Am I all grown up yet? My first year in a real, adult, full-time job.
One year at Say Communications has whizzed by. I’m in my early twenties and a recent graduate who has spent the last year working in healthcare communications. Now that my A4 notebooks have truly become my ‘work diary’, holding everything from client updates, call notes, and the never ending to do lists, I would like to share my experience of my first year in a real, adult, full-time job.
Not long ago, the first thing I would have thought from the two letters “PR” would have been “Personal Record” thrashing a rowing boat up and down the river. University rowing taught me a lot about teamwork and early mornings, and my Biology degree gave me literacy and analytical skills, and health knowledge, but I don’t think much can prepare you for your first, full-time job. As a fresh graduate I dived into “Public Relations”, as I now knew it. The training we get here is pretty thorough, together with the friendly faces and the set procedures; over the last year I’ve become nearly confident in my role, and if I felt completely confident about everything I was meant to be doing, then I’d probably be pretty bored, and I’m definitely not bored.
Healthcare is one of the most exciting industries, or at least I think so. With the constant development of new drugs, treatments, devices, services; this is an incredibly innovative time for the industry. Being in communications, we get to see, live and breathe these innovations as they come to the forefront of the business: the users! Of course, the definition of user can be extremely varied, but being on the side of a communications agency, I believe we have a pretty cool, unique role, and perspective. Starting with a brief, we skill up and then we begin to develop messaging that suits the user; who could be a commissioner, specialist, GP, patient or perhaps the general public.
There’s a huge other side to having your first, proper job: admin. Again, my understanding of admin has changed. I think I grew up assuming it meant sorting paperclips and licking envelopes – which it’s not… entirely. What I didn’t foresee was email becoming my most used programme, Excel is definitely up there too, Word shortcuts have become useful in a way I’d never have expected and there’s loads of other programmes that have become almost second nature. But I guess, although it comes with the job, some would argue that becoming more computer literate definitely doesn’t make me more of an ‘adult’. There’s the money admin side too, which I think we can all agree is pretty grown up!
When it comes to explaining what I do to others, the situation gets a little tricky, and I’m meant to be becoming a communication professional! The main reason is that every day is different, every project is different and every client is different. We’re lucky here that we cover a range of healthcare, and a range of communications.
I’ve learnt a lot over my first year, but I’m looking forward to many, many more years of new things. Being honest, I assume (and hope) I’ll always have more to learn about my job in this industry, so… here’s to never being all grown up!
- Written by Becky W.