In a day when "social network" is a buzz term from colleges to board rooms, the members of Wednesday 10 show the benefits of old-fashioned networking. "We were all young kids starting out, and it is easy when you are so involved in building your career to lose touch with other people who are outside your field," says Mr. (Robert) Menschel, who has been at Goldman Sachs for 55 years. "It helped me to understand why other people do what they do—which is important in life and in business. You don’t learn anything from talking to sameness."
I couldn’t agree more.
Almost three months ago, I took the leap and joined a multi-national marketing and advertising agency as their social media editor. I had some doubts about committing to something that, on the surface at least, had nothing to do with science. But, my gut told me that it was a rare opportunity to learn something that is also relevant to science communication. I am pleased to say that I have learned a lot during my time at the agency from filling in timesheets to creating PowerPoint “decks.” And I have already had the opportunity to apply those skills to the science arena as media consultant to the Human Genome Organisation (HUGO).
Leaving the sameness wasn’t easy. I often think it’s all very surreal that I’m overhearing and even participating in conversations that involve branding, customer engagement, KPIs, ROIs, FMCG, etc., etc. Just to show how out of it I can be, when working on a project, I often forget about including costs until the project manager reminds me!
It’s a whole different mindset and I’m being pushed to develop a new identity and to go outside of my comfort zone. Although it sure has been fun getting dressed nicely for work and having a mini-vacation from the kids! They are handling my return to work very well even on days when I am out at client meetings until 7 pm. I couldn’t have imagined that a year ago.
In the coming year, I hope to be able to take some short overnight business trips if necessary (I’ve already had to turn one down). And, I hope to have the opportunity to continue learning, progressing, and contributing both at work and at home. Wish me luck!
Photo: In my car on my way to work.