One of the reasons I love working in IC is that no day is ever the same. You might be project managing the development and delivery of a recognition campaign or event; using your creative skills like writing, video and animation production; partnering with leaders to communicate the strategy; listening to what employees have to say or analysing data to measure engagement. You could be connecting with your inner techie implementing digital channels - or proposing the communications approach to help manage a crisis.

Your work goes to the heart of the employee experience. How, what and when you communicate - especially when there's big change - makes a massive difference to how people feel about where they work, so it's important to get it right and help people understand what's happening, why, and what it means for them. When there's likely to be media interest in the changes, the stakes are even higher.

I started my career as a sub-editor in magazines which aimed to help readers 'get more out of their PC' and included reviews of new kit, software and games, how-to guides and answered reader questions. I started doing simple design, proof-reading, editing and writing. Later, as editor, I led a team to plan and produce monthly magazines with production values - including the all-important cover - that would stand out on a busy newsstand. I learned so much that I still use today: the importance of deadlines (there were big fines for missing print slots); how to write engaging stories; the qualities of decent photos; how to manage projects, budgets and teams; I improved my eye for design and developed a healthy fear of typos. It also introduced me to tech - I worked on a feature predicting how in the future we'd 'surf' the 'world wide web' to 'find out anything'. It seemed unbelievable!

Following a move to the south coast - and finding there were no publishing opportunities - I secured a role working in Southern Water's press office. There, I was responsible for communicating the benefits of its capital investment projects such as improvements to its water treatment works and wastewater recycling to external stakeholders - MPs, councillors, the public and media. While there would be long-term benefits from this investment, there would also be disruption to local communities. I built on my skills adding stakeholder engagement, event management and media relations to the mix, and started to get involved in basic internal comms as I wrote for and later edited the company newspaper.

In 2005 Southern Water outsourced its capital investment programme to a joint venture comprising United Utilities, Costain (construction) and MWH (an engineering consultancy) and I moved across to lead internal, external and customer comms activity. IC got interesting about now as I worked with the leadership team to build 'one team' culture; we launched a company newsletter, held town halls, built an intranet and developed a recognition programme. I learned about 'hard to reach' audiences, communicating on HR issues and how to build a culture. As the peak of the contract passed and with my employer - United Utilities - mostly operating 200 miles away, I debated my next move with a career coach. I dabbled with some bid work (unsatisfying when we didn't get the contract), explored options for going into project management (too dry) and HR (too legal). This was when I chose IC - but I had to recognise there just weren't that many opportunities nearby.

I bit the bullet and took an interim role under my own limited company for a digital transformation programme at Thames Water and started the IoIC's PgDip ICM course. I also decided to live in Reading during the week to minimise travel and give me time to study - this might be a bit extreme but I had limited responsibilities so it worked OK. As part of IBM's change team I learned loads about programme management, business readiness and change communications.

Around the time the programme ended my personal circumstances changed and I moved to Hampshire, joining SSE's Retail business where I got involved in loads of interesting projects at a time of huge change for the retail energy industry. I set up the internal comms function for Retail and its 9000 people, building a team and implementing new channels, as well as communicating significant changes that went to the heart of employees' relationship with the business. Last year we were separated from SSE PLC and were acquired by OVO following a year-long campaign communicating our planned merger with npower. Along the way there's been culture changes and cost reductions, changes to systems and ways of working, digital transformation and post-acquisition integration. Oh yeah - and a global pandemic.

This week I start a new role with BRE; there'll be more to learn, a new culture to understand and people to meet. And while I have experience to lean on I also know that if I need it there are loads of resources available together with a hugely supportive IC community that'll offer help and advice.