It’s been a funny old time to start a new career!
In March I was interviewed for a job at Prominent, eager to take on a fresh challenge in the world of public relations after more than a decade working as a journalist.
The coronavirus was sweeping the world, but at that time there was a lot of confusion over what would happen next and there were just whispers of a UK lockdown on the horizon.
However, just a few days later, the full gravity of the pandemic dawned on the nation and the country was quickly shut down.
It seemed my first foray into PR had been dashed.
At the end of a long summer honing my recipe for lasagne and brushing up on my DIY skills, I was delighted when Ellen, the editorial director, got in touch saying they were still keen on me joining Prominent.
Although my interview took place months before, I knew as soon as I had left the building it was the place I wanted to work, and kept my fingers crossed that they would call.
Having worked on newspapers all my adult life, I hadn’t really experienced life outside the newsroom.
A journalist’s life is often frantic, chasing and writing a stories against the clock knowing you need to get it done or face missing the scoop.
It taught me how to write accurately to tight deadlines, telling stories in a way that gets to the heart of an issue while keeping it concise and entertaining to read, and how to keep a cool head under pressure.
Knowing what makes a good story and how to write an engaging tale has helped enormously in my new life in PR.
Unfortunately, a lot of what you report on as a journalist is bad news – from heart-wrenching court stories and inquests to tributes paid to loved ones who have passed away - but my new role has given me the opportunity to write about topics I thought I would never have the chance to.
Public relations is definitely more cheerful, generally writing about the positives of an issue rather than the negatives.
I feel it gives you a chance for more creativity and thinking outside the box, and to write in a variety of different styles you just do not get to while writing news.
I’m so glad I joined the team when I did.
Starting part-time a month before the second lockdown, I got the chance to meet and work alongside the Prominent team in the office for a few weeks, socially distanced of course.
I could tell the moment I walked in I had made a good choice accepting the job offer.
My new colleagues are a really friendly bunch and have gone out of their way to make me feel welcome and part of the team.
Keeping Jade up-to-date with what I had in my lunchtime sandwich has become a daily tradition, as is her frustration with me not knowing any of the music she picks on Alexa.
I am now two weeks into working from home and I really miss the office – and fear I am going to come out of lockdown twice the man I am today with the fridge being so close at hand.
But hopefully I will be reunited with my new friends soon enough.
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