Living the dream
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a writer. In grade one I made my own Spot book and by grade three I wrote a chapter book. In grade five I was selected to attend a writers’ conference. I remember meeting real authors and thinking writing would be the ultimate career.
Fast forward many years and I was fortunate enough to find the public relations program at Mount Royal College. I had fallen out of love with writing at that point (Shakespeare did me in) but enjoyed everything about the program. We took classes in event planning, measurement, digital media, graphic design, media relations – and I seriously loved every part of it.
When I graduated I got a job working for a local theatre company. I was in charge of our programs, website and a few events. It was a great first “real” job. I look back at some of the things I was able to do – and I am horrified! I should start by telling you the “content management system” was in Access. Yup. The database. With my handy HTML textbook and a lot of Googling, I started the company’s podcast. I also built an online registration form for people coming from out of town to a weekend event – including taking credit card information that was emailed to me. I seriously look back and think about how lucky I am that nothing went horribly wrong! I loved what I did there – sadly the work environment and pay left something to be desired.
A year later, I moved onto the sector council focusing on the oil and gas industry. I worked there for six years, learning the ins and outs of project management while providing communications support to multiple government-funded projects. I managed our websites, reviewed reports, created our newsletter, organized events and managed a few projects on my own. The organization went through a merger while I was on maternity leave and my future role was uncertain, so I left.
After that, I worked as a consultant for a few years – writing blog posts, managing social media, creating marketing strategies, developing ads and writing and developing quite a few websites. I loved the diversity of the work. But missed working with a team.
I became a communications manager for a non-profit close to my heart. I worked on strategy, rebuilt a few websites and did a LOT of writing. I got to tell the stories of the clients, the families and the organization. But, ultimately I went back to consulting when I felt like I outgrew the role.
Within the first couple months of me full-time consulting again, an old coworker contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in supporting some of the same work that I’d done when working for the sector council. I jumped on the opportunity – and love it – writing, editing and creating with the team there is fantastic. And I still do contract work to support small businesses, so I’m definitely not bored!
I am so lucky to truly do what I love. Even on hard days, I wouldn’t change a thing.