Navigating Career Paths with Creativity and Connection

As part of our #IChoseIC Series Erin McGinty talks about finding her perfect match in an IC career.

04 Apr 2024
by Erin McGinty

Like a lot of young people finishing school and staring at the wide unknown that was the rest of my life, I had no clue what I wanted to do as a career. And looking back, I didn’t even know what internal comms was.

All I knew at that time (studying A Levels) was that I loved English. So, I went on to study language and literature at university. Cue a slight panic three years later when I was no closer to choosing a career path - apart from ruling out teaching.

After doing a few weeks of work experience at a marketing agency over the summer and enjoying it, I’d found the path for my first ‘proper job’. My first role was writing copy and instructions for gardening products – I’ve still not put any of the horticultural facts to good use! I then moved on to the marketing assistant role and looking back, so much of this was IC based, and I definitely found those parts of the role the most enjoyable. Putting together the monthly internal newsletter filled with colleagues’ personal stories, exciting life updates and achievements was much more satisfying than writing copy for the pruners’ backing card.

Fast forward a couple of years and I’m in a small agency, writing blogs for a wide range of clients, enjoying the spinning of plates, and switching between each story. But just less than three years into my post-university working life, COVID hit and suddenly, I was made redundant and looking for a job anywhere.

Jobs in communications weren’t coming up and I decided to focus on finding an amazing place to work, rather than the dream role – this could always come up later (spoiler alert, it did!)

I was working in customer service at a Coventry Building Society branch. It was a wonderful welcome into the Society, but in the back of my mind, I knew I wanted to get back to writing. Secondments and taster days were out of the question, and everyone was working from home. So I had to put myself out there and reach out to teams across the Society to find out a little bit more about what they do. Zoom calls with a whole host of departments, from marketing to financial crime, gave me a lot to think about. But it was the colleague communications team that really stood out to me. After that it was a waiting game to see if a role would come up.

And after one year of being in branch, it did. Now, I’m almost three years into the role and am still loving every minute of it! I was really lucky that it was a brand-new role, so had a lot of freedom and flexibility that came with it, and it’s evolved so much since I started.

A huge focus of the role was leading on our new internal social channel for colleagues. Not only was I taking on my first IC dedicated role, but I was also trying to encourage a whole workforce to share their own stories.

IC is ever changing and at the Society, a wider definition of IC has been fully embraced. We’re not just ‘telling’, we’re engaging colleagues and using our channels to create two-way conversation.

Writing had always been the main focus when looking for my ideal role, now it’s so much more. Working in IC, I’m not just a writer. I’m a videographer, content creator, event planner, interviewer, webinar host – and the list is still growing.

One of the lovely things I get to do in my role is present at our monthly corporate induction days, welcoming new starters and talking to them about what we do in the internal comms team. And while many people still might assume it is ‘just writing’, it’s so much more than that. To our newcomers, I try and sum it up by saying, ‘we give you the tools to help you do your job’.  

We’re there to share major business updates, and the small stuff too. There to amplify the colleague voice, share their stories and celebrate their successes. We’re there to cheerlead, guide and support colleagues in building connections. All while trying to keep things as simple and straightforward as possible, which isn’t always easy.

One thing I love about working in IC is the opportunity for creativity. Trying to think of new, exciting ways to share messages and launch initiatives can be challenging, but it’s even more satisfying when it pays off.  

Since starting in the role almost three years ago, I’ve come a long way with my presentation skills. I used to be so nervous and dread presenting to a group of 30 colleagues, now I can host a webinar with company execs and speak to hundreds of viewers. I’m still nervous – but I’m told it doesn’t show! I’ve helped to launch a mobile app to colleagues and had so many opportunities to develop new skills in video editing and content creation.

I’ve got the ‘unprecedented times’ of 2020 to thank for finding my place in IC and now I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else.

If you’re feeling a little lost when it comes to finding a career, or need a change form the one you’re in now, IC is a wonderful place to be. You’ll develop so many transferable skills that could take you just about anywhere, or you might even find that IC is the right fit for you.

Find out more about #IChoseIC Campaign and how to get involved here.

Related topics