There’s no such thing as bad work experience
Updated: Feb 19
My first digital marketing job position was a complete and utter disaster, but it was probably the steepest learning curve I have had to date. The reason for that is I did genuinely learn a lot. I was thrown into the deep end considering my little-to-no experience in digital marketing. The other intern and I were straight away involved in exciting things like like developing the company strategy, honing the company positioning by looking at customer segmentation, working with the graphic designer and back end to build the company aesthetic. I had so much fun learning so much and feeling like I was important in the business. Unfortunately however, the company environment left something to be desired. There was a severe lack of communication between the head of the European branch and the CEO, every corner that could be cut was cut, and days went by in a flurry of confusion and disorganisation. Some days we would come in and there would be about an hour or two of hanging around while the EU branch manager tried to decide what they needed us to do for the day, and then we would just learn how to do it and do our best. This was a great way to learn, we certainly learnt how to self-motivate and take initiative, but there was a lack of coordination which I resented. I was there to learn, not to waste time, and I didn’t have the authority to fix their issue. The idea behind the start-up was great, but the execution was extremely poor. Soon the website was failing because of lazy shortcuts that had been taken early on, and we were drowning under a scourge of customer service issues. Our role went from exciting learning to spending all day answering emails from angry customers who were wondering why their bookings were disappearing into the ether. It was disappointing to say the least. The other intern and I stuck it out until the end of the internship, but by the end of it there was no offer to continue with the company, because it had dissolved. I was annoyed at the time and felt like I had wasted 6 months of my life (at the time I thought that was a long time – oh to be young!) but I now recognise that it was an invaluable life lesson, that even the best laid plans can fail without the proper execution, and a good idea isn’t always enough. I don’t believe that there is such thing as a bad employee (well I really do but let me finish), only a bad manager. A manager has to be able to take clear and decisive action, they have to be able to delegate of course, but they must have a clear action plan. The manager has to be able to have vision and communicate this vision to their team members to ensure completion of that goal. If there’s anything I hate its inefficient use of time.
I have high expectations for my manager but only because that is the standard I would set for myself when I become the manager.