It’s been three months since I took my first nervous steps into the BlueSky office, and I have to say they’ve flown by. As a newcomer to PR, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. My experience with PR was limited, as was my experience in the world of work in general, having graduated the previous year and worked a six month copywriting contract.
With an appealing job description and a stomach full of excited butterflies, I came in as a blank slate, ready to learn from my colleagues and start from the bottom.
So what have I learned in my three months as an Account Executive so far?
1. Being part of a team matters. Spending all day every working day with the same people can become very difficult very quickly if you don’t gel. For the first time, cultural fit has become more than just a buzz word. It’s not about being an army of clones, at BlueSky we couldn’t be more different, but it’s fantastic to work with people whose company I enjoy on a daily basis and who function superbly as a team. When someone leaves, people are genuinely sad to see them go – Sam has just left us and her presence in the office and hard work will really be missed.
2. Jobs can be built for people. BlueSky doesn’t recruit with a fixed job spec in mind. Of course the role requires certain skills, but there’s no hard and fast rule as to which of the many qualities needed are the most vital. We have a great mix here of writers, account handlers and all rounders, a talent pool that definitely works for us.
3. If you don’t know, ask. I can’t pretend to know all the tricks of the trade. The best advice I’ve ever been given is that I have two ears and one mouth – and should use them accordingly. Although I struggle with this at times (I do like a natter) I have kept this in mind the whole time and subsequently have had the privilege of learning from some truly intelligent, experienced and capable people.
4. Agency is definitely for me. It’s hard to know, until you’ve done both, what suits you. Having had an in-house job, I can confidently say that the fast-paced and varied nature of agency work suits me perfectly. No two days are the same and it never gets boring.
In conclusion, it’s been a very happy three months for me. I get to write fun and diverse articles, deal with clients, interact on social media, banter with colleagues and go home every day feeling a sense of achievement that most graduates could only dream of – I consider myself extremely lucky – and I have a team of people to test out my baking creations, for which I’ve been dubbed the “office feeder”.
So a word to this year’s graduates: when you hand in your dissertations in May and start that all-important job search, don’t rule out a small business. A big brand name may have the prestige behind it that impresses all your friends and kick starts your career, but a small business will give you the freedom and flexibility to flourish in a way that’s best for you – and faster.