where do you want to be in 5 years?”, because everything it was either obvious (ie. graduating) or completely unimaginable. But I can start to sketch it out now. It’s not materialising for me, it’s not “just what you do”, it’s something I’m going to decide. And I want to be good at this.
So I will. 🙂