For the past 18 years, my parents have been totally unable to explain to anyone what I do. I've variously been a corporate communications manager, a head of internal communications and, for the past eight and a half years, a corporate communications consultant.
Now much of that time has been spent on internal change programmes, and partly through client conidentiality, and partly because material pertinent to one company is immensesly boring to anyone else, it has been hard to bring them into my world and explain that I'm not a straight-forward journalist or editor, website creator or anything they'd consider a normal job.
However, over the last two years, in an effort to bring some regularity to my income - and to play back to my core strength in writing - I have been taking on more regular magazine work. This is certainly easier when having to balance my workload with the demands of a university course at the same time. And, actually, after the rollercoasters of about five years of solid change programmes, planning a magazine, interviewing people, writing it up, getting stuff signed off and seeing the production process through (though I'm actually less involved in that than I used to be) is a really rather satisfying process. It even fits in with days like today, when one child has been throwing up in the sink, the rabbit's got another vet trip and Jac is off on a course in the wilds of Yorkshire, remote from phone and email.
While the internal comms magazines still tend to stay internal, I've been writing b2b and even b2c publications for a charity and a number of corporate clients. Two have come out recently and you can see Solve - for a law firm here and Connections for a major recruitment business here.
I'm really pleased with both of these publications, and both have earned praise both from the clients and, most importantly, from their clients and potential clients.
But of course there's no time to rest on any laurels, with the next issue of Solve already underway, and more Connections just around the corner.
There's definitely something very pleasing in producing a tangible result from my communication efforts, even though these externally-focused magazines are just the tip of the Leapfrog iceberg......but at least I can show them to my mum!