I Made A Decision, And You'll Never Believe What It Is!
Have you ever stopped to look back at something you’ve done with a large sense of pride, not in a boastful or narcissistic way, but genuine respect for what you’ve accomplished? I have. I am now. In July I stepped off of the coffee industry carousel, and joined the team at a large, very successful marketing agency. It was the job I’d wanted, with the company I’d really been shooting for. I knew it would mark the beginning of a new chapter of my life, in my 40th year of living. I knew it would be hard, I knew it would take time, and I knew there’d been a large learning curve.
I had no idea how hard it would be. I’ve said it before, and it stands repeating, that it was and has been, the hardest thing I’ve done as an adult. I learned very quickly how little I really knew. I learned that there is a large side of the business of social media and marketing that I never knew existed. I learned about analytics, and how to measure them. I learned what to do with those analytics. I learned about paid media, from how it works to how to best target and leverage it. I learned how to craft full statements and ideas in less than 130 characters (once you incorporate a hashtag.) I learned about the challenges of writing content for large brands like Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, UPS and Chick-fil-A. I learned what an archetype is, and how to embody one for the sake of writing content. I learned how to create structure for myself so I could do my job well. I learned methods to eliminate mistakes, whether they be grammatical, structural or strategic, and I’m proud to say I make very few mistakes these days, and the ones I do are small.
Yep, I’ve made a ton of mistakes in learning along the way. I’ve said it before, but most mistakes in social media only become “mistakes” after they’ve been made. There’s not a rule book for social media, and in helping create social media policies for our agency I’ve learned there’s no real consensus for what’s ok or not ok to post personally as an employee of an agency, even within our social team. I’ve had to learn tools I’d never learned to use before. I had to learn Powerpoint to create social strategies. I’ve had to learn to use Excel to read analytics and create insights and recommendations. I’ve had to learn community management tools, all of them different, all of them promising to make life easier. And I’ve had to battle my own self-doubt on a regular basis.
So, where am I today? Well, I’ve learned a lot, and am using it to grow. And grow, I have. I’ve also learned what I’m good at, and what I’m not. I’ve learned what my strong points are, and where I have more work to do. Working at a large agency has allowed me to really see where I might fit into all of this, and has reassured me that I do have a good skill-set that has real value in the world of marketing. I’ve also learned that it takes a special person to work at an agency, and it takes the kind of person who can take on 5 clients at a time, and do content, community management and other things for them on a daily basis. I’ve been honored to get to work alongside amazing people that are AMAZING at working in this world, heck, Engauge’s whole social team. But it’s time for me to hang up my Engauge coat, and move on. Think the last episode of The Office.
I will say that I owe a giant debt of gratitude to several people at Engauge who gave me a chance, who mentored me, and who taught me the ropes of agency life. Thank you to Teresa Caro and Danielle Donnelly, who believed in me enough to give me a chance. I can’t say enough how much their leadership and tutelage has meant to me. Thanks to Lindsay Howard and Chelsey Binkley who took me under their wings and taught me so much about my job. And thanks to the social team and Team Mike for taking me in as one of their own. If there’s one thing that I’ll miss about Engauge, it’s not the Beer Cart Fridays or Free Lunch Fridays, it’s the people. Engauge has some amazing people working there, doing amazing things everyday. I have absolutely loved building relationships with these folks, and will continue to be friends with them after.
Never stop learning. Never stop growing. Cheers to the journey.
(What’s next? You’ll hear about it very soon.)
P.S. How’d you like that Upworthy worthy title, huh? :-)