My first three months of tech PR agency life
It’s safe to say that the only thing I really knew for sure after leaving University was that I wanted writing to be a big part of my career. Of course, at that time, I wasn’t quite ready to figure out what that career was going to be. I did a ski season, bartended, had a couple false starts in internships that weren’t for me. Until eventually, I started thinking seriously about what I wanted. I wanted to write, to socialise, to be creative, and – although, I didn’t know this one yet – I wanted to sing karaoke at 1am in the office. And this is what led me to PR – to Spark. So, how’s it been so far?
Busy. In a nutshell. It’s been exciting, informative and eye-opening…but, oh my, has it been busy! My first month was one of learning. What do my clients do? What’s the difference between a CEO and a founder? What the hell is an API? It’s a lot of learning and a lot less doing, so it’s easy to adopt an ‘Oh, I’ve got this’ mentality. Well, sweet naïve newbie Becca – you don’t. Not yet.
With the second month came a new and unexpected workload. Have you ever had that feeling of absolutely loving something whilst simultaneously feeling entirely overwhelmed and out of your depth? This is the ‘Oh god, maybe I haven’t got this’ month. This is the month of forgetting things, making mistakes, asking question after question to your co-workers who have the patience of saints because, guess what, they’ve been there themselves! The second month can be a lot to take all at once, but luckily for me everyone at Spark knew this. The support and encouragement that I got from the team was amazing and served as a constant reminder that slipping up and being confused is all part of the learning curve. This helped me frame my third-month mindset of, ‘Okay, I haven’t got this yet – but I will, soon’.
Now I’m nearing the end of my third month at Spark. It’s been a month of office colds, of endless rounds of hot drinks and quarrelling over the thermostat. But, for me, it’s been a month of steadily growing confidence. It’s a great moment when you start answering your own questions, finish a piece of writing you’re proud of, or see client coverage in the press. That’s not to say I still don’t ask questions, make mistakes, or find myself wandering around lost because I still don’t know where we keep our dustpan and brush. But I’m beginning to get the hang of agency life and I can honestly say that I’m loving it.
To anyone starting out in PR I’d say – don’t underestimate the importance of the people around you. Working with people that you can sit in a meeting with at 2pm, then share a karaoke microphone with at 2am is important. Also – if you’re not a list person yet, become one. Your to-do list will be your bible by week two. And, finally, congratulations! You’ve picked a busy, challenging, exciting career and you’re going to love it.