On a Friday afternoon, I found myself signing a contract to become the latest addition to Bluestonex, a software and services company based about an hour away from my home. I was brought on board with no prior experience of SAP, coming from an Art & Design background, and with a not insignificant level of nervousness about what on earth I would be doing.
Much to my surprise, a degree in Art & Design was not the key to exciting employment opportunities promised by my high school teachers, college tutors and university lecturers. It’s very much about who you know, rather than what you know. Suspicions should have been raised when I saw that there seemed to be an awful lot of art teachers for such a small department in a rural welsh high school.
Moving on. After graduation came the endless search for arts jobs in the north-west…which then became a search for office jobs…followed by any job at all. A couple of positions looked promising, losing one to a draw of names from a hat and withdrawing from another who were asking applicants for a complete social media campaign for one of their current product lines. This was all before you were even considered for an interview. If I’ve learned anything from other designers, it’s to never, ever, ever take on spec work. Not even once.
It came as a surprise, therefore, when a friend of mine from college messaged me one day saying that the company he worked for wanted someone creative and with a good eye for design to do some social media/marketing stuff.
“What would I be doing?”
“I’m guessing the social media side of things would literally be photoshopping some marketing images and pushing a couple a week out on the business LinkedIn page”
“Social media bit should be easy”
“What about app coding down the road? Would you potentially be interested in learning that stuff?”
“Always something I wanted to try”
So we went from there. I did some research on Bluestonex and mocked up a few social media style posts in the company style to get a feel for it.
Shortly after that, I was asked to join a Teams meeting with the boss for an informal chat about the job. Following on from that, I was asked if I’d be happy to come in for a socially distanced informal interview and to give a short presentation about myself.
All seemed to go well from my perspective, and I realised that I had been introduced to Mr Barton about a year before, in a pub, when such things were still allowed. In short, he bought us Japanese whiskey and has a somewhat limited recollection of that night.
Before I knew it, I had been offered the job and had chosen to start on the coming Monday.
Deep end, prepare to meet yours truly.