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First Job in Marketing – My Advice

By Burn •

  • Advice

Monday 11th September 2017 marked the start of my first ever week of full-time employment. One week onwards, first-day jitters in check, I can genuinely now say I loved every minute of it, even filling in the forms – yes, really. Why? It felt like I was signing up to adult life and an exciting future.

Here is some advice on how to successfully become an adult:

  • Do not expect trains to be punctual or affordable in Britain. Anywhere. Ever. The entire system is based upon a regularly tested format called ‘signalling failure’. The official calculation for length and cost of commute is as follows:

(Expected journey time x 2) + (Reasonable cost of journey x 2) = Actual Commute Expenditure*

*note to factor in a bus replacement on the least convenient day

  • Get a season ticket – it saves a lot of money. Depressing fact: public transport in London is the most expensive in the world (see a global comparison of costs here).
  • Marketing, agency and business-based shorthand are a whole new language, seriously. My next post will be dedicated to it as I currently have a list of twenty or so.
  • Ask questions! It’s your first job, no matter how much prep you do, you will not know everything. Also, every agency works differently, so what might have been perfect in a previous placement, may not be how it works at your new job. No question is stupid and by asking, it stops you from wasting your time doing the wrong thing.
  • Birthdays. Amazingly, I somehow managed to sync my first two days with three birthdays in an agency of around twenty people. Although this may seem like a fantastic opportunity in the realm of cake (or cheese) consumption, weight gain was not the only setback…
    1. I had never met the person whose card it was, sadly resulting in the least personal note ever written.
    2. The already slightly uncomfortable experience of singing “Happy Birthday” for all involved is amplified when you don’t know the name of the person you’re singing to. Consequently you’re forced to fade out and mouth whatever you guess to be their name and pray nobody is looking at you.
  • You can now have a subscription for literally anything. The two in question that came up this week were a sock and shave club. Whilst I can see the advantages of a shave club in never having to remember to buy razors again, or suffering the frustration of a completely pointless shave, I think if I was in a position where I felt I needed to sign up to receive monthly socks as a treat, my life would need a serious excitement overhaul.
  • Be a sponge. There’s a lot to absorb in your first week: people’s names, jargon, processes, clients, accounts, admin, new technology and office ettiquete. Don’t let it overwhelm you, just make sure you write it all down, you’ll want to come back to it as it’s impossible to take in everything first time. Trust me.
  • Millennial call anxiety. Unfortunately, despite being able to type a lengthy iMessage in seconds, I experience an unreasonable level of anxiety at the prospect of picking up and speaking to somebody I can’t see. Honestly, I frequently decline my best friends’ and parents’ calls as a reflex (sorry).
  • Swearing in the office is perfectly ok. Apologies if you read this before your first day and loudly swear – expecting to fit seamlessly into your team, only to be promptly removed.

Finally, I can genuinely say that I feel very lucky to not only be working with such a variety of exciting clients, but to have been welcomed into such a lovely, talented group of people. Every single person has helped me find my feet within the team and feel like I fit in. Throughout my time at BURN, I will ensure that I do not let them down…apart from potentially in my blog writing, only time will tell.