Nicole, the new Marketing and Communications Officer at Missing People, writes about her experience getting into her new role and how she feels after her first month at the charity. After Volunteering in Tanzania for three months at the tail end of last year, I was 100% sure that I wanted to pursue a career in the charity sector. My time in Africa had been all about teaching young people communication skills, instilling confidence in young girls and identifying issues in the local community (that we would then try and solve by putting on a big event). It was the latter that really inspired me, identifying issues and using our resources to educate and overcome. When I came back to England I started looking for jobs that I thought would give me that same satisfaction I had working in my little community in Lindi - Tanzania.
My background is in Marketing, and although I have always loved what I do, I have never loved who I have done it for. I spent weeks looking for jobs that fitted in with my very strict criteria:
- Must be a charity
- Must have good and relatable values
- Must have a job description that excites me
- Must work toward a 'bigger picture'
- Must be something that makes me want to get out of bed on Monday morning
Quickly Charity Jobs became my wing-man and I shortlisted jobs that ticked the boxes. I remember very vividly finding the job at Missing People. My first thoughts were "I’m sure that they have a poster just down the road", "Wasn’t their choir on BGT", and "Wow, look at all the pink on the website!" - not necessarily in that order, by the way. Anyway, I saved the job and later on in the week whilst I was waiting with my boyfriend to get his car fixed; I sat down, and applied.
As I looked further into Missing People and the work they do, it became apparent how much the cause resonated with me, and how I possibly could have used the service as a teenager. I looked at the internal values listed and thought that it was different (in a fantastic way) to have such realistic values and how most of them were things that I lived by in my personal life. Once I had sent off my application, and stalked Georgia, the Marketing and Communication manager, on LinkedIn, I put a star by it on my list of jobs I had applied for as a reminder that it was one I really, REALLY wanted.
About 3 weeks later, as I was starting to feel like my job hunt was fruitless, I received an email from Georgia asking me to come in for an interview. I was so happy and started preparing. When I arrived for my first interview with Georgia and Josie, I was feeling pretty relaxed and prepared. However, when I left, I wasn’t too sure. It’s never good to be too confident with these things, right? Although I knew I wanted the position, it’s what happened next that really cemented that fact.
In between the 1st and second interview, Georgia called me and gave me feedback to help me with the final stage. I have had many interviews since leaving university and this was the first time that I had experienced an organisation actively help me be better. This really sang true to the Missing People values; to be human, grounded, future minded, to make things happen and to let fly! At this stage I already felt part of the team and was actually excited to come back for my second interview. I wanted to prove I could use the feedback I had been given to give the best interview I could.
Fast forward a month and I am writing this from my desk at Missing People, surrounded by colleagues that have made me feel so welcome and comfortable - it’s like I’ve been here for ages! The work I have done so far has been so incredibly rewarding; I really feel like I am a part of a family that are dedicated to what they do, and who are passionate when they do it.
Marketing and Comms is a small team that does big things, I have learnt and done so much in such a short time - including being a part of the Friends of Missing People (#FOMP) quiz, and cheering for our runners at the London Marathon. No two days have been the same yet, other than waking up excited to go into work, and still leaving with a smile on my face (even if I am running for a train). I am inspired every day by the Services team and the remarkable work they do supporting families and missing people. I am inspired by the way that we all work together towards a common goal. And I am inspired by the creativity and compassion of all the people that work here.
I am really excited to go forward and develop in my role here at Missing People, I definitely feel like I am in an environment where I can flourish and make an impact. I feel so lucky that I laugh every day, and cannot wait to grow relationships with my colleagues, and work on the incredible events and initiatives we have coming up. Watch this space… I’m even thinking about doing a sky dive for my first fundraiser!