How I got a role at Xpand with zero marketing experience…

And no, Xpand doesn’t just hire anyone! So how did I do it? Well, I come from a background of...
Fran Watson

And no, Xpand doesn’t just hire anyone!

So how did I do it?

Well, I come from a background of art and design and film production, which gave me a particular set of transferable skills that are valuable in the marketing world.

Multitasking, working well under pressure and being creative have been some of the core skills I have used here at Xpand. 

I’ve now been here a year and that time has flown by, but you know what they say when you’re having fun!

After demonstrating these skills and the growth of some social media personal projects, I got the job. Plus, Danni had a dream the night after my interview, that she needed to hire me and let’s just say the voodoo worked…

I was surprised when I got the call from Jag the next day offering the job. I thought the interview had gone well but I wasn’t feeling positive as I felt I lacked the experience required. 

Xpand had the next three months of training, shadowing and induction set up for me when I arrived. I was used to being thrown into the deep end, previously, so having a more formal set-up was refreshing. 

So a year later being an Xpandable, I’ve learnt a lot. Here are some of my key takeaways:

  • Learning how to say no.

Okay so I’m still working on this one and I enjoy helping people too much to stop completely. In the first month or two at Xpand, Danni expressed that she thought I would have a hard time saying no to people. And she was completely right! 

Even my Disc Profile analysis picked up on this. Together Danni and I have worked on this and a year in, I’m finding it much easier to say no (as much as I’d like to help).

One of the four values at Xpand is “speak up, listen up”. We allow the team to voice their opinion and be heard. Encouraging everyone to speak up even when they disagree. At Xpand, everyone is heard. So when I had to start saying no this made the process much easier!

  • Asking for help.

I love a challenge and starting at Xpand with very little experience in marketing was the perfect chance to throw myself into something and learn quickly. I like being able to work things out for myself and fix my own problems, but a major thing I’ve learnt here is asking for help. And that there’s no shame in not knowing or understanding.

Jag was a great example of this and would always happily sit down with me to explain the hows and why’s. He set the example himself and admits when he doesn’t understand something fully, he’s always ready to hear my opinion.

  • Understanding how I work.

I’ve never had an office job before Xpand. It was my first time. This was a completely different environment for me and one I thought would be easy to figure out. 

But it’s taken me a year to understand how I work best and implement some important rules for myself! Such as knowing when to stop forcing ideas, take a break or try it another day. Sometimes the ideas just don’t flow and there’s no point forcing the work to have to redo it at a later date. Be more proactive with my time.

  • Understanding my strengths and weaknesses.

I am one of those people that will give anything a go. Even when I’ve never tried it before, I’ll still give it my best shot. I think it’s important though to understand what you’re good at and what you need to improve!

Not being able to admit your weaknesses would be your first weakness. I knew it would take more time and effort to develop my weaker skills and with the help of the Xpand team, they’ve made it easy to accept where I needed the help.

  • Staying up to date with social news is no small feat.

Staying up to date with social media news, updates and algorithm changes is a full-time job in itself! But it’s an important part of my job role for both Xpand and my clients. Ensuring I’m creating the correct content for the various platforms and algorithms. 

The best tricks I’ve found to do this is by following marketing content creators who send out weekly updates, signing up for a bunch of social media newsletters and following the official accounts of each platform.

My role as the social media exec is to keep everyone up to date with the latest social news and I do this every Monday morning meeting.

In the last year I’ve learnt so much I couldn’t possibly write it all down. While working at Xpand I’ve become much more confident in myself both professionally and personally. And that’s due to the people who you surround yourself with. The team at Xpand are incredible and I certainly landed on my feet getting a job here!

Being given the chance by Jag and Danni to be a part of the Xpand team even with the little experience I had, has honestly been amazing. 

So, no you don’t always need the experience to back you up. But showing a willingness to learn and improve is something good. Plus voodoo helps.