A day in the life of a Project Manager
When putting together ideas for a new blog, this seemed like a straightforward post to write. I've written a couple of these in the past. Literally detailing my time in the day, hour by hour.
Now, sat in front of my laptop with the draft page open, I'm a little stuck. Why? Because no one day as a project manager in marketing and events ever looks the same!
I quite literally couldn't tell you my hour by hour day! Today, I am sat in the departure lounge in Gran Canaria airport having been at a conference. Earlier this week I spoke at World Travel Market London, and this time last week we were planning a Friday night social for content creators.
In an industry that is still relatively new and just beginning to be understood by the business masses, there is still so much to build and discover. Honestly, for the first time in six years since I first discovered the online world, I went to a business conference and actually felt like content creation was being taken seriously and not simply a phase to appeal to.
Some weeks you are in the office madly typing away, making calls and having meetings. Other days you can be having coffee with possible business contacts, making an appearance at events and putting those events together. Then there are the 'pinch me, I'm dreaming' days where you are travelling further out of town for business. Whether another UK town to co-host a press trip or further afield for conferences and trips.
So maybe those in the office days are a good place to start, as they are of course the foundation to the other moments. Now, when I say in the office, I guess 'in the office' explains it better. As a member of a small and very mobile team, it actually makes very little sense to have a base for most of the week. Even working half the week from home, I very rarely meet with the team in the same cowork space two weeks (or even two days) in a row. Depending on who has to meet who at that time, what prep we have to do and how limited on time we are in the day.
So what does the day look like when I am 'in the office' with the team?
5:30-6am: wake up.
7am: train to London - coffee normally in hand. Depending on the day, I will normally get a slower train into London so I can get a seat and use the journey to plan my day/answer urgent messages/get on top of admin before the day begins. Or sometimes just to generally ease myself into the day.
8:30am: depending on the train, I will normally arrive in by half eight latest. By this time the rest of the team is normally surfacing and we have a place to meet set. So I will then either walk or take the bus to the meeting spot (if I can avoid the tube, I will!).
9am: on a normal day, I'm the first one in and I'll get on top of emails and anything I need focus for. Then as the rest of the team filters in, I'll try and get further emails or tasks done that can be discussed throughout the day with clients and partners. Sometimes I'll also check in first thing with other team members to see where we're at with a project, what needs action that day and where we'll aim to be at with it by the end of the day.
Most of the morning will then be spent, headphones in - or at least half in so I can interact with the team when needed - and getting emails done, making or taking calls, writing copy, creating pitches, putting social media together, organising interviews, getting contracts together... The list continues.
Project-dependant, I could be talking to a mixture of content creators, clients, press and events companies.
Midday-2pm: I've fallen into a bad habit of not really taking a lunch break. I'll normally take five minutes to go for a walk while grabbing food some time between 12 and 2pm. But I really think I should be better sometimes at switching off for a bit.
PM: if there are no meetings, I will normally leave certain tasks like reporting until after lunch, when I have my brain slump. And then around 3pm, I will pick up correspondence properly and make sure I finish the day happy that nothing needs an urgent response.
Evening: depending on the time of year, we can sometimes then be found at an event in the evening. Whether something we've organised or been invited to - typically hosted in London.
After work (normally around 7pm): I will try and switch off on the train home and then by the time I am home, I will normally crash in front of Netflix with my dog.
Or I'll make sure I have plans of some sort to switch off after work and at the weekend. Whether dinner with friends, a mini trip somewhere or a dog walk.