This Monday I officially started my new job as a PR lady at a publishing house.
The truth is that I have neither worked in a publishing house nor in PR ever before. What do I know about selling books and advertising authors and organizing events? Absolutely nothing. Honestly, everything I know about this stuff, I've learned during the last week.
So how did I end up here? Half a year ago I did a 5-days internship at this very publishing house just to get an idea of what work at a publishing house is like. Then one thing led to another and I ended up writing a short text for one of their anthologies and reading at their next event. Everytime someone cancelled, I was there and I jumped in and I gladely helped them out with whatever was needed regardless of the fact that I never did any of these things before. And then two months ago I got a mail from the owner of the publishing house, telling me that someone left the company and asking if I was interested in a job.
And what I did is either extremly brave or absolutely crazy. I dropped everything. I paused my studies. I quit another job. And I immidiatly took the job offer though I had absolutely no idea what I was walking into. I just knew deep down that if I didn't take this chance, I would regret it for the rest of my life. And I wasn't willing to live with that.
So over the next month I was alternating between absolutely excited and euphoric and daydreaming about being a real life Samantha Jones, and totally freaking out about how I am asking far too much of myself and will surely ruin the company.
You have to know that asking too much of myself if kind of my thing. I don't do it conciously but somehow I always end up in situations that are too difficult for me to handle. In school I chose French as my advanced course though I would have had a much easier time with English. Every single person in my French class was better than me and my grades weren't something to celebrate but my French did improve a lot.
Just some days ago I accidently signed up for an advanced Yoga class instead of a beginners class as planned though I have never done Yoga before. The beginners class was full and really wanted to start Yoga, so I clicked on sign up. A minute later I realized that they'll probably do crazy hard stuff like head stands and things like that. And how the hell am I going to keep up with that? I don't know yet. The class starts next week and I will figure it our when I'm there. Like I always do.
So back to my new job. It turned out that neither of my fantasies came true. I am not the world's best PR person yet but I have also not yet screwed up epically. I did screw up on a minor level and gave out a wrong office phone number for three days but I didn't scare of an important customer or start a fire - and even the printer is still alive. So all in all I think given my lack of experience I did a pretty good job.
What I did do this week is learn A LOT. I learned so much, my brain is about to burst. But I made myself like 100 checklists and to do lists and those are the only reason I can have a weekend without constantly worrying about forgetting everything. I talked with a lot of people, I wrote so many mails, and I even already organized and held my first event. Yesterday was the book premiere of one of our new books and as far as I can tell, I think it went extremely well.
The only thing that truely bugs me is that I feel like people don't take me seriously because I am so young. I am 23 years old and I look even younger. When I talk with people over the phone or mail with them, there's no problem but at the event I noticed how people tended to ask my older colleages about important stuff rather than me.
I hate how people think that young people will do a worse job. This is simply not true. Yes, I am young and I am unexperienced but I am highly motivated and willing to learn and I am extremely determined when it comes to things that I want to succeed at. I definitely want to succeed at this job. Being young doesn't mean that I am naive or irresposible or irreliable. It simply means that I am still learning.
So I guess the only way to answer to people who expect me to fail because I am young, is to proove them wrong. And this is exactly what I'll do.