1 week of 2017 done. The first week of my new job, done. It’s an interesting one, to say the least. As you walk the grand foyer at One New Change next to St. Paul’s, it feels far grander than anything I’ve worked at before. Up several sets of lifts and stairs and you get to my new company. As you walk into the office, it’s rather grey and imposing; huge, it covers a large part of a floor to itself in one enormous suite. All in all a rather sombre affair. But the truth is, although the feeling is unapologetically corporate, I found that rather refreshing. I’m sick to death of companies who try and tackily turn their offices into playgrounds, as though working adults are children who need to be constantly amused in some colourful creche full of toys. I’m extremely tired of businesses who try to make out that the employees are all just one big family, that everyone there is your best friend.
Some people want to believe such a thing is true, so they will. For most of us, however, I think we all know it’s just more bullshit to distract from the truth: We’re there, hopefully because we enjoy the work or at least find it interesting, but mainly because we’re being paid to be.
I fully subscribe to the theory that you’re not necessarily meant to love what you do. It’s your work; it should challenge and excite you. But it’s my work. I love yoga and I love painting, I pay to do those things. But digital marketing and writing are my marketable skills, I expect to be paid well for them because they’re what I have which can earn a company better branding, better online reputation and at the end of the day more money.
So, all in all, I’m feeling quite good about my decision to move. Even as I sit here on a Sunday evening with the occasional Monday morning jitter about the job. I worry that I’ll not be able to move the role into the direction that I ultimately want, which is a move into paid online marketing with a focus on Search Engine Marketing. I worry that it will develop into a fluffy social media role; the sort that really makes no real difference one way or the other to the success of a company. But moving deeper into digital marketing can be what really makes a big difference to the bottom line, and it’s a form of creative marketing which had real, measurable results.
Hmm. When I checked the analytics some of the best keywords which brought people to the site were relating tutorials. Perhaps if I make that a bigger part of the company blog I can make the pitch that I should create the Google AdWord campaigns around them? That might be my key into that side of the online marketing game. Perhaps I can start laying the foundations of that this week.
More than anything, I never want to be one of those “marketers” who is actually worth bugger all to the company. I’ve alway held myself to high standards and with this company, which is an area I’m interested in and (so far) a very supportive environment I want to make sure that I’m always in that top tier. My friend works as a consultant for big businesses, and she was telling me today about a large international brand who have a marketing team of over 250, which is being slashed down to 75. Now that’s a stark example of the world we live in; a reminder of what we’re up against. It’s us vs the machines, people!
And as most jobs just become more and more automated, it’s only going to get more so.
I question what on earth is going to happen then. I mean, we’re overpopulating the planet; here in the UK we’re overeducating kids to the point of being able to do nothing useful except fanny around online…What are we going to do when the machines can do it all for us? Weird.
I guess it will fall down to the people who can work the machines, the techies, and the people who can innovate and think of creative solutions to direct those machines. But I suppose that’s a bridge to cross when we come to it, not at 20:30 on a Sunday evening when I’m only mere days into my new job.
I wish I could be less scared and nervous when it comes down to it, but I worry. Like I said, I worry in the most real, day-to-day way of being useless; of being just fluff and fodder and nothing but a creative-minded expense for a brand. While I do think that I’m going to very much enjoy working at this company I think the end goal needs to be seriously looking into starting my own. I think I almost have enough digital skills, and know enough ways to get access to people who have the ones I don’t, to start up my own on the side. Like I say, things that are going to make a real difference to the business and help push it forward is what I need to be all about.
The thought of getting up every day and being able to set myself up in a nice home office with a variety of different clients is pure bliss. Search Engine Marketing, Content Creation, Copywriting and Social Media — I think that combined I have a good set to offer to businesses in order to help with growth and development. And speaking with highly successful people, it seems that taking the plunge and starting your own shop is really the only way to truly making it.
I think that’s something to seriously put on the agenda to get moving. I suppose the question is just how to start? Perhaps I can find a couple of small businesses in interesting areas which could use my help, and where even a modest spike in traffic would result in conversion rates going up. Either way, it would be an exciting challenge.
Well, at least until the machines take over.