It’s funny how careers can pan out. I’ve been at Awin since 2013 and yet I would never have envisaged myself in digital marketing whilst at school and university where I had more interest in books, writing and fiction. In fact, there’s a great set of rules relating to our reactions to new technology that the author Douglas Adams came up with which probably best describes how I ended up working for an affiliate network:
Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
Anything that's invented between when you’re 15 and 35 is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
Anything invented after you're 35 is against the natural order of things.
Graduating from uni, I fell into a role that involved copywriting for a small start-up travel website and which later evolved into being its site manager, learning more about how to produce content that engaged readers and provided them with relevant recommendations of brands they could book their holidays with. Without realising it, I was already part of the affiliate industry.
Thanks to my experience as an affiliate in the travel industry I was offered the role of Travel Specialist at Awin, working in the Publisher Services team which was great fun. I’d never worked in a larger organisation like Awin before, but the small team I worked in had a tight-knit sense of camaraderie which made it an easy transition. I was tasked with supporting travel affiliates on the network and helping them to work with the huge array of travel brands that were on offer which saw me develop a variety of skills ranging from presenting and communication to analysing trends and prioritising my workload effectively.
Having spent a couple of years as the network’s Travel Specialist I moved into a managerial role which saw me lead a small team of publisher specialists and this new experience afforded me the chance to develop more skills; managing colleagues, supporting their careers and directing their efforts towards larger departmental objectives and goals.
Because of my particular interest in writing and producing content, Awin then offered me the opportunity to move into the Global Strategy team where I could put those interests into working practice. My current role as a content analyst involves producing whitepapers, articles and other types of long-form content that demonstrate the network’s status as a real thought-leader within the wider affiliate and digital industries. I write about the trends that we witness across the global network and discuss what these insights can tell us about the current state of the market and where we’re heading.
In addition, the role has given me some great experience of producing content in a variety of different formats. The ways in which people consume content have evolved rapidly over the last few years and so my role is not strictly limited to just writing. I take part in webinars, present at numerous conferences around the world and have even started hosting our own monthly podcast, Awin Talks, more recently.
One of the great things about working in this industry is the rapid pace of change. The affiliate world is constantly being disrupted by new, innovative businesses and ideas and it makes my job easier in a way because there’s always some fresh and interesting subject to write about. I’m not quite 35 (yet), but I’d like to think that being exposed to this kind of environment on a daily basis means that when I do reach that age, I won’t necessarily consider new inventions as “against the natural order of things” but instead remain enthusiastic about the possibilities they afford.