New Starter Diary: Joe Dickinson (Month 1)
Before I tell you about Evoluted, let me tell you a bit about my working background.
After finding a passion for marketing at university, I decided digital marketing was the right career path for me. The psychology and creativity, along with the interaction with different audiences, really fascinated me.
Fresh out of university, I decided to make the rather rash decision to resign from my employer of 6 years. Having slowly worked my way up to a marketing-related role, I decided to instead give the garage e-commerce business I’d set up during that time my full attention. Oh and also to move to Newcastle, as apparently, the nightlife was good (it was).
I loved digital marketing, but I wanted to have full responsibility and unleash my creativity - hence why being my own boss made sense.
Although I had successfully launched a business that went onto achieve some form of commercial success (and one that is still active today), I soon learned that it had its pitfalls. For example, running your own business is great if you can be financially viable enough to be able to hire people with knowledge, but for me, being fresh out of uni (and responsible for a wide range of positions), was hindering me.
My goal for starting the business was to focus solely on marketing, but it was evident that when running your own business, you were a jack of all trades. Within a year, I wanted to work for an organisation operating within an area I actually felt passionate for - marketing.
I deemed working for myself as a job I got lumbered with, which was poorly paid for the stress that came with it. I was quite jealous to watch fellow uni mates settle down with careers which were solely focused within their given field – hence my interest in working for Evoluted.
March: The Interview
I felt the interview was very relaxed. So much so in fact, that I was convinced they’d found someone else and they were simply interviewing me out of respect. I’d done quite a few interviews over the past 2 weeks and not only was this a more friendly approach to an interview, it also made me feel a lot less nervous.This was mainly as I thought I didn't stand a chance.
It was clear from the interview that the role could be more fitting to what I wanted from a job - and that was to gain support, learning and new skills above everything else.
April : Starting the Job
On my first day, I was greeted by someone from the development team and then introduced by Giorgio to the business in full. I was also effectively given another mini interview with Ash, since it was Giorgio and Sean that had interviewed me. He seemed very different to how I imagined him.
My first impressions were great. I had a bit of worry that everyone in a very proud digital marketing agency might be very involved in their work, that they’d have no time for social events, but if anything, I found it quite the opposite.
I was nervous, but everyone was so friendly it made it hard to shy away. I wasn't sure how to introduce myself, as it takes time for someone like me to be myself and feel comfortable. I do have a habit of being shy to voice an opinion, but within the first week I noticed how involved everyone made me feel.
I was also really worried I’d be thrown in at the deep end - the Einstein of SEO and digital marketing if you will - but I was given plenty of time to learn at my own pace. This was something I’d never experienced before. The same applied to the support from my colleagues, who showed me the processes and even took the time to write down the steps.
I was buddied up with one of the team, who is a specialist in PPC. The skills I was shown from him were invaluable, nothing was too much trouble. He shared lots of tips that generally came after years of experience.
This is when I was given my first client, but I wasn’t left by myself, I was paired up with an experienced colleague, who would basically guided me through a general checklist, then let me have hands-on experience of making the edits myself and providing feedback.
The rest of the week consisted of me monitoring and introducing myself to the client, as well as being given time to complete work for a Google AdWords certificate. I was rather surprised to be given permission to learn these on company time, as I truly expected it would be something I would do outside working hours – for that, I am extremely grateful.
Anything that online coursework didn't explain, Giorgio was more than happy to guide me.
I was encouraged to make a revision guide, which I continue to write, which I found extremely helpful. Every day I keep it updated with what I’ve learned and stuff I’ve struggled with, to ensure I can continue my development
I was given the responsibility of four new clients, but this time they were larger clients with greater needs. Any work completed was done with the support of my colleagues, who simply ensured any edits were the right call.
I also had a meeting with Giorgio about how I felt it was going from my end. I was sceptical about taking this job and was just thankful it was exactly what I was looking for. We discussed areas I felt I was struggling in, although when I say we, it was so informal that it was Giorgio simply taking notes and coming up with a set plan.
One of my issues was my lack of understanding of Google Analytics. Giorgio offered to allow me to complete the online courses and arranged time for me to spend with the content team.
This was probably when the COVID-19 pandemic really started to be taken seriously here in the UK. I personally wasn’t very concerned regarding the impact on the way I work and solely thought it was the media overreacting. Further into the week, I noticed a lot of my colleagues were opting to work at home, which was a bit worrying, since I would arguably say I still wanted their support.
I was catching public transport into work and the bus had gone from being packed, to being my own private chauffeur.
I really didn't want to work from home initially. Not only did I feel it created a poor WLB, but as I was still training, I felt it could possibly hinder my progress and make it harder to learn from others.
It soon became apparent, however, that travelling on public transport and mixing with lots of people was a bit dangerous, especially as the role was perfectly suited to a home environment. It was later decided that working from home was the best option, a couple of days later it became an official rule.
I will admit I worried, mainly because I was concerned if there was something I didn’t fully understand, how I could quickly ask someone for help? I also felt more isolated. I had a friend in a very similar position as me, starting training at a new job, then 3 weeks later he was WFH. It was reassuring to feel he shared the same worries,
Looking back though, I’ve found it a lot easier than I thought I would, which I think is down to the powers of Slack and a range of online platforms we use to keep work organised. I definitely miss the office environment though and I don’t like the fact there is not a divide between home and a workplace. One good point is that it’s cut down on my commuting hours, which means I can be more flexible when I start and I feel it makes me more productive, as I have to self-plan a lot of my own tasks.
Thanks for reading - stay tuned to the blog for the next edition of my diary posts, which will be published once a month.