Content Maker’s Award Most Accomplished Storyteller: Going it Alone
We’re delighted to announce the winners of our Content Maker’s Award, the theme was ‘going it alone’. Here is Chloe’s entry, she won ‘Most Accomplished Storyteller’.
I’m Chloe Price, a 23-year-old from Gloucestershire, I graduated from Bath Spa University with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. Alongside my content marketing job at an SEO agency, I also run my own blog and Instagram account, while beta reading for soon-to-be-published authors. I’m passionate about the written word and the impact it can have, whether it’s just one person to an entire country – ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’ is one of my favourite quotes. When I’m not writing, I can be found curled up with a book and a cup of tea, twirling my curly hair around my fingers.
Day In The Life Of My Graduate Job
Train arrives. I look around at the business people typing frantically on their laptops, school students finishing their homework, and a few bleary-eyed passengers eating their shop-bought breakfasts. The smell makes my stomach feel worse than it already does.
Get off the train and start walking, but not too fast. Don’t want sweat patches on my first day.
I’ve arrived, but I’m too scared to buzz for someone. Come on, Emily, just press the button.
Ah, here’s someone coming in. They smile and politely hold the door open for me. I smile back, feeling even more nervous.
Now what? Do I let myself into the office? Should I knock? I should knock.
I think I knocked too quietly. No one’s answering. Have I got the right place? Oh my god, what if I’m at the wrong location? I’ll be late if I am! No, this is the right one. I’ll just push the door open slowly…and now everyone in the office is looking at me.
The girl who interviewed me shows me to my desk and introduces me to the rest of the team. I feel like a shiny new toy.
I’m signing a few forms given to me by my manager. What sort of student loan agreement am I on? I won’t start paying it back for years, if ever. But what if I select the wrong option? Oh god, I’m panicking over a form. I want to go home. Relax, just pick one, it’ll be fine.
Jessica, the girl who interviewed me, is showing me the basics. My responsibilities, for now, will be assisting with social media, pitching PR articles to journalists, and running our own company blog. That already seems too daunting. I’ve never overseen anything before.
She’s using words that I’ve never heard of. What is a CMS? And SEO? I ask about two but note down the rest to Google at home. I don’t want to seem like I know nothing.
Stand up meeting. My manager explains that I don’t have to say anything, just observe and ask questions. Each team member explains their progress and any predicaments they have. I can’t tell you who said what because I’ve forgotten everyone’s names already.
The work they’re doing sounds so professional. How does someone manage a campaign successfully? Will I ever be as good as them?
I’m pitching titles to journalists. I asked how many I should aim for, 15-20? I’ve done this before so I’ve already exceeded that target. But my emails aren’t my best – or are they? I don’t know what the standard is here, I’m just going with it. I’m too far ahead now to ask if they’re alright or not. Why am I so shy? My hands start to shake.
A few have gone for lunch now, so I do too. I forgot the food I made last night so I head into the nearest café and text my family and friends an update.
Not sure if my work is good or not, feeling nervous.
Home seems so far away right now, and I need to go back to work and act like an adult who knows what she’s doing.
Everyone looks at me as I walk back into the office. Jess lets me know that my work so far is excellent. The tension leaves my shoulders a little.
Social media now. The manager sits at my desk and explains everything. I’ve seen most of their posts already – I studied them last night and listed ways they could improve. It’s intimidating saying them with everyone listening, but my manager is happy and gives me the go-ahead to schedule a few.
Posts drafted for all social channels. I get my boss to check them over, Jess checks too. They both like them. Feeling a little more confident now.
A journalist has responded to me asking questions. Jess helps me reply, but my mind is frazzled and I mistype a lot of words. Jess laughs, it happens to her too when someone watches her type. I just hope she’s serious and not feeling sorry for me.
Another member of the team asks me how I’m feeling about my first day so far. I tell him it’s nerve-racking, but I’m enjoying it. He lets me add a few songs to the music queue for the office.
My manager invites me into the meeting room to talk about my day. He said that I’m clearly nervous, but I’ll ease up. We’re a team here; we look out for each other. I don’t feel part of it yet, but looking back, I am happy with what I did and pleased they liked my work.
I can’t wait to go home. I’m tired and nervous still, the pressure of doing well again tomorrow is daunting. Everyone’s talking about me right now, I know it. I hope they like me and want me to stay.
1 YEAR LATER
Arrive at work and check my emails. A handful of responses from journalists accepting my press releases and a few tasks that I won’t have time for today – I delegate to my team if possible.
Stand up meeting. I feedback the progress I made last week with some campaigns I’m running, going into more detail for Rosie, the newbie who started last week, so she feels up to date.
I’m writing the blog for our website. I had a really good idea for it yesterday and gathered data from my colleagues to feature, I’m so excited!
Rosie receives a response from a journalist – I sit and help her, telling her not to worry about mistyping in front of me.
Lunchtime! I’m going to a new restaurant with my colleague, I’m looking forward to it.
More emails, things are still on track. I quickly check over Rosie’s work, she’s doing so well.
I schedule more social media posts. Our followers have doubled since I started, and we’ve gained some good business from it. I need to come up with a new strategy now that we’re close to meeting our KPI’s.
Meeting with the manager to discuss how we’re doing with a new client. Followed immediately by call with said client.
For the last hour of the day, I work on our outreach strategy. I’m pitching to sites that accept guest blogs, asking if they’re interested in content. My colour-coded spreadsheet is slowly becoming greener, so satisfying!
After feedbacking to Rosie, she heads home. I stay until about half-past to tie up some loose ends. A client isn’t happy with the edits I made to some content yesterday, I let my manager know. He rolls his eyes; the client is always doing this but he’s happy that I can handle them on my own. Job for the morning, I think.
On my train home, checking my savings account. Almost enough for my house deposit. I take my book out and read until I’m home, excited to tackle the next steps of my campaigns tomorrow.
Why we loved this piece
Loved it, really refreshing to read! Uplifting and positive. Expressive, interesting and relatable. The piece will resonate with a lot of people – not only new graduates but people who graduated a while ago or anyone that has had first job nerves. It was well paced with a nice, positive ending. We enjoyed the subtle humour, such as on day one she didn’t know what abbreviations like SEO meant, but later she uses her own abbreviations (KPI). This one stuck in our minds.