I left school with good grades, a HNC in Media and Communications, and an offer of an unconditional into year two of Events Management at my chosen university. My dream (or so I thought at the time) was coming alive and I left high school so excited and confident about my future.
I was at university full time, and also bagged a zero-hour contract job at the time which allowed me to choose what hours I wanted to work each week to fit in around uni. If I only wanted to work 4 hours one week then 12 the next, I could. I thought it was perfect.
It was May 2016 and semester two had just ended so that was me finished with uni until September. This was the time when students go back home, go traveling, go celebrating, or simply just enjoy the break from all the classes, textbook reading, and essay writing. I had sat all my exams by the end of April so should have had five whole months to do whatever I wanted. Turned out I got two weeks, possibly three at a push before I received a phone call from the hospital and was in for a big operation two days later.
The surgery went really well and smooth, but the recovery not so much. I was in hospital for over a week, and once discharged I spent another four months recovering and taking things easy, hoping I would be fit enough to get into the full swing of uni when it was time to go back. September came around, and I lost a lot of motivation. I was under a lot of pressure to keep up with the work load and though I only started picking up a few hours at work in October, by the time the exams came in late November, it had all got well above my head. I sat my exams, but no matter the outcome I had already decided I wouldn’t be returning in the New Year. The course just wasn’t for me, and the pressure to catch up got too much.
I stuck out at the zero hour contract job because I liked the freedom it gave me. However, I soon became unmotivated, lonely, and bored. I would have a scroll through job search sites but I couldn’t find anything that suited me – and I know the saying ‘beggars can’t be choosers’, but I didn’t want to go into retail nor did I feel that I had any experience in a ‘proper’ job so who would want to hire me?
I needed guidance on where to go from here. I was pointed in the direction of Skills Development Scotland who then were able to help me in making my CV that bit better. They also mentioned Community Jobs Scotland and suggested I take a look at the jobs they’re advertising. I returned home and took a scroll down the the list of jobs… one in particular jumped out at me, titled ‘Media Assistant’. I clicked on it and read the job description – it was as if I wrote down my dream job. 25 hours a week, centre of town, social media related, experience. It sounded perfect. I went back into Skills Development Scotland a day or so later, and within that same day I had filled out the CJS Application and sent it to the employer. Within the week I received an email from the organisation asking to come in for an interview.
In the few days before I typed up what I knew about myself, my experiences, and what I could bring to the organisation. I even practised interviewer techniques as this was my first actual interview so wasn’t sure what to expect. I walked into the interview super nervous but walked out really excited and over the moon as I had just been offered the position at Bright Light!
It has now been a year since I joined, and the last 12 months have been full of new and exciting experiences – I’ve loved every minute working here.
As a blogger myself since I was 16, I joined Bright Light already knowing social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram like the back of my hand. I had a basic understanding on how each platform differs so that I can maximise them all for the needs of my blog and personal brand, but hadn’t had the experience of doing it for a company. Since August last year I’ve been on a number of training days and media workshops to expand on my understanding and to learn new skills when it comes to optimising the use of social media on behalf of a organisation.
For those who may be wondering what I do exactly, as a social media assistant at Bright Light, I’m responsible for the Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as creating blogs for the website. I look at data results gathered across these platforms to strategies and see what works best for specific jobs and goals. I also track how much traffic and engagement is driven to Bright Light via social media and take notes on what content is performing best so that I can use those analytics to grow our audience and to reach those who may be looking for support or counselling.
Not only that but I’ve also been involved in putting together ideas and designs for invites for events such as our annual AGM, and Bright Light’s 70th Anniversary celebration which was held at the end of 2017. The Anniversary celebrations were kicked off by The Kelpies getting lit up for three days in blue, the Bright Light colour. MSP Ben Macphearson hosted an evening at The Scottish Parliament which saw actors acting out certain scenarios relating to each decade since 1945 and telling their story of what counselling was like then. Following that, the celebrations weren’t quite over as we then had a day reception which was hosted by the Lord Provost himself.
Looking back at the last 12 months, it has been quite a big year for Bright Light and I’m very glad I got to be a part of it! Not only that, but I’m also very thankful that at the end of my 12 months contract through Community Jobs Scotland, Bright Light have decided to keep me on as there social media assistant! This is brilliant as it allows me to keep working for an amazing charity whose work, aims and values I am very supportive of!