When I was 11, I wished desperately to receive that elusive and magical letter, delivered by the wings of an owl. The letter adorned with a red wax seal and addressed to me in an elegant, cursive script. My dreams were inevitably crushed when my 11th birthday came and went, and I did not enrol to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Yes, I wanted to be a witch. I wanted to feel the excitement of exploring the castle, Hogsmeade and perhaps, even venturing into the Forbidden Forest. I wanted to attend Transfiguration lessons and to cast my own Patronus charm. Alas, I had to contend with creating my own magical adventures in the Muggle world.
One of these adventures included starting my Marketing career in 2016. I can still remember the feeling the jittery nerves and jolt of adrenaline when I was introduced to everyone as the new member of the Marketing team. Now you may ask if the past (almost) 2 years in Marketing has been as magical as I thought being a student at Hogwarts will be. It would be naïve and bordering delusional if I said yes. The journey has been fraught with tough challenges, a steep learning curve and unforgiving deadlines. However, just like our three heroes in the series, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger, there are plenty of lessons to be gleaned from these situations.
Having successfully traversed the past 2 years and remain (semi) alive, I’ve attributed it to these 3 important lessons (or Deathly Hallows, if you will):
Arm Yourself with a Marauders’ Map
Being in a new environment and making sense of the different aspects of the role is never easy but it is a crucial process. In the Harry Potter series, having the Marauders’ Map made it easier for the trio to make their way unseen around Hogwarts, get out of sticky situations and discover hidden rooms and routes. Similarly, having a solid understanding of how things work, the way the team functions and who holds the seat of power (this may not necessarily be the boss!) helped me cope with the daily stresses of work and increase my work productivity and effectiveness.
Build Up Your Arsenal of Spells
Going into the role, I was familiar with my strengths and where I could add value to the team and business. I possess strong writing skills. I have experience creating content and managing social media channels. I have strong event planning and management skills. These were the skills that I tapped on throughout the past 2 years but I knew they were not enough. With that, I sought out to learn new skills (or if you would, new spells). I learnt how to run campaigns, to manage our company’s website, to design collaterals and to juggle a variety of projects. Now I have an arsenal of spells that I can cast whenever I work on something new.
It Doesn’t Hurt to be a Hermione
Hermione might be considered a know-it-all but we could all learn a point or two from her. She took on the full number of courses available, and had to use a Time-Turner to manipulate time and attend her classes. Now I am not saying that I took on everything and anything I could just to gain experience. I volunteered and took up projects and tasks where I felt I could learn and develop myself further. As an example, I was responsible for the rebranding of our website when we launched a new Adecco Staffing brand. I picked up the basics of HTML and CSS and learnt how to curate content, as well as manage a website. So, be a Hermione and raise your (metaphorical) hand when your boss asks who wants to work on the new project.
If you asked me if my (magical) experiences and lessons could win me the war against Voldemort (or in this case the battle to get better engagement, greater outreach and overall brand awareness), I would say yes and no. I am ready to take on any challenge my way but I believe I still have a long way to go before I can wield the Elder Wand and defeat Voldemort. Doesn’t mean I am going to give up trying along the way.