A few weeks ago I did something I never thought I’d have the guts to do: I quit my perfectly good part-time job at Product Gym.
I never thought I’d be that stereotypical young adult that goes from job to job in less than one year, but here I am! Jumping ship after six months.
I’ve been wanting to get back into the freelancing game for a while and I’ve been working on developing a social media freelancing gig with an amazing partner for a few months now. In these past few months, we’ve gotten an influx of opportunities I simply couldn’t pass up. Unfortunately, that meant leaving Product Gym behind. Which was harder than I ever thought it would.
In my short time at PG, I grew to love the team. Everyone was a hard worker and we made shit happen no matter what. This was truly a team of people looking for professional and personal growth and I felt very welcome from the beginning. Safe to say, I’m sad to leave such an amazing crew behind but being a part of this team helped me learn what I want from future co-workers and (possibly) employees.
Now as for my job as Social Media Coordinator…
Even though it was short, it was a crazy ride full of unexpected events. In the beginning, it was a very intimidating and challenging position because even though I came from a social media background, I’d never run social media for a company that specializes in product management.
Once I got the hang of it, it became a lot easier. So easy that at one point I felt stuck. I became comfortable in my role and that was fine for a while but then I started to get restless. I was delivering good results but I didn’t feel motivated or connected to the work. I didn’t know how to grow from where I was and I realized I didn’t want to grow. At least not at PG.
I started dreading waking up for work in the morning and the second I realized what was happening I knew the only way forward was finding something new that I could connect with and that made me want to get up in the morning.
Simultaneously while all of this internal turmoil was happening, the social media freelancing opportunities started coming in.
Copywriting, event campaigns, social media management. There was an abundance of opportunities coming my way and they just felt like the logical next step. They excited me, they challenged me, and they scared me. So ultimately I chose to jump.
But making that choice would have never been possible without my time at Product Gym. My 6-month internship helped me prepare for what’s to come. I learned about so many things I need to start doing and things I need to stop doing. The lessons are endless and unfortunately, I can’t share them all without boring you to death. So instead I’ll share five of my favorites.
Communication is Key
Yes, I am aware everyone is always saying this and it sounds cliche. But it’s so freaking true!
If you work with people, communication is a must. Even if you think it’s annoying. Lack of communication is the root of 99% of work and life problems and it’s easily solved by –– you guessed it –– communicating.
Everyone communicates differently, so it’s important to understand how your co-workers/superiors like to communicate and what works best for them so that the message can get across efficiently. The best way to do this is to flat out ask people how they like to communicate and immediately put it into practice.
Doing this when you first start working with someone is going to make your life so much easier because it’s gonna build a solid foundation for communication and it’ll allow you to work more effectively and have better work relationships.
A Good Team is Irreplaceable
You’ve also probably heard that company culture is everything. And it really is.
A team of nice people who take responsibility for their work and want to help others grow is so freaking valuable!
From my amazing, small PG team I learned that it’s important to always look for good people no matter where my career leads me next. I need to be on the lookout for people who make a good fit, who challenge me to do better, people who are moving towards the same goals as me.
Non-toxic environments are always important but especially in the workspace because even if you don’t love your job, if you love the people it’s still gonna be worthwhile. Plus, an amazing work team means amazing connections for life. And you never know which opportunities can come from the people you know.
Not only is this lesson going to allow me to grow into my best version but it will allow my work to grow as well. And that’s what I always strive for.
Remote > Everything Else
As a freelancer, I’ve always been the owner of my time and when I accepted this job I was worried that the freedom would be taken away. Thankfully because it was a remote position, there wasn’t a huge difference in my schedule or lifestyle.
This job allowed me to choose my schedule and work at my own pace as long as I delivered results. And that didn’t feel constricting at all. It felt weirdly freeing.
Working remotely, even if it was for someone else, helped me identify this is the way I want to work for the rest of my life. I never want to be tied to a specific working environment because, as we’ve all come to learn, I don’t need to!
A remote team might have its ups and downs, but I believe it’s just as effective, if not more, than teams working from an office. And I love seeing more and more brands taking this approach.
As I take this next step in my career and become fully responsible for my time and work once again, I want to keep that remote/freelance flexibility wherever I go. I believe this is a crucial part of living the life I want to lead.
Delegating Doesn’t Mean You’ve Failed
This one was a specifically hard lesson because I’ve been so used to working on my own for a long time. After years of having no one to delegate to, asking someone else to do things that I could technically do, felt like cheating.
But, here’s the thing. When you’re part of a good team, it’s important to recognize that your co-workers have your back and they’re there to help you (and themselves) achieve a common goal. There’s nothing wrong with delegating tasks to your team. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed at your job and it doesn’t mean you’re lazy.
Sometimes, you just don’t have the time or capacity to get certain tasks done and that’s exactly when delegating comes in. Every once in a while, releasing total control of a situation and collaborating with a co-worker is the best and most effective way to get work done.
I’m not gonna lie, I still need to work on my delegating skills. But I’ll get there! Slowly but surely…
I Like Working on Social Media When I Connect with What I’m Selling
This one’s probably the biggest lesson I learned during my time at Product Gym.
I’ve always been of the idea that I like working in the social media space because I love marketing and connecting with people online. And while that’s true to a certain extent, it’s not the total truth.
Over the last six months, I realized that I love creating content and connecting with people when I love what I’m selling.
I love making Youtube videos because I’m passionate about beauty and sharing my knowledge with my viewers. I love writing because I enjoy the process and seeing my progress piece by piece. I don’t love the action of filming videos or writing blog posts per se. I love what I’m filming and writing about.
And while Product Gym is doing amazing things and changing so many lives, I never necessarily connected with what they were selling. And once I realized it, it became a big part of why I ultimately chose to leave.
But I don’t regret working for a company I don’t completely connect with because it brought me this lesson. And I now know that I need to look for clients and people whose product and purpose I connect with. And that’s a big part of what’s gonna make my job challenging and fulfilling.
As this chapter closes and another one opens, I’m opportunistic for the future for the first time maybe ever. I’m not gonna lie, I’m shitting my pants because now I’m responsible for getting work day in and day out but I’m confident that my partner and I will make great things happen.
I’m excited to get back into the freelancing space and feel the challenges that come with my choices. I’ll definitely be documenting aspects of my newest journey here so make sure to stay tuned for that.
I’ll see you on the other side!