Back in business

Four an a half years ago I wrote a blog post outlining my top 5 tips for starting a new digital marketing job.

Now I've left the glamorous world of construction marketing and returned to education marketing at The Royal Veterinary College and many of them still stand. That's right, I'm back in Higher Education and what an amazing place to work it is!

In many ways, after my time away from the sector very little has changed. It's as competitive as ever, there are all the same acronyms and there is still the same amount of policy to wade through. Where I've noticed a difference is in the type of institution I'm working for. For a start, clearing isn't a thing here and the students around campus are massively more hard working, eloquent and intelligent than I'll ever be.

Then of course, there's the animals. Lots of them. In my role I'm responsible for helping market the small and exotic animal hospitals as well as student recruitment. This definitely fulfills my ongoing desire to market something which actually makes a difference to people's lives. The work the professors, doctors, nurses and students do is truly world class.

The hardest bit for me has been going from a job where I understand the business, know my stakeholders and have configured all of the systems, to inheriting new ones. In some ways they're better (all CMS systems have their eccentricities) and in others I'm all at sea.

In my first week, and for the first time in a good few years, I picked up a new system and couldn't immediately get to grips how it worked. This was an uncomfortable feeling and I immediately started to feel that maybe this was the point when I'd lost my touch.

I'm not usually one to pay much heed to the many motivational quotes that are shared around the internet but I saw one the other day that made me feel a lot better.

"I'm not lost, I'm just at the beginning of the journey".

I knew there would be lots to learn in a new job and one of the reasons I needed a change was to be challenged again by people I could bounce ideas off and have healthy debates with. As long as I make positive progress each day then that's enough at this stage.

For now, I'm taking the approach that the best way to learn is by doing. Thankfully I have lots of projects I've either picked up from others, or see the need to instigate myself, in order to do this. The fact I've still got lots of drive and fresh ideas shows I'm not washed up just yet!

The other danger is that I set an early precedent for bad habits like not going for walks or leaving my desk to eat at lunch. The big problem with office work can be that thinking doesn't look like working to others. I've proved this to myself already but cracking a technical problem in my head during a lunchtime walk and having my most productive afternoon's work for ages after enjoying a particularly delicious lunch of beef tacos in the campus restaurant.

So with all this in mind I'm going to make a few promises to myself:
  1. Blog more regularly (writing this has been quite therapeutic!)
  2. Be thankful that I'm being paid to learn
  3. Appreciate my surroundings and the great work of the company I now belong to
  4. Don't spread myself too thinly in an attempt to immediately try and impress everyone
  5. Eat more tacos
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