Today I’d love to share with you where I am at in my career path & specifically what I’m doing to remain top of my game.
Let me begin at the (sort of) beginning during my first year of University in 2001. The Internet & mobile phones were just-just sort of getting started. Yup, I am a Xennial which means I grew up in the offline era, but shortly after graduation, the digital & mobile everything really kicked off. Read more about it over here.
So after University, I seemed to find positions rather easily in the media, marketing, magazine & PR fields. Things were fairly simple. We had emails, Internet & very basic mobile phones. Social media, smartphones & digital was still not yet real, but things were changing rapidly.
Fast forward 7+ years to when we had little Oliver. We decided that I would take things much slower & stop chasing endless deadlines in a full-time office job. And so my freelance career successfully kicked off. It was flexible & allowed me to work as & when I wanted to. I was often surprised at how easily the work came my way. As I’ve always wanted a career, I realised that I needed to keep my finger on the pulse to remain marketable, relevant & up-to-date.
Naturally, I also knew that traditional (print) media was battling & that online is the way forward.
By that time I was already active & au fait withTwitter & Facebook, but wanted to learn more about online & started my blog on WordPress. It was fun & a huge learning curve.
Fast forward some more to when we moved to the coast (George) for two years. I dabbled in some other things, but mostly still continued my freelance gigs.
Then earlier this year we moved back to Johannesburg & I found myself yearning for more stimulation, more pressure, more interesting & intellectually stimulating work & projects. Getting out of the house more. And yes, getting dressed up more often! I started toying with the idea of doing a course of sorts – probably something in online.
I also started putting out my feelers & made an appointment with a – not so friendly – recruiter. She reckoned that I basically did nothing for the past few years & that unless I had a qualification in social media, it would be hard to find me a formal gig.
I was rather taken aback & had to ask myself: is this recruiter right about me? Were the 5 years spent investing in my child & working on the side an absolute waste? The answer is no & no.
A long hard think followed about why she might have said this. I decided to take the following from the conversation: my skill, experience & know-how isn’t lacking. I have two relevant degrees from a reputable University plus more than a decade of experience. I understand best practice in the media, marketing & PR industries. I am professional & mature. My work ethic is great. But, I need to know that I know. I need to believe that I can do it. I need to cement what I know & be able to say with confidence: I can do this job, no problem.
So, here I am on my journey to completing a Nanodegree in Digital Marketing from Udacity.com & I am loving it. Sure, I know a lot. But I’m also ok to admit that there are many things that I don’t know (yet), but I’m learning the latest from the greatest.
Mostly though my brain & skills are sharp & ready for the next exciting venture, position or projects that will come my way. I’m not quite sure what it will be yet, but I cannot wait.
I’d love to hear from you; did you have to upskill or take some action to reaffirm what you know? Or maybe you had to reinvent yourself completely after having kids? Please do leave a comment.
Thank you for reading & cheers to a new career chapter.
Images: Lucinda Schoeman