And then everything changed

Samstag, 18. April 2015

This is why I always ask too much of myself. Or: My first week at my new job

This Monday I officially started my new job as a PR lady at a publishing house.

The truth is that I have neither worked in a publishing house nor in PR ever before. What do I know about selling books and advertising authors and organizing events? Absolutely nothing. Honestly, everything I know about this stuff, I've learned during the last week.

So how did I end up here? Half a year ago I did a 5-days internship at this very publishing house just to get an idea of what work at a publishing house is like. Then one thing led to another and I ended up writing a short text for one of their anthologies and reading at their next event. Everytime someone cancelled, I was there and I jumped in and I gladely helped them out with whatever was needed regardless of the fact that I never did any of these things before. And then two months ago I got a mail from the owner of the publishing house, telling me that someone left the company and asking if I was interested in a job.

And what I did is either extremly brave or absolutely crazy. I dropped everything. I paused my studies. I quit another job. And I immidiatly took the job offer though I had absolutely no idea what I was walking into. I just knew deep down that if I didn't take this chance, I would regret it for the rest of my life. And I wasn't willing to live with that.

So over the next month I was alternating between absolutely excited and euphoric and daydreaming about being a real life Samantha Jones, and totally freaking out about how I am asking far too much of myself and will surely ruin the company.

You have to know that asking too much of myself if kind of my thing. I don't do it conciously but somehow I always end up in situations that are too difficult for me to handle. In school I chose French as my advanced course though I would have had a much easier time with English. Every single person in my French class was better than me and my grades weren't something to celebrate but my French did improve a lot.

Just some days ago I accidently signed up for an advanced Yoga class instead of a beginners class as planned though I have never done Yoga before. The beginners class was full and really wanted to start Yoga, so I clicked on sign up. A minute later I realized that they'll probably do crazy hard stuff like head stands and things like that. And how the hell am I going to keep up with that? I don't know yet. The class starts next week and I will figure it our when I'm there. Like I always do.

So back to my new job. It turned out that neither of my fantasies came true. I am not the world's best PR person yet but I have also not yet screwed up epically. I did screw up on a minor level and gave out a wrong office phone number for three days but I didn't scare of an important customer or start a fire - and even the printer is still alive. So all in all I think given my lack of experience I did a pretty good job.

What I did do this week is learn A LOT. I learned so much, my brain is about to burst. But I made myself like 100 checklists and to do lists and those are the only reason I can have a weekend without constantly worrying about forgetting everything. I talked with a lot of people, I wrote so many mails, and I even already organized and held my first event. Yesterday was the book premiere of one of our new books and as far as I can tell, I think it went extremely well.

The only thing that truely bugs me is that I feel like people don't take me seriously because I am so young. I am 23 years old and I look even younger. When I talk with people over the phone or mail with them, there's no problem but at the event I noticed how people tended to ask my older colleages about important stuff rather than me.

I hate how people think that young people will do a worse job. This is simply not true. Yes, I am young and I am unexperienced but I am highly motivated and willing to learn and I am extremely determined when it comes to things that I want to succeed at. I definitely want to succeed at this job. Being young doesn't mean that I am naive or irresposible or irreliable. It simply means that I am still learning.

So I guess the only way to answer to people who expect me to fail because I am young, is to proove them wrong. And this is exactly what I'll do.


  1. What a truly fabulous post, Anya! I love that you were brave enough to drop everything to accept this job and it sounds like an amazing opportunity. I remember my first job - I was a trainee journalist but also had to do a fair amount of page making. I had NO CLUE what I was doing but because they threw me in at the deep end, I had no choice but to learn. I ended up working in the publishing industry for years! I worked my way up the ladder and eventually became an editor which was amazing until I was made redundant. But that's ok, you know, because that's what led me to where I am now. I write novels and I LOVE it! Good luck, Anya, and don't worry about people thinking you're too young - the ones that avoid you, were probably just insanely immature at your age and that's what they're remembering!! lol. You're clearly a go-getter and you'll get far in this business. I'm rooting for you. Oh and do let me know how you get on with the yoga class!!! Best of luck :D xx

    1. Thanks so much for your feedback and also for sharing your story! And of course for rooting for me! I really appreciate this :) Your career path sounds amazing! What kind of books do you write and where can I find them?

  2. "Everytime someone cancelled, I was there and I jumped in and I gladely helped them out with whatever was needed regardless of the fact that I never did any of these things before." And this is the key to success in everything. Whether it's a challenge, a chore or easy for you, you show up! Great job! And you will do great! They are lucky to have you!

    1. Wow thanks so much for your amazing support! You're right, this is what got me here and what will hopefully get me to many other exciting places :)