find’s new hire shares his experiences

James Nicholson has recently joined the Find Marketing team via the government’s Kickstart scheme, after leaving university. This scheme was set up to boost recruitment with government support, so companies like Find Marketing in Wiltshire can easily take on graduates to develop their skills. In this personal blog, James ‘spills the beans’ on what it’s been like to start a career in this way.

I’d like to share my experience of how I was recruited to Find Marketing Ltd through the Kickstart scheme. Hopefully my blog will encourage companies to understand how hiring through the Kickstart scheme allows someone with a lot to offer but with relatively little job experience, to gain relevant skills, and become a valued member of staff in a company.

day one, as a marketer

The first day brought the opportunity to meet the Find team and experience the wonderful atmosphere and culture of the office. My first impression was how pleasant the location and environment of Find’s office is, which feels important. The cosy office is surrounded by expansive green fields, stables and galloping horses, which is very relaxing. Looking out of the window in front of my desk and seeing a slightly bemused horse sticking its head out of its stable was the kind of quirky thing I knew I was going to love about working at Find.

The Link with a Latte business coffee morning at Cumberwell Park in Wiltshire. Lots of businesses talking to each other and that’s James on the left, enjoying the presentation.

In terms of work, I had been pushed in at the deep end, in the best way possible. I was given the perfect amount of structure and guidance and trusted to conduct research for developing some of the internal systems Find Marketing uses. Shadowing the team and their daily practises of client briefings, meetings, research, content strategy and sales pitches has allowed me to learn quickly without feeling overwhelmed or out of my depth.

There was one thing that did catch me off guard however, but it had nothing to do with the work but the sudden appearance of a clumsily big Labrador, who noticed that the office door was ajar and took the opportunity to barge in. I discovered too late that this dog has an appetite for discarded banana skins as he launched himself into the office bins and ran out with several old skins in his mouth. I later found out that this dog is called Digger, which is a very suitable name!

after the first week

When my first week at Find Marketing was completed, it had been exciting to absorb the professional and productive, but laid-back atmosphere and dabble in some of the key processes of the company.

Training courses, client meetings and marketing strategy discussions punctuated my workflow and helped me understand the key functions of Find and for marketing effectively. Everything came back to ‘purpose’. We always ask, ‘why’ are we doing something? ‘Is it useful?’ ‘Does it have direction?’ ‘Will it support the client?’ The natural rotation of the activities has given my week structure, whilst allowing me spaces for the kind of independence that a creative role should involve.

working from home

Richard is looking particularly happy to be back in the office with the team after a week of remote working with only the cat for company!

In the second week of work, the team and I remote worked from home. With a change in environment and reduced interaction with the team it was important to figure out how to work more independently, although a one-hour morning meeting and afternoon catch up bookended each day nicely. Whilst it was enjoyable working like this, as I stayed in familiar home surroundings, in all honesty I missed the office conversations and fun we had.

mission, vision and values workshop

The team and I attended a workshop at Digital Mansion Corsham, to plan, discuss and expand upon Find’s vision, mission and values in the runup to 2022. It was important to have an external company conduct this for objectivity. The workshop was led by Paul Kelly of Pandek Group and began with Helen and Paul introducing the value and mission statement for Find, which then flowed into a group exercise where we wrote a series of words on Post-it notes which best describe Find and its culture.

Vision, Mission and Values workshop over two days.

Ultimately this resulted in the creation of our ‘BLISS’ acronym, which stands for Bold, Learning, Integrity, Searching and Strategic. The acronym means it sticks in the head and reminds us easily of what we are about. The satisfaction of emerging from the workshop, feeling  unified and clear on how we want to direct the future of Find, was immensely satisfying.

the two-month marker

The figurative ‘training wheels’ were coming off by the time I hit the two month milestone of being at Find. Having experienced a range of tasks, clients and team-building exercises I felt I was more than ever embodying the values of Find Marketing.

The team has been invaluable in providing me with the structure I need to be able to direct myself and produce tangible results, whilst at the same time entrusting me with enough independence to find my own style of working and be responsible for my own projects. I have been given the freedom to help run Find’s social media marketing through planning and scheduling the types of pictures, text and tone which I feel Find’s clients want to see. I am also helping with blogs, this being my first ever! The independence and creative freedom I have been given has allowed me to feel like a valuable asset to Find and makes me love coming in each day to see where I can take our marketing next.

Going forward I have a lot to learn, but as my skills grow so does my confidence. I look forward to seeing how my skills can continue to help out the team and vice versa. For now, I’m anticipating what new challenges and opportunities for growth that the December and January period will bring as more businesses look to us to help them restructure their marketing, as we all step forward into the new year.

Contact Find Marketing if you want to explore how we can help you develop and improve your marketing and enable you to make more sales, through 2022 and beyond. For scale up, Kickstart is a great scheme to develop new talent for your firm and gives you the opportunity to hire someone who can grow in their role as your company grows.