I work in-house at a sports organisation. I did work for an agency early in my career but I’ve worked in-house for about 10 years now and on balance I prefer it. I can only speak for the sectors of the sports industry I’ve worked in, but I find it just as exciting and unpredictable as agency life was!
I start my day with a quick scan through emails, looking for anything urgent that has come through overnight. I’ll also take a look at my diary so that I can be thinking about anything particular coming up in the day ahead during my commute.
Working in sport, the structure of my day varies a lot depending on what day of the week it is; Mondays and Fridays are always busiest because they ‘bookend’ the fixtures for the weekend, whereas during the week is a little quieter. Today is a Friday, so I know to expect a few emails that have come through late in the evening or overnight from colleagues sharing and discussing coverage generated by mid-week media events.
I head into work and check in with the rest of the team. My Director Paul is great in ensuring that we have big projects to work on which we feel ownership of as well as our day-to-day work, so that means there’s never a quiet moment. I’ll spend the morning working on our long-term communications and campaign plans and in any meetings, and then at lunchtime the teams for the weekend fixtures are announced so there’s always a flurry of activity then.
In the afternoon I leave work to go to meet my mentor Nicola. I am part of the PR Week mentoring scheme, sponsored by Women in PR, which pairs women working in the industry with a more experienced mentor who can advise and support them. I applied without really thinking that I would get a place on the programme, so I was incredibly excited to be selected for it. Without wishing to sound cheesy, it has genuinely surpassed all my expectations and it is inspiring to meet women who are doing such great work across the industry.
As part of the scheme I see Nicola about once a month, usually face-to-face but sometimes over the phone if our diaries just don’t match up that month. We talk about all sorts of things: any issues I’m struggling with or worrying about, ideas for projects I’m working on, and my professional development, right down to the detail of which qualification would be most suitable for me to start.
It’s hard to believe my year of mentoring with Nicola is nearly over. The time has completely whizzed by and I’ve really enjoyed it. When I applied for the scheme, I did so because I wanted to spend some time with people working in PR and communications who didn’t work in my sector, in order to learn more and meet new people who aren’t in my particular sector. The scheme has certainly done that, and I’ve enjoyed spending time with the other mentees as well as with other members of Women in PR.
I’ve found the whole process incredibly beneficial to my professional development and also for my personal self-confidence. I have even given mentoring and the scheme a little shout-out when I was presenting at an industry conference recently!
Feeling pumped from mentoring, I head to the gym for a session. I used to always set my alarm early to go to the gym but as I’ve got older I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m just not a morning gym-goer! So now I try to go a few evenings a week instead.
In the evenings I check my emails one final time about 8pm before watching some TV and generally trying to relax. It’s often tempting to watch sport on TV in the evenings but I try not to do that too often in order to give myself some time off.