The journey to self-employment, self-discovery, self-fulfilment and brand building did not happen quickly for me. I had, for a long time in my career been careful, quiet and the opposite of a self-promoter. That is until one day, I had my safe career option pulled away from me with such force that I lost confidence in my capability.
To put my story into a time continuum, after leaving secondary school, I studied accounting. A great two years, until my mother became terminally ill and passed away during my last semester. Missing days of study, I also missed the day one of the big four banks came knocking and interviewed my fellow students, offered jobs and their careers were set.
That opportunity never came again. But at the time I wouldn’t have known my career was not to be of the accountancy type. My entry into the marketing communications industry began in 1995.
Yes, last century when email was in the infancy stage, faxes were used daily, mobile phones were for the wealthy and the traditional communication channels for advertising your brand was television, radio and newspapers. Social Media – that was the social pages in the newspaper wasn’t it?
Fast forward, the opportunity did arrive. A job the marketing department of a large media organisation. There I learnt the fun to be had with marketing campaigns, promotions, watching as sponsorship programs came to life and graphic designers created.
A bunch of birds @tangaloomaislandresort January 2018
After some travel, I landed an admin job in a large marketing lead organisation. Opportunity to work in the marketing team came up. Taught by creative and driven marketers, PR specialists, research and advertising experts I learnt the best methods to analyse and deliver marketing results.
More travel, new roles and ten years had passed since I started in that large organisation. I had great experience and mentors. The internet was taking off, digital was becoming the new way for brands to promote and engage with customers. It just wasn’t happening fast enough where I was working.
My marketing career wasn’t always rosy, and I changed jobs. I experienced a foul-mouthed CEO on day one (I looked surprised around the room as no one else batted an eyelid) to working in a wonderful community organisation, while lacking in budget jumped on board the ideas, processes and strategies of good marketing communication practice.
I will be forever grateful to the managers who showed me the value of a community focussed organisation balanced with good marketing communication strategy.
So how did I end up creating The Communication Place?
After having my second child in 2015, I wanted to return to work when an opportunity at the large organisation I had worked for previously came up. Well I didn’t get the job (back).
Devastated, embarrassed, angry and upset. It took six months for me to let go of those feelings. I wanted and needed that job. Why? To help make me feel like a worthwhile (career wise), brain functioning and socially acceptable person. Up to that point, my brain really felt like it was turning to mush, and I was honestly not made for 100% stay at home mum life.
Love my kids but I so missed my career life and in the months that passed, I doubted my skills, experience and reputation.
Acceptance finally came, just before Christmas 2016. I volunteered for a committee role and the community business needed a marketing plan and website. Well I could do that. I did do it and it was the best decision I made for myself in terms of my family and career.
It was during the volunteering role, writing and planning a marketing plan and a website awoke the creativity in me. How I had missed marketing communications. The integrated campaign dreams, how social media and digital has transformed and opened up all communication channels for everyone.
The brand was starting to evolve.
Often, I would see branding or advertising material for a small business or even big business and think “why did they do that?” or “the key message is off” or “gee if they had a good marketing strategy more people would know how good their product/service is”.
This was usually followed by me explaining to my husband why communication is really at the centre of all marketing activities, public relations, social and digital and of course branding.
If you don’t know your message or customers, and how they like to receive messages, then it is a wasted exercise.
More brand idea generation and that theme again, communication.
Ideas for my own marketing communication business to help other small business and community organisations, started popping into my brain, daily. I would see opportunities for improved communication and new marketing strategies everywhere.
My career was up to me to design and build around my family.
I would never have thought two years ago, after one door closed, another would open, leading to The Communication Place.
Sounds like a cliché but it is true. It happened to me.