Nicky Denovan, Co-Founder and Director, PR agency EvokedSet
I graduated from Reading in 1998, equipped with a clutch of student loans, a good degree in English Literature, and a very sketchily-formed notion of working as an editor. The week after graduation, I accepted a job as a junior editor at a scientific publishing company. But the realisation swiftly dawned that it would be a long crawl to an editor’s position from this particular entry point. And when I say swiftly, I mean that I resigned at the end of my first day. My glorious career in publishing lasted a full eight hours.
It was time for a radical rethink. In the meantime, I took an admin job at a software company, and was soon invited to interview for a newly-opened position in marketing. Serendipity struck. I was entrusted with responsibility – eventually running European marketing communications – and travelled extensively in Europe and the US, managing events and dealing with the media. It was pretty much an ideal first job – creatively challenging, working alongside super-bright and ambitious people, and it was exhilarating (and, to be honest, sometimes overwhelming) to be fast-tracked from raw graduate to specialist in such a short space of time.
Having fallen into a profession – PR and marketing – in which I felt I could actually achieve, I wanted to round out my experience by working in an agency environment. In 2000, I left for a year-long role at a technology PR agency, delivering media campaigns for telecoms clients. I then returned to an in-house PR role convinced that, while agency life was socially fun and the work varied, I was perhaps more a “corporate” person deep down. My brief time at this rollercoaster start-up (which eventually went bust) gave me a very different perspective on the perceived security – and trajectory – of a corporate career, and I spent several months afterwards as a freelance PR consultant, relishing the freedom and autonomy. By this circuitous route and following a welcome period of consolidation, I had arrived at some fairly fundamental truths about what motivates me, the environments in which I best thrive, and the level of risk that I am prepared to take (and for what reward). These were the right questions, and the answers were quite surprising.
I launched my own businesses (PR agency EvokedSet and online press release distribution company NeonDrum) in 2006 and 2007, alongside my business partner – my hiring manager at my very first job in marketing nearly ten years before.
When I left university, with a mostly untested interest in publishing, I had more idea of what I didn’t want to do than what I did want to do – and that’s actually no bad thing. I now work in a different area, but I get to write for a living and work with journalists and publishers every day. Roles that are slightly tangential to your idealised job can still take you there via the scenic route, or even to a more interesting destination altogether. So find out what drives you, don’t let your career satnav lead you up the garden path if it doesn’t feel right, and be open to offbeat ideas and opportunities. You will almost certainly surprise yourself.
EvokedSet is a Reading-based PR and web marketing consultancy serving business-to-business clients – from award-winning start-ups to global brand leaders.
For job opportunities, please contact Nicky or Lloyd on 0118 947 3038. www.evokedset.com.
This article has been provided by an external organisation, as such the views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Careers, Placement and Experience Centre.