For most of the pandemic, I was on furlough which was both a blessing and a curse.

I missed work but my family needed me and, looking back now, I’m grateful for the time I had to plan the next step in my career. When I wasn’t home-schooling or inventing new games to play with my kids, I was pounding the streets, thinking about what I wanted to do post-Covid.

Towards the end of 2021, I was selected to participate in a Scottish Enterprise women in leadership programme. As part of this programme, I analysed my skills and developed my dream job criteria. When I revisited my notepad to write this blog, I can see the criteria I set out, once a list on a piece of paper, has become a reality in my new role at BIG; writing every day, working directly with clients, being part of a friendly and supportive community, helping others, using my creativity, and feeling challenged every day.

My experience prior to joining BIG, almost four months ago, was a mix of media and communications, client and stakeholder engagement and project management.

I trained as a journalist, completing an MA in broadcast journalism, followed by seven years working in factual television and radio for the BBC. I then spent 10 years managing international, multi-stakeholder projects with companies ranging from blue chip organisations such as Microsoft Corporation to SMEs, local authorities, health trusts and third sector organisations.

Before joining BIG I had no experience of working within an agency and I was worried it might be an obstacle to getting a new job. However, once I figured out that I wanted to work for an agency, I researched companies and spoke to people within my network. This enabled me to understand what was required to make the leap and which agencies had the best reputations.

When I saw a job at BIG on my LinkedIn feed, I had a gut feeling that this was the role for me. During my first interview I was certain that I wanted to be part of BIG, but I didn’t know if my lack of agency experience would get in the way. Being offered the job of Senior Account Manager was a dream come true, but the fear soon set in. I wasn’t sure if I’d master the skills required in agency quickly enough.  

Of course, it has been a steep learning curve and every day feels like a school day, but my previous experience and skills allowed me to dive in at the deep end.

From day one I was working with clients. I had to overcome my fear of asking for help because there are many things about agency life you can’t learn or experience until you are part of it. I ask for advice about something most days, reassured that there is always support available. I’ve felt part of the BIG community since day one – testament to its culture.

My experience in television and radio has been invaluable. Supporting clients with writing – anything from scripts for videos, to intranet articles, award entries, press releases and social media posts is a key part of my job. My project management and stakeholder engagement experience has been beneficial in organising and planning PR and communications and for working with the many stakeholders with whom BIG’s clients engage regularly.

Being highly organised, planning daily tasks, while looking ahead at the bigger picture has been crucial. The ability to think creatively to help BIG’s clients tell their stories in a compelling way is also key and team brainstorms ensure no avenue is left unexplored. It helps that I am committed to delivering the best work for my clients, team and the agency. I believe this is at the heart of BIG – everyone cares deeply about the work they create and their colleagues. This is a winning formula and ensures that everyone has the chance to reach their potential and do great work.

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