Passle was the first place I worked at after overhauling my career from academia – and it’s been a fantastic experience for nearly three years. All good things need to end however, and it’s time for someone else to carry that torch (is that you? Here’s the job description). I like to think I’ve played a part in shaping Passle into the company it is today, and in turn Passle has also shaped me, both as a marketer and a person.
Here is my attempt to summarize some of my takeaways from those years:
1. No worker is an island
A company is only as good as its people, and Passle has gathered some wonderful employees over the years. Working for a tightly knit startup means it’s impossible to completely separate your activities from everyone else, and that’s a good thing.
It’s always been slightly baffling to me at conferences when people describe the Sales vs Marketing war, as we’ve always collaborated with each other (which has contributed to our content’s success, whether written or in vlog form).
There’s always something you can learn from each other. To give one example of many, I initially struggled at trade shows, as I am a) an introvert and b) feel ‘ikky’ about trying to sell to people. My then colleague Chris Grant managed to turn both those things into a positive for me by giving me non-salesy opening phrases to open conversations with – that was the hardest bit out of the way!
2. Writing is a skill not a hindrance
It feels slightly odd to type this now, but back when I first started at Passle I still carried baggage from various arts degrees and jobs that my 'soft' skills were useless. Working at Passle made me realize that being able to write well is not as common as I thought, and that many professionals want to improve their skills in that area too. After all, everyone wants to be able to communicate effectively, right?
I think it’s also made me improve as a writer – writing content three times a week for various formats tends to do that to a person. You learn to be a bit more efficient about it, and to stop endlessly tinkering with pieces.
3. Not every work set-up will work for you
That’s a lesson that goes beyond Passle and to my years in the PhD wilderness – the last ten years have been about discovering what environment bring out the best in me. It’s different for everyone. Some people relish routine, working in the same office every day, etc.
I am…. more annoying! I need a balance between a variety of work spaces and a routine. Too much routine grinds me down, not enough routine makes me feel adrift. Really, the perfect scenario is one where I have a measure of control and choice about where I work, and Passle has been fantastic for that, letting me mix working in the London and Oxford office, as well as from home.
4. Once a teacher always a teacher
I've resisted this one a long time but I guess part of me will always love educating people. Working for Passle has involved plenty of this, from workshops, talks, and webinars, to written content, all aimed at helping other people.
While I’ve always enjoyed public speaking, Passle has also helped me grow in that area. Gone is the crutch of a sheet of papers – I’ve learned to trust myself and talk without notes. This has helped me in other areas of my life too, such as lecturing.
5. The best jobs are where you can grow
I was able to continue learning while at Passle, which I’ll always be grateful for. Two areas in particular stand out: video editing, and accessibility at events.
Video editing was borne out of necessity, so I taught myself how to use the software we had and… became addicted. It’s opened all sorts of opportunities for me, including giving film poetry workshops. I look forward to continuing to learn more about this world….
I am excited to see what marketing and business events can do to increase accessibility at events beyond being step-free. I love that Passle gave me the opportunity to try out different things when it came to events, and I hope that in the future I have opportunities to continue working on this.
So that's it, folks!