Hello, it’s Gabi here, the resident TBC Content Writer and Social Media Manager.
The 15th of January marked my one-year anniversary at The Brand Collective – a good time to reflect on the year that is now in my rear-view mirror. However, as I reflect, I note changes that need to be made in order for me to chase my dreams of fulfilment, and the biggest change is now my decision to depart my beloved family at this awesome agency.
Whilst leaving is always the hardest part, there is so much excitement to look forward to – my reasons for leaving lie solely in the fact that I want to be an author, and so I am heading back to my house in the forest of the KZN Midlands to finish a book I started when I was 14. But I didn’t want to leave it at just that – I feel a need to express that my experience at TBC is the very reason why my dream feels more achievable than ever.
Reflecting on challenges and lessons learned from working at TBC
Having studied a four-year degree in Journalism and Media studies, I did not envision myself sitting here, writing this in the office of a marketing agency, shortly after writing a blog about how to change insurers for a client. I had dreams of becoming a Sports Broadcaster that revolutionised how women in sport were viewed and to empower others along the way, but my steam in chasing this dream ran out. However, although seemingly on opposite sides of the spectrum, my job at TBC has been full of empowerment, both of myself and others.
Working at an agency as small (but as mighty) as TBC comes with its challenges as I learned to adapt to both my job’s key responsibilities as well as responsibilities outside of it as the notion of ‘being a team’ has never been emphasised more. I felt like I wore many hats and juggled various ‘mini-jobs’ within my job, where things sometimes felt overwhelming and like I may be slipping off the rails I had just hopped on. What I feared most, because of the size of our agency, was that my slight deviations would affect the entire team, and this scared me the most.
But I was not alone, and this is where the beauty of a small agency became apparent – Nats, Boss Lady and now friend, made herself as approachable as possible so that I could be open about the challenges I was facing. It might’ve taken a few meetings (and maybe a few tears because of sentiments of self-doubt and fear) in our little boardroom but I ended up coming out right on the top of the mountain I thought I would never summit a few months prior.
Being at a small agency caused my learning to fast-track and I am ever so grateful. What started as fluffy blogs with little structure are now blogs that raise awareness and meet the full SEO requirements. What started as lengthy social media captions because of my battles with being succinct are now punchy and quirky words that spark conversations. What started as hours of frustration because of the inability to come up with competition mechanisms are now strategies put together quickly yet creatively and are highly effective. And what started as a young graduate with zero to no clue about Ads Manager or the back end of WordPress is now an experienced, confident, and knowledgeable individual who can navigate the various streams of marketing with her chin up and her heart full.
If The Brand Collective was the boat that helped me get down these streams, then my co-worker, Janet, and Boss, Nats, were my oars. I always believed that business and personal must be kept separate, but that was certainly not the case here. Working with people that are akin to family or a tight circle of friends make coming into the office that much easier as one accepts that they are your support system for eight hours a day, five days a week.
I will miss my spot in the office with my big desk taken up of half of the things I own, Janet’s oddities and Nats’ entertaining stories about her kids. I will miss the feeling of a new challenge every day, but I hope to be challenged in different ways as I start the new chapter of my life. I can only thank The Brand Collective for giving me the invaluable gift of more knowledge and two individuals who I will remember forever.