In a perfect world I'd be writing this blog and telling the story of how I first came across the opportunity of a career in internal communications during my days at school and college, fell in love with it immediately and the rest is history. But after the past year we've all had, I think it's fair to say we don't live in a perfect world! However, don't feel disheartened and bear with me because, as you read on, you'll see that I did in fact choose a career in IC, even if I went on a little journey to get there first…
Going back far too many years I wish to remember, I was fortunate enough to get a six-month university placement at B&Q working in their PR team. For me, this couldn't have come at a better time – I'd fallen out of love with the day-to-day university lifestyle and classroom-based learning, and the placement gave me the opportunity to learn on the job and gain valuable life experience in the process.
I couldn't wait to get stuck in. In fact, I was so eager that I was the first (and possibly the only) person to put their hand up to take on some overtime, supporting the Internal Communications team with the planning of a leadership event. At the end of each day, I would move to another part of the office and join the team to work on their event plans and logistics. I even got to attend the event too, wearing my 'event team' t-shirt with pride and experiencing the buzz of us all working together to make it an event to remember. This was my first proper glimpse into the world of internal communications, and from that point on I knew it was something I wanted to explore further.
However, as much as I loved my time with the PR and Internal Communications teams, it wasn't where I 'thought' I should be. Having later graduated with a degree in business management and HR, I convinced myself that I should be putting my newfound HR knowledge into practice. I therefore moved into the field of learning and development, where I spent six wonderful years working on an array of employee and management development programmes, supporting my fellow colleagues with their own learning journeys. Yet deep down, I knew that my own development journey was by no means over, and I put getting back into internal communications well and truly in my sights.
To cut a long story short, that drive and determination led me to where I am today. I've now spent nearly ten years working in internal communications (with a bit of PR and Public Affairs thrown in for good measure), and I've never looked back.
To me personally, internal communications is the perfect blend of being able to work proactively, whilst enjoying those moments where you have to switch into reactive mode and enjoy the adrenaline that accompanies the situation in play. Every day is different, bringing variety and excitement to the role along with a whole host of learning opportunities. Whether you're writing copy for your intranet, creating a compelling campaign for an upcoming employee engagement initiative, or working alongside your colleagues in external communications to consider how best to align your key areas of focus, there's never a dull day.
And, what's great is that there are so many ways to continue developing yourself as an internal communications professional too. Whether it's via your fellow colleagues, or by utilising the vast array of webinars, courses, podcasts or qualifications on offer. The world of internal communications is full of amazing individuals who can't wait to share their own experiences to help others flourish. I've been able to learn so much from others within the profession, many of whom I will likely never meet, yet their open and honest approach to their successes (and failures!) help us all to be better at what we do, and deliver the best for our colleagues. We're all in this together, and that's why I'm proud to be an #IChoseIC Ambassador, in order to help others understand that internal communications is an incredibly rewarding career, and should most certainly be considered a career of choice.