I’m Caz. I work with a small group of highly-skilled, technically minded people as the Project Coordinator for Brightec. We design and develop bespoke mobile apps for iOS, Android and web, working with clients in industries such as e-commerce, e-learning, finance and travel.
So how did I get a project coordinator job?
I’m stubborn, it’s a family trait. I decided I didn’t want to go to uni because I wanted to be different. Let me explain that one, my two sisters are older, smarter, more logical, clearer on their career path, you get the jist. So, I didn’t want to go to uni and get the not so good marks. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do but, I knew what things I liked and what I was good at; writing, being creative, daydreaming, imagining.
It was my best friend’s mum (and writing this I wonder if my mum engineered this chance conversation) who questioned my choice. She took my friend and I out for lunch, which wasn’t something we’d done before. My best friend knew she loved science, she was good at it, she knew she wanted to do BioMedical Sciences at University. She actually switched course 3 weeks in, completed a degree in biology and then went back to uni a year later and has just qualified as a doctor, but that’s her story. ‘So what are you going to do?’ her mum asked. I shrugged, ‘Get a job I guess’. But doing what? I didn’t know. What did I want to do? I didn’t know. It went on. The summary of this discussion was, why didn’t I find a course that sounded interesting and spend 3 years learning something I was interested in? (University was much more affordable in those days.) It could help me choose a career that I would like. Again, I didn’t know, but that answer, for once, was productive.
I quite easily settled on a Publishing course. I’d wanted to be an author for as long as I can remember. I loved reading. I loved writing. I loved creating, getting lost in my imaginary worlds and totally detaching from what was around me. Due to small numbers on that course, I was forced to do a joint honors degree and based on my love of writing, and that the two seemed to go hand in hand, I chose Creative Writing.
For the first time, learning felt easy and fun. I couldn’t read enough books, learn new things quickly enough or get enough answers to satisfy my hunger for more knowledge. Through the modules I found more things I was good at, talents and skills I naturally possessed. My passion for words (and perfection) naturally sat with editorial work and that’s how I chose the jobs to apply for once I graduated.
My first job was awful. I was made redundant along with half the staff after six weeks. I was determined that this disastrous start to employment wouldn’t pave my future, so I filled my calendar with work experience at places I wanted to work whilst I applied for other jobs as an editorial assistant.
Recommended book for Project Coordinators Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Why Do You Think You Were Selected Among Other Project coordinators?
I was by far the least experienced candidate but my next employer liked that. They liked who I was and they saw that someone young was their route to the future. Enthusiastic eyes to change, improve and grow how their company worked.
I stayed with that company for five years, being promoted through various roles from editorial assistant to journalist. My editor was scatty and I, without realizing, took to organizing him with my constant questions and need for organization and schedules. I’ve always had a strong sense of responsibility and I evolved my role by taking it upon myself to make things happen, to schedule things, to work out new processes (often by trial and error), to make sure people actually spoke to each other. To me it was common sense, to them it was game changing.
Someone else in the company noticed my ability to organize what would otherwise be chaos. Between them, the production manager and the editor hatched a plan. It was only when they put the suggestion to me, that I join the production team, and I responded ‘Yeah, sounds great, I know loads about the production side from my publishing degree’ that they realized my background. It seemed that potential employers look at your CV but from the moment you’re offered an interview, it is your personality, your visions, your intentions and your goals that count.
So for the next two years, I created schedules, I organized three teams, I asked silly questions, I coordinated various newsletters and magazines, liaised with suppliers, advertisers, journalists, editors and I loved it. But I eventually got bored because things worked better than they had done before. I realized that the fear of moving on and not having the safety net of ‘this is my first job, I’m still learning’ didn’t exist anymore and I was ready for a new challenge.
What can you recommend on CV?
Writing a CV is daunting. To stand out, you need to make it clear there is something you are passionate about. At Brightec, we all have at least one hobby that we’ve taken further. Outside of work, our team is made up of musicians, songwriters, a heavy weight lifter, a yoga teacher, a children’s writer. We love to learn and potential employees that display a level of drive in their personal lives will always stand out in a pile of CVs.
It is important to remember that skill isn’t everything. To an extent, knowledge can be learned, taught and nurtured but personality and a person’s core beliefs are less fluid. I believe I got my project coordinator job because I was a good fit for the company and its culture.
Lessons From project coordinator Jobs That You Couldn’t Get.
Rejection whilst you are job hunting is seriously hard. Until 4 years ago, I’d got every job I’d interviewed for but overconfidence isn’t an attractive quality in a applicant.
Caz is a talented and experienced Project Coordinator who thrives on organization and helping to deliver multiple projects on time and on budget. She’s a qualified Scrum Master and is instrumental in keeping all Brightec projects running smoothly. In addition, Caz is a skilled yoga practitioner, believing in a holistic approach to mind and body and the importance of work-life balance.