Making a Career Change to Communications
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A career change is always scary and comes with so many doubts and fears, but sometimes, when you take the leap, it can be a great move and allow you to do something that you love.
I left a successful career in management to join an organization as a Senior Communications Strategist at Accessible Communications. I went into this role with such imposter syndrome. In many ways, I am still working through that.
Learning the ropes
There are so many careers in communications, and what those roles include is also very different from organization to organization. I went into the role with experience in business communication and accessible communications, with accessible communications coming from a lived experience perspective.
As someone who is Deafblind, I often have to be very creative to get the information I need to do my work. This role has been no different; organizations outside of the disability space often think that they are ready to employ those who have disabilities. I am here to tell you that unless you have done the work, you have not.
The biggest challenge I have been facing is there are many aspects of my role that are very visual and require some design work. I am very aware that I am the last person you want designing anything, unless you are looking for something not very visually appealing, then I am your gal. Working on ways to overcome this challenge and work with others on my team to get this work done has taken a lot of relationship-building and creativity on my end. Patience has been key, I have found.
Transition thus far
Aside from having many challenges in the way of accessibility with my career move, I did find that my experience from my last role, even though not in communications, has been very helpful.
Relationship building, strategic thinking, risk monitoring and mitigation, and lived experience as a disabled person have all been great skills to bring to this new career. I have been able to bring a new perspective and business mindset to my role that has allowed me to have an immediate impact on the organization.
Although imposter syndrome sneaks in more often than I would like to admit, it has reminded me that wherever we come from in past careers, experiences, and life experiences, we all bring valuable skills and perspectives to the table.
The things I love the most
In my previous position, I had the privilege of working with the media closely and had a lot of experience over eight years working with the media and getting the message that I needed to get out to the public. This was something that I enjoyed immensely, and yes I know that sounds a little odd, I hated public speaking for many years and now love it. This has been something that I have been able to continue in this role, just in a different way.
I have been able to use that experience to help those giving interviews, prepping the media lines, writing news releases and getting the media to pick up the stories we want to tell.
I have also been able to coach those being interviewed the ins and outs of interviewing, things like answering the questions but answering them to get the message you want to get out, and there is no such thing as ‘off the record’. Having those people come to me after and say “thank you, the tips you gave helped so much”.
I have always been someone who loves to write; it doesn’t matter what form that takes, I love the process, and it brings me so much joy. The one thing that I have always struggled with writing is sharing it and being confident about it. I have been able to start to become more confident in my writing because it is being shared daily with hundreds of thousands of people, and it has been something that I am enjoying the journey of.
I never imagined that I would be in the communications industry, but I have enjoyed the ride so far and look forward to learning and growing as well as bringing my lived experience to this new adventure.
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