I’ll just put it out there – brand strategy and content marketing are not my thing. I have a BA and an MA in English Literature, and then I did another Master’s in Media Arts from a bunch of European universities in an Erasmus Mundus programme. I’d hoped the second one would give me some ‘practical’ skills that would help me land a job, but I mostly ended up learning about more abstract stuff and realising that while I appreciate and enjoy art, studying it makes me want to cry (which I did every single day while writing my thesis). My mother recently pointed out that ultimately it’s my English degrees that are helping me work as a writer (my mother is always right – except for that weird vaccine sceptic phase she once went through – thank God it’s over).
Writing in English has been my comfort zone ever since I was a small child. I would write all sorts of things – poems, travelogues, stories (I even wrote a ‘constitution’ once – yes, I was that precocious). But content marketing is new to me. As someone who’s had to churn out pages and pages of academic writing over the past 8 years, I was used to suppressing my personality in my writing. And I never had to persuade or convince anyone to buy anything with my words (that’s a tough one). Content Marketing is a whole new world for me. When Bee decided to hire me, I was doubtful about my own abilities to do justice to the role. I’d never done anything like this before.
And then I read the contract from Bee. One of the clauses that caught my eye was one about how Bee expected me to keep learning and keep polishing my skills. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been on LinkedIn enough to know that ‘Upskilling’ is all the rage these days. But Bee’s focus on learning didn’t feel like a hollow echo of hustle culture ethos. When I joined, I was gifted Ann Handley’s ‘Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content’. I’d never of Handley, but she quickly became a friend. Now I have her on my phone, and I find myself referring to her often. I was also given access to tons and tons of resources on topics related to marketing and strategy. My colleagues and I are regularly encouraged to take courses and training. There is a collective culture of learning at Bee that stems from a genuine concern for every member of the team. This isn’t learning for the sake of flaunting a digital certificate on LinkedIn. My colleagues and I feel like upgrading our knowledge and skills because we want to do better work. Why do we want to do better? Because we care about the organisation, we work for. And why do we care about the organisation we work for? Because it cares for us. That wasn’t too complicated, was it?
Another thing I love about Bee is that peer-to-peer learning is actively encouraged. Each colleague brings something unique to the table – skills, ideas, perspectives or experiences. We’re motivated to reach out to each other and pick each other’s brains (shout out to Nikita for her LinkedIn 101 session!). Remote work can be isolating at times, and this is a great way for us to bond while also learning new things (two birds with one stone).
And last but not least – how do we make time for learning? At Bee, time isn’t something we’re racing against. Time is our friend, and Bee lets us make room for our friends (both Time and our real, human friends). We have ample time to spend on learning because of the asynchronous format at Bee – there is no interruptive communication, unnecessary work meetings and pointless hullabaloo.
I thought I was sick of learning after three back-to-back degrees, but Bee changed my mind. It inspired me to immerse myself in something new and gave me the space to explore it in my own way and make mistakes along the way. It got me excited about pursuing a new course or reading a book on a topic I never thought to engage with. Can’t wait to see what’s next.
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