Any job is a real job: Social Media Servicing Advisor

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As many of you know, I recently decided I wanted to start a bit of a blogging series with the phrase ‘Any job is a real job’ in mind. I wanted to raise awareness of the different industries out there, and I asked for all of my readers help. I feel really lucky that some of you responded.If you missed my previous articles about this, then click here.

 First up is Cameron, from over at Cameron D Hamilton. He writes a great blog with an emphasis on poetry and self reflection, and I really love his work, so I was very pleased when he contacted me to tell me about his job as a Senior Social Media Servicing Advisor:

So, let’s begin with a few basic facts.  My name is Cameron, I’m 29 and I work in corporate Social Media for a major UK bank.  I’ve been in my current position for over a year.

Explain your job role (title, daily duties etc)

At this time I hold the title of Senior Social Media Servicing Advisor.  The job itself consists of moderating several social media and website channels for the bank.  My department moderates four Twitter handles, two Facebook accounts, the website ‘live webchat’ service and two customer enquiry email services.  I came into the department to handle Social Media so I tend to focus my attention on the Twitter and Facebook content.  It’s more a preference for me, it actually works out well with our team dynamic as some of my colleagues prefer the more formal nature of the email channels.

On a normal day I’ll spend my time responding to enquiries received and also post attention grabbing content, over the Twitter channel specifically, in order to grow the brand and attract attention.  As a team we’re also tasked with monitoring public relations through Social Media, logging and reporting positive and negative reports of the bank.  As a department we have little power to effect change the way the bank presents itself, essentially we’re information gathering.  It can get a bit frustrating when the same criticisms come up and nothing is done but I’m sure there must be a good reason, or at least I hope.  The vast majority of the time is spent moderating the channels making sure that all messages received are responded to, make sure we can avoid potential PR issues and make sure customers are protected.

(A funny story on making sure our customers as kept safe over social media.  I once had to deal with a customer of the bank who was a financial dominatrix and was posting her bank details over Twitter in order to get tributes from her admirers.  Her profile was certainly NSFW.  I got in touch with our information security team and they got a Fraud officer to get in touch.  We got told she was warned the following day but clearly didn’t listen as a few weeks later she done the exact same thing.  You can’t help everyone!)

More than any other department we liaise with several different areas of the business on a daily basis, sometimes it can be simply feeding back praise, looking for more in depth info or a certain subject (mortgages, urgh) or getting complaints handled.  This is quite common as you can imagine, everyone love to moan over Twitter and we try to help.  Often it’s really easy people are being lazy wont visit the bank or call in, ‘help us to help you’ doesn’t enter into their minds.  Sometimes it take a little more to handle but it’s our job monitoring Social Media to make sure that voice gets heard and helped.

As a senior advisor I also research and create reports for the leadership team of the bank.  The most frequent is a weekly feedback presentation that is made for the weekly leadership meeting.  Takes about three to four hours and I usually do it if I’m working on a Sunday, it’s monotonous but I quite like it.

Also due to the main office site being a contact centre the team has been lumbered with some irritating telephone lines.  These are low call volume, maybe four calls over a shift max.  In addition to this in order to keep product knowledge fresh there are weeks where I will take general customer service phone calls or work the Internet Banking Helpdesk while another member of the team assumes moderation duties on Social Media.  It’s you’re standard shift rotation deal.

How  did you got into your job? (e.g qualifications, experience etc)

I’m a Media graduate, I spent five years studying through various college courses and university.  I went from wanting to work in film production, with an eye to direct, but found that I enjoyed writing more.  I put a lot of that down to my social anxiety, being able to create a barrier means I can work more effectively.  Its why I like working in Social Media.

The academics didn’t get me exactly where I wanted to go and I drifted through mostly Customer Service positions while trying to write.  Before I took my current position I was working as a general Customer Service Rep in the same bank at the same centre.  Due to my qualifications, my vast experience from working in the bank for so long and my eccentric passion the job was mine.

At the time I applied I was leaving the company, I had reached my glass ceiling and had been applying for writing and Social Media vacancies so when one came up from my current employer it just made sense.  The company thought so too.

What do you like about your job?

I like the ability to write and be creative.  That’s what sold me on the job, to try and engage with customers differently than I had been over phone calls.

Using my experiences as a writer to give some personality to the Social Media accounts, show we care, we want to help but that we’re real.

I really like the people in my team, it’s a great group of personalities and you need that in Social Media.  Of course I win the award for most eccentric but I set a very high bar.

Honestly it’s an easy job.  With the knowledge I gained working telephone customer service the job of moderating is ridiculously easy.  That lack of stress makes my life a lot easier with all the other stresses I have

The Social Media team itself is very young, its only in its second year.  I love being able to shape the voice and make a mark on the landscape.  Not to denigrate my colleagues but you can tell the difference in language and passion when I’ve sent a message compared to someone else.  It’s a great feeling to see that your voice is the one that people like.

What do you hate about your job?

The pay (hahahaha!!!) Serious though, its horrific.

The politics of the office are very annoying, as a contact centre the focus is on phone calls so my team gets treated horribly as if it’s our fault that calls are queuing because we’re not on the phone.  My employer doesn’t know how to handle digital operations and doesn’t understand the job we do.  This means arguments with management figures trying to assert authority when they have none and acting like children when they don’t get their way.

I don’t drive so the commute is pretty bad at times.  I take three buses and as much as it gives me time to listen to my favourite podcasts it does give me a little less free time.

Due to working in the banking industry, it’s a secure paperless environment which is murder or a writer who likes to have a note pad if they’re inspired by something…or maybe just wants to colour in on a slow day.

To be honest the job is great.  It’s the office I hate.  If I could do the same job somewhere else I’d be a lot happier.  I think if there’s any lesson I could impart it’s don’t give up on something you want to do because the people you work for are idiots.

Where do you want to be in five years time?

There’s two answers to this.

Answer one is writing professionally, taking what I do on WordPress and making money off my words.  I want to write like a lot of people here so If I can I’d like to get published and make my living from literature

Answer two is Social Media Project Management.  I’m not keen on actually managing staff, its just not interesting, I want to create and run projects.  Move out of the moderation and more into  the marketing the brand growth.  I do a little of this right now but I really want to advance into building content to get people talking and make the best use of Social Media.  It won’t be with my current employer, I have way too many issues with them and their ineptitude in the digital world.  I find this hard to answer because I’ve never been one for planning ahead.  Probably why I’m so far behind.

I want to say a big thank you to Cameron for this, as I found it really interesting. I’m looking to go into a similar career myself, so it was great to get an in depth view of what to expect. Does anyone else work in this industry? What do you think? Or do any of you want to go into this industry too?

 

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You shouldn’t trust clothes sizes

 

If there’s one thing that’s really bothering me recently, it’s clothes sizes. I’ve been out and about shopping quite a bit trying to pick up some new bits and pieces for my summer wardrobe. The problem is that nothing seems to fit right. Now I wouldn’t consider myself to be overweight. I’m a UK size 12, I’m around 5ft 4, and I weight about 10st 5. I eat healthily, I exercise, and I drink lots of water. This is why I find it so disheartening to walk into my favourite shop, to pick something out in my size and for it not to fit. It’s confusing and it makes me feel fat. Girls shouldn’t have to deal with this.

I think the main problem is that clothes from different shops in the same size have different measurements. For example, I can go into New Look and buy a top in size 12, and then go into Primark and have to buy a size 14. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with either of those sizes, but why does this happen? Why isn’t there just a universal measurement for each size?

Another problem I often find is that women’s clothes seem to be made for women who have a straighter figure than myself. I consider myself to be quite curvy, and find it ridiculous that there doesn’t seem to be many clothing stores that accomodate for my figure. I understand that some women do have straighter figures, but instead of completing discriminating towards women with body shapes like myself, why can’t there be more of a choice?

Buying jeans is my least favourite task. They never seem to fit right both in the leg length and around the waist; it’s always either one or the other. Luckily, I’ve found somewhere which does seem to accomodate for both in Dorothy Perkins. In their petite section you can buy a size 12, and gasp, it actually fits well.

Possibly the worst thing about women’s clothing are when they come in sizes such as S, M, L etc. Both H and M and Forever 21 do this, and it drives me crazy. I’m quite petite, but because of my curves, cannot fit into a Small, meaning that the Medium completely drowns me in some places and then is too tight in others.

Online shopping is a complete pain, as due to the fluctuation of sizes, I prefer to try on before I buy. The amount of times I’ve ordered something online and then had to send it back because it’s nowhere near the size it said it is!

I just think that the fashion industry needs to be a bit more generous towards women of ALL shapes and sizes. The average clothing size of women in the UK is a 14, and yet what even is a 14 anymore? We don’t deserve to feel rubbish about ourselves for something that isn’t accurate and that isn’t fair.

Does anyone else have this problem?

 

How to get a better night’s sleep

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Recently I’ve been so busy that I don’t feel as if I’ve been getting enough sleep, never mind a sleep that actually makes me feel rested! I think that’s because I’ve been working full time on an internship meaning early mornings and the fact that on a weekend it’s been such lovely weather that I’ve been out and about the entire time. I shouldn’t complain because I’ve really enjoyed the last few weeks and I hate being bored, but I thought I’d share some things with you that I’m going to try and do this evening to unwind and hopefully get a better night’s sleep. 

Technology ban- This one’s probably going to be a bit of a struggle for me as I’m constantly on my phone or laptop whether that’s texting friends, doing bits for my blog or even looking things up. However, it is supposed to really help with your sleep as it allows your brain to shut off properly so I’m going to give it my best shot and see if it helps.

Make your bedroom cosy- When I lived in Chester, my tiny little uni room couldn’t really be described as cosy. I had a single bed which squeaked when you sat on it, there was no carpet and it was freezing because the heating wouldn’t work. In my flat now there are a tonne of cushions on the bed, the mattress is really soft and I actually enjoy being in my bedroom. Make yours cosy and you’ll find it much easier to fall asleep when you’re actually comfortable.

Wear something comfortable- This one goes without saying but you’d be surprised how many people see going to bed as some kind of fashion parade. No one cares what you look like when you’re going to bed. As long as you’re comfortable, that’s all that matters. I have to say though, I do really enjoy wearing matching pyjamas to bed. It makes me feel a bit more accomplished.

Make sure you’re actually tired- Okay, I know it’s hard when you know you have to be up in the morning and you can’t sleep. But the worst thing to do is to lie and to try and will yourself for sleep. Instead of doing that, try reading or getting up and doing something. Trust me, it makes all the difference.

Make a cup of tea (or if you don’t like tea, hot chocolate)- I’m a huge coffee fan and drink way too much of it to be good for me. However, on an evening I find that a cup of tea is so much more relaxing. It helps my mind shut down, and it’s just a really soothing drink. You could always try green tea or fruit tea as well as they’re supposed to have loads of health benefits.

What do you do to try and get a good night’s sleep?

The ‘glad to be alive’ feeling

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Is it just me who gets a certain sort of feeling when they’re somewhere really special? I’m talking about that feeling you get when you’re watching a glorious sunset in shades of orange, red and pink, the feeling you get when you’re driving in a car near the beach with the windows down, your favourite song on and beautiful sunny weather, the feeling you get when you step off the plane in a foreign country and it’s vibrant, and new, and amazing. The best way to describe it is probably to call it the ‘glad to be alive’ feeling. It’s euphoric.

I think a lot of us spend the majority of our time on this earth worrying about our daily lives, worrying about exams, about work, about our appearance, about our relationships. We don’t focus enough on the happy moments. We take what we have for granted. The problem is we’re not really living when we do this. We’re simply existing. I’m not going to be unrealistic and suggest that we wake up every single morning with a massive grin on our face, but I do think that we should embrace those mornings where we do wake up feeling happy and joyous.

Like most people, I’m guilty of waking up in the morning and having a good grumble about what lies ahead. I focus on the negative in situations instead of the positive, but all the while I should be concentrating on what will next give me that ‘glad to be alive’ feeling. I think it’s important to remember that there are people out there who have a much harder life than we do. They don’t have the same opportunities and the same resources that we have. Their search for their ‘glad to be alive feeling’ is so much harder than it is for us.

Last night I was lucky enough to go and see one of my favourite bands in the world live. As the crowd sang in unison, and the stadium was lit up with fireworks, lights and technicolour, I felt that ‘glad to be alive’feeling. This morning I woke up feeling happy and I still have the remnants of that feeling.

Tomorrow when I wake up and grumble about how early it is, or complain that it’s raining outside, I’m not going to forget that feeling. I’m going to do everything in my power to create it again as soon as possible. At the end of the day we all only have one life so we should do everything that we can to capture every moment that will bring us that feeling of being in harmony with the world. We’re blessed to have everything we have and life isn’t something to be taken for granted.

What do you think?

Why I’m doing what’s right for me

 

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I think it’s so hard to not be influenced by those around us. I always used to feel as if I was copying what others were doing whilst not making any proper decisions of my own. I’m not sure if I did this because I didn’t feel that I knew what was best for me, or because I thought that what everyone else was doing was the only way for me to do things too. Over the last few years, I’ve been trying to escape that mindset, as I want to do what’s best for me now. At the end of the day, my choices affect MY life, they don’t affect anyone else.

One of the biggest qualms I’ve had to deal with is the expectations of being a student. As a student you’re expected to be out partying every night, drowning your weight in alcohol, and flirting with as many people as possible. The thing is, that’s just not me. I like dressing up in pretty clothes whilst sipping on cocktails in a sophisticated bar, and I enjoy going home at a reasonable hour whilst still knowing where my head’s at and what I’m doing. I used to think that that made me boring, and that I wasn’t getting enough out of ‘the student experience’ but I’ve started to come to the conclusion that I’m now getting the student experience I want. I still go out occasionally, and yes I still occasionally get drunk, but the majority of the time, I’m quite happy spending the night chatting away to friends and generally having a laugh. I don’t think that makes me boring.

Consequently, I’m doing what’s right for me in terms of studying. All through school and college, I tried my hardest with my work as I was so determined to get good grades and do well for myself. One of the things I kept a secret for so long was that I was younger than everyone else. When I was in primary school I was moved up a year. Since then I’ve continued with people older than myself, and yet I was ashamed of it. I worried that people would think I was too geeky and weird, and when people did find out about it, they weren’t always nice. Luckily, all of the people that I’ve got in my life at the moment know about it all, and they don’t care. That’s why I feel liberated enough to share this on here. I’m not ashamed of it anymore. So what if I skipped a year of school? I’m proud of it now.

Furthermore, I hate people trying to tell me what’s best for me in terms of my future. When I originally chose my course of BA English Literature and Creative Writing, I was met with some stick about what career options that would leave me with. For some reason, I started to get it into my head that English was a ‘soft’ subject and that I would lend up without any career prospects. But two years into my course, and I’m happy with my decision. My course challenges me, and how you can say it’s a ‘soft’ subject I’m not sure, and to be honest is quite offensive. I’ve started to think about future careers and again, I keep being told that that I’m not going to get into the industry I want because it’s too competitive. I’m determined to prove that those people are wrong, and even if I do fail, I know that I’ve done what’s right for me simply by trying.

I’m glad I’ve started to realise that it’s my choices that count. I’m my own person, and I know my potentials and downfalls. I know what makes me tick, and what doesn’t. Therefore I’m going to keep doing what’s best for me, and I don’t care if it bothers you. It’s my life, and that’s all that matters.

 

Thought of the day

“Happiness is found when you stop comparing yourself to other people”
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Like most people, I find myself constantly wanting to be like other people. In our culture it’s so easy to do this whether we’re comparing ourselves to our peers, or families or celebrities that we’ve never even met. I don’t spend enough time being proud of myself, because I worry that I’m being selfish, or that I will appear vain. But at the same time, I expect other people to admire me, and then I lend up in a sort of vicious circle.

I find myself comparing myself to other people in silly ways sometimes. I look at fellow bloggers (my absolute new favourite is Audrey Leighton whose Frassy blog is absolutely gorgeous as well as stylish and inspirational) and wish that my life was more like theirs. I want to be travelling around the world, soaking up the sunshine and experiencing new cultures. What I don’t remember is that this is not the only thing that these people do. They’ve worked hard to get where they are, and if I put my mind to it, I could one day achieve something like that. Instead of focusing on comparing myself to others,  I should be working hard too, to achieve my own personal goals.

Sometimes I wish I was more like my friends, whether it’s the fact that they’ve done better than me in exams, or they’ve got a job, or they’ve passed their driving test. What I need to remember is that, at least I’ve passed my exams. I’ve had jobs before and I’ll have jobs again. And one day, despite the fact that it’s taking me forever to drive, I will pass my driving test.

The worst type of comparisons I make are to celebrities such as Nina Dobrev, or Taylor Swift. I wish that I was as skinny as they are, I wish that I was as tanned, that I had loads of money. What I don’t remember is that okay, I might not be super skinny, but at a size 12, I’m not fat either. Although I might not be tanned, I have nice pale skin that goes well with my green eyes and subtle freckles. Nina Dobrev and Taylor Swift are gorgeous but I’m never going to look like them, and that’s fine. People still think that I look okay, and I still have a boyfriend that loves me the way I am. It doesn’t matter that I’m not everything they are, because I’m unique in myself.

So from now on, let’s try and focus on ourselves and how great we are. We need more self confidence, and it’s not vain to be that way.

What’re your thoughts?