As you know, I started a new job a little more than two weeks ago. I am so excited by everything I’m working on, and although I’ve been dying to tell you more about it, I wanted to wait to get permission from my manager first so I was clear on what I could share. I talked to her earlier this week and got her blessing to post away, so now’s my chance to tell you more about it!
First, some background. I get questions from you guys all the time about how I got a job communicating about health and wellness. Here’s my attempt at making a long story short.
I always knew I wanted to work in Public Relations (my mom has her own PR firm and I worked for her when I was in high school), so when I went to college, I immediately set about getting my degree in Communications with a focus on PR. I then worked at Ketchum—a large, well-known international PR agency—where I was placed on the social marketing team. Social marketing sounds like social media, but it’s actually about making a change in societal behavior. While there, I worked on mostly government accounts and fell in love with some of the work I was doing with the National Institutes of Health (NIH). I also started my blog during this time (2012) so the whole health and wellness thing really came together for me. When I saw a job for a Communications Manager with a smaller nonprofit dedicated to treating and preventing obesity, I knew it was a perfect next step for me! I worked there for a few years where I mostly worked with scientists and doctors. While it was interesting to hear the latest science and talk to doctors about obesity, I wanted to feel like I had a job that was directly influencing the people who are suffering with these problems.
That’s where my new job comes in. I’m now working with the American Diabetes Association on their Strategic Communications/PR team, where I can (finally) communicate directly with patients about managing their health. Yayy!!
So, for those of you who ask me “How do I get a job like that,” my answer is that I basically used my background in PR and my passion for health to lead me where I wanted to go. There’s no easy “quick-fix” solution I can recommend to those looking to break into this field, except to try to take advantage of the skills that you already have and see how you can apply them.
ANYWAY. Enough about that. Let’s talk about the new gig!
In a word, it is awesome. I am writing so much (which, for me, is a great thing!) and everything I’m writing is so incredibly interesting. I’m working on a campaign for “National Healthy Lunch Day” (it’s Nov. 15!) and will be working on other campaigns like “Get Fit, Don’t Sit Day” in early 2017. I get to write about how to incorporate more movement into your day and review infographics that explain how to build a better salad. Plus, I get to hear stories from real, live people with diabetes who struggle with this horrible disease every day. Seriously?! I get paid for this? Every day I’ve been thinking to myself how fun my new job is, and there’s nothing better than that. J
So, how will this affect the blog? While at my old job, I didn’t really post too many of the specifics of my day-to-day work. A lot of it just wasn’t that relevant, and I didn’t want to bore you guys with overly scientific information. With this new job, however, I have a feeling I’ll want to share a lot more of what I’m doing because I think it’s a) interesting and b) important. Of course I’ll always make it very apparent when I’m writing about something for work and when I’m writing something just for myself (which will still be most of the time). Plus, all opinions are (always) my own!
Question of the day: How much do you know about diabetes? How much do you want to know?
P.S. I know this post didn’t have any pictures in it, so here’s one of Jack in a pumpkin “costume” to make you smile. 🙂