Being the new girl

08Nov09

I suppose it would be quite an anticlimax if I didn’t mention how my first week of work went. After all, I did spend months whinging about being unemployed and so surely writing about being employed in the media is much more interesting?

This last week has been one of the longest in my life apart from periods of major examinations at school and university of course.

For those of you who do not know, I have been given a standard lower-end of the pay scale media job as a member of the editorial team for a well-known travel organisation. The building I work in is a large, blue sardine tin nestled around a vast, grey car park fringed with dozens more large blue sardine tins. Unlike Bloomberg’s opulent offices in the Capital or the shiny, modern Guardian Media Group building in Manchester – I am plunged back to reality. This is what the first rung has to be unless your daddy chums it up with the players on Fleet Street. Glamour has very little to do with a job’s appeal to me, after all, I picked Journalism as my choice career and not… well to be honest there are very few jobs out there that are glamourous 100% of the time that spring to mind. Victoria Beckham, whatever she does, that seems to be quite glamorous.

Anyway, meeting, greeting and forgetting names followed by pictures taken for my security pass, a tour of the canteen and the girl’s loos, here’s your desk, ok.

Only a week in and I have been given actual countries to look after and style guides for the differing publications to revise. Style guides like I have never encountered before. Style guides to  my mind denote tone of voice, use of certain vocabulary and stock phrases and writing with a particular demographic in mind with the notion of creativity piping into the work you do at the same time. The style guides I have been studying are disected to the point of obsession. The omission of sentences in favour of bullet points, removing full stops at the ends of sentences, not mentioning about hairdressers.

On Friday I found myself wondering if I would ever actually get to do any writing. Considering on journalism work experience you are given reams of picture stories to write up and chase for interviews, I have to admit missing the creativity and speaking to human beings and using my short hand except when taking notes from one of my very sweet senior colleagues.

How much can you tell from a week? I am busy enough to know I am earning my salary but I am not sure how comfortable I am yet. In all honesty, I feel quite different from my colleagues, but maybe that is just down to being the new girl.

And so when I go into work tomorrow I will be combing through ready-prepared text on the system and changing it to fit in with the style guide. No actual writing. More copying, pasting and making sentences into bullet points where applicable.

All of the above misgivings can be put down to being new but at this stage, not only do I miss my journalism classmates from Salford like crazy, but I miss Journalism.

I can relate all of this to being seven years old and starting at my new school in Leicester after moving down from Glasgow. Literally no friends, in the eyes of other seven year olds I might as well have been beamed down from Mars, and I was nervous, looking around for Dairsie House and the teachers that knew me and talked like me. Same feeling but one I haven’t had since moving down to England. Not even moving to Secondary school or Uni replicated this. Secondary school, you go there with loads of other kids from your old school and Uni everybody’s new and drinking heavily to get over the first week. This was cold turkey-style newness and having gone through it before, I know it doesn’t last very long.

But still, I have a nagging doubt.

Maybe I’m not cut out for editorial work, maybe I’m meant to be a reporter. I’m worried that I’m not going to be pushed hard enough.

Still, early days, early days. And at least I get to wear nice shoes (reporters don’t wear heels because there’s to much leg-work) and I’m getting paid more than a trainee reporter. The deadlines are the same with this job which is exciting, speaking to people based all around the world is fun too. The stuff I proofread is incredible and nothing if not inspiring! Touring Borneo, majestic 5* resorts in Dubai, boutique hotels in Paris, sprawling villas on tiny Greek Islands, what adventurous youngster could resist?

Stay tuned, and hopefully my next blog will be full of the exciting people I have spoken to and the amazing places I have written about.

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One Response to “Being the new girl”

  1. 1 Konnio

    Hmmm, very interesting … I really enjoy your blog


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