Last week, I finished my internal communications job in Birkenhead… for the second time. Definitely an end of an era as I’ve been working here since my second year of university, left for a year when I was in London and was welcomed back when I returned to Liverpool for my final year.
I’ve learnt so, so much from my job in Birkenhead and will miss going to the other side of the Mersey very much, but most of all, I will miss all of the people that I’ve been able to work with and the friends that I’ve made.
My internal comms assistant job was my first ever office job. The first time I had to get myself an office wardrobe and sat at a desk 9-5. It gave me experience so that I could go after a placement position and know what to expect. It taught me a lot about the workplace and how much a company’s culture is vital to its success. It showed me another career path from a degree in PR and allowed me to discover whether it’s something I would want to pursue in the future.
Is internal communications for me?
I loved my job in Birkenhead and was working for a huge company with over 400 employees, making the job a lot more interesting. Bringing in new initiatives, researching ways to keep the family culture, learning about what employees were up to and their personal as well as career achievements was a lot of what I loved about my job.
Since the company I worked for started out very small and always had a family culture, it was a challenge to keep that family culture while the company expanded to such a size – but it was a challenge I enjoyed and loved to see working.
My placement year in London showed me how much passion I had for media relations and working for brands and working on campaigns and trying to get coverage – there was nothing that fulfilled me more than seeing one of our products in a magazine because I put it there. The Tiffany ‘shelfie’ in ELLE magazine will always be a standout.
I could see myself working in internal communications by being drafted in by a company that is in dire need of a culture change or improvement. Having a huge challenge like this would be something that would excite me and want to make a great difference in implementing a culture change and making sure that it sticks.
What’s a Birkenhead?
If you’ve never heard of Birkenhead, it’s a little place over the River Mersey from Liverpool in a place called Wirral – although you always call it ‘the Wirral’, never just ‘Wirral’ on its own.
I take the Liverpool version of the tube every morning as the train goes underground for all of five minutes before I get to my stop. I can confirm that it’s nothing like the London underground as I usually take every escalator by myself and am on the platform with all of ten other people. The kind of rush hour I could get used to.
To put it into perspective, Birkenhead is one of the most deprived towns in the UK with one of the highest rates of child poverty. It’s not the most pleasant of areas but my lunchtime walks along the waterfront boasted amazing views of the Liverpool waterfront so I could never complain. I mean, everyone always said you would rather be in Birkenhead with the amazing view of Liverpool than standing in Liverpool with the view of Birkenhead.
The company I worked for was heavily involved with a local charity initiative called Feeding Birkenhead, set up by MP Frank Fields. The initiative grows year on year and is providing amazing help to the people that need it in the Birkenhead area. Other than food banks and school breakfast and summer clubs, Feeding Birkenhead now collect sanitary products for women and girls that can’t afford them and also baby products such as nappies, baby food and clothes for new mothers that are living on a very low income.
From being involved with the charity, I was able to see the difference that it is making in Birkenhead and I was able to watch it grow over the three years that I was working at the company. The charitable side of my internal communications job was something I really enjoyed working on and since I was studying a module in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) during my final year, it all tied in very nicely.
Not a goodbye, but a ‘see you later’
Since this is my second time leaving the company, I’ve made a lot of good friends that I will be keeping forever. That’s the beauty of social media, you can always follow along with people’s life achievements and big moments even though you may never see them in person again.
I know that I’ve made friends for life at this job and every time I come back to Liverpool in the future, I’ll be able to catch-up over a coffee (or something alcoholic). I was made to feel like part of the family at the company and will always remember how well I was treated and the warmth that was shown to me. It’s an amazing company to work for and who knows, they could be seeing me back again a third time in years to come.