The story started
Two months of partnering with Pearl Lemon has taught me a lot more than I’ve learnt from most partnerships I’ve done so far, and I’ve done a fair few. The stereotype of making coffee, printing off endless sheets of paper, and generally not using your brain couldn’t be further from the situation at Pearl Lemon.
It just goes to show that you can trust young people. There seems to be a thought in the world of employment that young people who have never had a full-time job before are a massive liability. My time at Pearl Lemon has shown me that I’m not as useless as a lot of people might assume I am just because of my age. I’m 23, by the way, and I still face so much ridicule for being young and relativley inexpeirenced. It was much worse when I was 16 or 17, but the frustrating thing is that I have always been keen to work, and work hard at that.
But it is only at Pearl Lemon, so far, that I have actually been trusted as an adult would be. And, guess what, I did alright. I didn’t lose the copmany a huge pile of money (as far as I’m aware), I didn’t distress any clients with a boisterious demeanour and inaccessible young people lingo (although, granted, I didn’t really deal with any clients), and I didn’t spill any coffee or mess up any prints… because I wasn’t made to do anything like that.
My point being that one of the things that makes this partnership programme great and worth doing is the fact that you will be trusted, you will be given responsibility, and you will learn.
This doesn’t mean that everything goes perfectly, I’ve experienced mistakes being made at Pearl Lemon, but that is always going to be the case at any company. You have to let people make mistakes to learn and ultimately get the most out of them. Not letting young people get involved, which might mean some mistakes are made, and forcing them into brainless labour isn’t helping anyone. A bit of exposure to suits and ties in an office is not really that valuable. Get rid of the pomp and give your partners real work.
Another amazing thing about Pearl Lemon is how close the whole team is. One of the main contributors to this is the company’s weekly call that takes place every Friday afternoon. As a result of these meetings, I know who most of the people in the company are (I don’t think every single employee came to the calls, but I feel like most did). That’s quite remarkable, I think, even for a small-ish company. I especially like the fact that there are no barriers between people in different areas or sectors of work. I was a content writer, but I felt just as comfortable with the digital team as I did with the other content writers. Everyone at the company is so friendly and welcoming. This really made me realise the importance of a workplace’s culture. The team does a very good job of bringing in people that will make a nice, but not complacent, atmosphere.
The team is a wonderful thing to be a part of – there are people from most of the world’s continents, which I think is really cool. If I’m not mistaken, it is still missing people from South America, Oceania, and Artarctica.
I wish I wasn’t ending my time with Pearl Lemon. I know I would have learnt so much more. The idea of learning about SEO, or lead generation, or PR outreach as much as I did about writing and content is a very attractive one, but now also quite a bitter one as I know I’m leaving it behind. I’m leaving to accept a full-time job offer I received recently. I shouldn’t be too sad, I’ll learn a lot from my job as well. But I always find goodbyes difficult, even after knowing a person or group of people for a short time. Two months isn’t that long in some senses, but it was definitely enough for me to feel like a part of the team. Now I wlil miss all the people. But I feel like they’re not that far away as we can always be in touch very easily with just the touch of screen. Whether it annoys them or not, I will be keeping in contact with the people I got to know and work with. We’re all young, it seems feasible to me that our paths will cross at some point again.
If I had stayed longer and if I had been able to commit more time per week, I would have gotten more involved with the things I already mentioned – SEO, lead generation, and PR outreach. These things fascinate me and I have been reading about them a lot in my own time. But my reading will only give me a tiny fraction of the competency I would have gained by actually doing the work, and with Pearl Lemon no less.
The company’s direct approach helps you learn – you do something, send it to someone, they respond with a detailed message or video about how you could or should improve it, you redo it, and then you’re done. What better way is there to learn? And the speed with which all of this happens is also really conducive to good learning. So little time is wasted – everyone communicates very efficiently. I like to think that I have picked up a lot of efficiency and organisation from my time with Pearl Lemon, but the funny thing is that I am still definitely towards the bottom of the pile if you compare me with the other people at the company. Although, to be fair, a lot of them have been there longer than me. Maybe if I stayed a little longer, that speed would have rubbed off on me… Sounds like excuses.
Deepak makes the point very strongly for everyone to always respond to everything, and quickly. This is a really good habit – it does mean that you will get a lot more emails that you don’t necessarily need such as if, for example, someone is just acknowledging receipt of your email, but then again it’s a professional thing to do, and also who doesn’t like being acknowledged? I know I get annoyed when I think people are ignoring me or can’t be bothered to reply to me – now imagine that you’re doing that to a client that is paying you for your services. That’s not a great look, so replying reliably is a good habit to develop.
This is quite aspirational, but I would really like to have a good understanding of all aspects of business. I have started with sales and marketing – these are the jobs I have been doing since school. I have a lot more time to put in with these fields before they are anywhere near mastered (if you can every truly master any field of business, or anything…), but afterwards I would love to take on different roles, such as operations, development, research, and so on. As I said, it would have been great to try my hand at other roles in Pearl Lemon, but unfortunately things haven’t worked out that way.
One thing I have gained from my time with Pearl Lemon is confidence. So many things there are conducive towards developing confidence – the high pace, the close contact, the very real responsibility. It’s an unparalleled atmosphere to learn in because of all these things plus the support network. Everyone is so ready and willing to help. I almost feel like I’ve gotten so used to people being this helpful that I’ll ask for too much help at my job. I hope that’s not the case; all companies should have this kind of culture. I’ve worked in places where the atmosphere is so unfriendly and difficult that you would never dare to ask a question. But then you get something wrong because you didn’t know what you had to do. Then you get in trouble, and so on… Everyone loses in a place like that.
Finally, this has been a great opportunity to develop my writing skills. I love writing and so it has been a pleasure doing that as work. Writing content and copy is very different from writing other things like fiction or academic writing. But I enjoy it as well – it’s another skill, another kind of writing that might now inform how I do other things in the future. As a wise man (called Noah) once said, which really stuck with me, “writing content is another tool in your writing toolbox.” True words, my friend…
I want to end by saying thank you to everyone at Pearl Lemon. I will mention the people that I worked with most by name, but I must stress that I am grateful to every single person in the company for making my time what it was. The whole team is responsible for making me feel welcome, ready, and useful. Deepak, Noah, Federica, Heather, and Akhila, however, are the people that I have worked or spoken with the most, and I want to thank them especially for making time for me.
Thank you so much for this experience, until we meet again!!
WE HOPE SO TOOOOO!! 🙂