Are you leaving school or about to graduate university and ready to start your career?
You must be feeling anxious. I know I was a few months ago when I was in the same position. I want to share my experience and show you that everyone’s path is different and that it’s OK to do things differently.
Hi, I'm Jack, the Social Media Executive at FINALLY.
I joined FINALLY in August, fresh out of the sixth form with very little industry knowledge, aside from a week’s work experience during the Easter holidays. That week was spent with FINALLY and it gave me a taste of what a career in marketing could be. Here’s what happened…
Work experience at FINALLY allowed me to try the different areas of digital marketing. I learned everything from SEO to Social, as well as how work life was way faster than school life. I was pushed out of my comfort zone, and I liked it.
On my last day of work experience, I received a signed thank you card for my hard work and effort, with everyone's best wishes; after working among like-minded people and being welcomed in, I knew I needed to be part of this team.
I now had something to aim for. I kept that card on my shelf in my room as a reminder of where I wanted to be after my stressful exam season.
Also at the back of my mind was the idea of further study. I was driven. I knew I wanted to learn but equally, I wanted to work. Spending three years at university seemed like such a delay. Fortunately, something amazing happened that – without sounding too dramatic – changed my life.
Just as school was drawing to an end, I was contacted out of the blue by FINALLY. They wanted to meet me and discuss a potential role they had for me. I felt both nervous and excited, and everything else in between. I had wanted this for months. Saying yes was an easy decision.
And so I landed my dream job, which involved practical learning experience and the opportunity to start my career years before my friends.
Finally, I’m at FINALLY!
My first few weeks at FINALLY were exciting and flew by so quickly. Everyone welcomed me but wasted no time putting me to work, making me one of the team straight away.
I quickly learned that FINALLY adapts to the problems thrown its way. It’s also evolving. Since starting, many new processes and systems have been put in place to help us be more productive. This includes everything from streamlined proof-reading processes and better peer feedback to in-house skill-sharing sessions hosted by the team.
You’ll love working at FINALLY if you relish responsibility. Thanks to flexible working hours, I’m in control of my own work, rather than the likes of school where you’re so regimented. This has helped me do more things in my free time, like make appointments and spend more time with my family, while not feeling guilty about my professional commitments.
FINALLY’s impact on me
Becoming part of this family has been a life-changing experience for me. It's encouraged me to learn new skills and change the way I work. And with my own personal development I have overcome challenges such as my stammer and fear of making mistakes. The team's been great and really supported me. With this support, I feel comfortable pushing myself more in meetings and catch-ups.
When it came to presenting, I was afraid my stammer would hold me back like I felt it always had at school. But as I began speaking I could see that I was in a safe environment with supportive people; seeing Steve smile at me, gave me that boost of confidence to get past the little blocks and sticking points and allow me to say what I wanted to share. After I presented, I was really proud and could see just how far I’d come in only a few months.
Some of the team messaged me to say well done for managing myself so well and having the confidence to present. Since then, I have continued presenting and I get better and more confident each time, quickly becoming not only a stronger speaker but a better individual as a whole. Seeing my progress through this feedback inspired me to write this blog and share with you my time at FINALLY so far.
Being around the FINALLY team, watching them work and taking in all the lessons they have given me, has inspired me to want to do more. My place in the Social Media team has been the perfect place for this and allowed me to work with the content and design teams and apply what I learn in my own projects.
My final thoughts
If you don’t know what you want to do or you’re reluctant about leaping into a role, work experience is the way to go. You’ll learn about a company and the wider industry by becoming part of it. You have to also do your best to make a good first impression. I had the right attitude and an open mind, which was a big part of this incredible opportunity. I’m really grateful for the experience and the opportunity Steve and team gave me.
Now, I’ve got work to do and a career to kick-start…