What I Learned on my Work Placement

As I’ve been out of blogging for a while I’m posting about something that happened quite a bit ago. But it’s still relevant. I think.

In January/February this year I spent six weeks working at a social media company where I got to write lots of blog posts for clients and even got my own client to work with. So I got to spend six weeks feeling totally cool and grown up with my own desk. Here are five of the things I learned from this great experience:
 

1. I find the easiest tasks the hardest

While on my placement I was able to write blog posts without lots of guidance, do lots of research and create WordPress blogs. What I was not able to do was use the hole punch I was given on my first day. Being asked to hole punch a paper guide to put in a folder was one of the most daunting tasks I have been given. The unusual fancy hole punching contraption they put in front of me left me baffled for about five minutes, worrying what awful paper-based disasters could occur. No one wants to end up shredding their chances of succeeding at their placement by monstrously destroying something on their first day.
 

2. People in offices drink lots of tea

Office culture is often depicted on television by a smart suited person with a hot drink at hand, which isn’t far from the truth. While on my placement I was greeted by shocked faces when I said that I didn’t drink tea or coffee, and was encouraged to take part in this vital aspect of office culture. I didn’t drink one hot drink on my placement, which probably means I’m not quite ready for the workplace yet. Ah well, I’ve got a year to brush up on my tea drinking skills.
 

3. Following someone on Twitter isn’t creepy

Being at a social media company meant that I learnt a lot about different social media websites and how to use them. Years ago I used to use Twitter to keep in contact with my blogging friends but never followed anyone who I hadn’t had previous contact with. When people say follow I immediately imagine being dressed in black and tailing someone on their way home through a creepy forest. I also imagine myself to have a Chuckle-brother-style moustache with an added dose of stalker. On my placement I was told that was not the case, and following someone isn’t a big commitment. So no having to split all my assets when I click the ‘unfollow’ button. Follow me on Twitter @Amzy_G. I’ll follow back as long as I can’t see you peering through my curtains!
 

4. Binding machines are evil

You know when people say searching for a needle in a haystack is hard?? Try putting paper in a binding comb. You’ll be quick to run for that haystack…
 

5. Lots of fancy important stuff

As well as all these silly little life things, I also learned how to use social media for business, how to improve my writing and also how to use lots of cool tools. And I can also put this amazing experience on my CV.
 
All in all it was a great experience, and I was really lucky to get to work at a place made up of genuinely nice people. It was also lucky that I’ve had an advance warning about the evil nature of binding machines. So I can avoid them at all costs.

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7 Comments

  1. It sounds like you had a crazy six weeks! Hole punchers are definitely evil machines, I always manage to get the holes wonky and then all the pages are diagonal if I put them in a ring binder. Sigh.

    I find it really funny how ‘following’ someone on the internet is considered completely normal. Reading about their everyday actions such as what they had for breakfast and when they are pooping (okay maybe not but I wouldn’t put it past some people to tweet that :’)) is considered acceptable, but if you followed them around offline and watched them eat their breakfast, you’d have a restraining order before you even had time to tweet about it. Crazy world.

    YES! Costa do also do giant bourbons! They really are beautiful. I still haven’t eaten my one yet, it’s too cute to eat :’)

  2. I always hated to work for someone else. So I quit my job and started something for my own πŸ™‚ Noone to tell me what to do! And I really like it. I’m glad you liked to work there!

    Goodluck in your future!

    Oh and I really laughed hard when I read “Binding machines are evil”. I have one myself and I hate that thing too haha.

  3. Hey Amy! I’m so sorry, that I wasn’t able to return your comment until now. We have dish Internet – so it’s been really slow the last few days. I could barely update anything.

    Anyway – I noticed that Samsung phones are the best. Especially through Verizon. I’ve had Metropcs phones, as I was told it was all good and what not. But I hated the drop calls. I couldn’t stand that. So I went over to Verizon after I had moved in with my boyfriends Grandparents. I’m glad you were able to get an opportunity to work in a social media place. Congrats! I hope things will get better for you.

  4. “So I got to spend six weeks feeling totally cool and grown up with my own desk” — story of my life. When I use my laptop at my desk I feel really professional… I don’t even know.

    Hole punches are evil beings. My Business Studies teacher had one of those huge, A4-sized ones, but without the guides (the things you slip the paper into so that all your pages have holes in the same place). I totally butchered the corner of my Business coursework with it. Oops. Hope it doesn’t affect my grade.

    You’re like my friend Meg, she doesn’t drink tea or coffee. I used to drink loads of tea but over the summer I’ve got out of the habit… when September comes around I’m sure I’ll be back to it, though. I hope the Sixth Form kitchen has decent teabags, haha.

    I protected my Twitter account to try and get rid of all the spammers following me, but I agree — I like at least knowing who’s following me. I followed you, by the way — I’m @xedays.

    I’m glad your placement was so useful! I have no idea what kind of work experience to look for… I’m not sure whether to do English or Law at uni, which means I ought to find placements for both. Which means finding lots of free time and companies that will actually tolerate having me there.

    I have a cheap pair of earphones for my iPod, they’re about Β£5 but last me 6 months at a time, and the sound quality isn’t half bad.

    Take care! xx

  5. haha, I think I’d be confused if I were given a hole punch. I haven’t used one of those in years. It’d be pretty foreign to me now.

    My office seems to be filled with caffeine addicts. Most people at my work drink coffee, to the point where my company bought an expensive coffee machine. The rest seem to drink tea or soda.

    I guess I never found it creepy if someone random followed me on Twitter. If it’s public, then it’s out in the open! However, if someone random followed me on something more personal, like Facebook or LinkedIn, then that might be kind of weird.

    It sounds like you learned a lot! I’m glad it was a great working experience!

  6. Sounds like you had a blast! I’m glad you got back into blogging! πŸ˜€

    I just recently got back into blogging as well. I previously had my domain hosted on Tumblr and realized I had a stalker ex-friend when they texted my coworker inappropriate things. I posted a picture that happened to include his phone # to twitter and they were texting him pretty much everything they got from twitter or my blog. *sigh* Some people….

    Now that my twitter is private and this person (I know who it is but I’m not going to point fingers because that isn’t needed) hasn’t texted my coworker anymore I am fine having my blog. I even blogged a few days ago! πŸ˜€
    I’m just now getting back into commenting after leaving a 1,583 word note to my coworker explaining how much I hate him and how I can’t wait for him to get transferred (just got a promotion and is being transferred)…he hasn’t said anything back yet and he has had it for 48 full hours now…so, I’m not sure if he is ever going to respond…since I told him I didn’t care if he did. Lol.
    This whole thing caused a huge uproar and mess and I am just now getting it resolved after 3 weeks. THANK GOD.

    Anyway, yes, it sounds like you had fun. I got a little sidetracked in my comment like I usually do but I did read your blog. Hahahaha. I wouldn’t worry about having to drink tea in the office. There isn’t a rulebook that says “you have to drink tea or you can work in these kinds of companies”..so don’t worry too much! I don’t drink tea or coffee either…not cause I have before and don’t like them or anything but because I have never tried them before. I don’t like trying new things. The thought just scares me. Lol

  7. Haha, wow the paper puncher thing makes me laugh. I sort of know how you feel – would get nervous sometimes on the simplest things like how to use the fax machine right… lol

    Ah, hot drinks… I suppose people do that a lot at my job but is is mostly coffee because they are all sleep deprived. I’m probably the only one that get iced milk teas and I only drink hot drinks on cold days.

    That is good you got a good experience out of it and it didn’t just make you go OMG this sucks! lol

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