For the past few weeks I’ve been in a freelance writing job, which is awesome. However, writing only makes up a fraction of what I do. And I’m actually a website project manager.
What I do
I’m working closely with a company’s co-founder to re-launch its website, as it’s been around in its current form for 10 years. Part of that involves writing, editing and sourcing copy for the re-launch.
But I’m actually a lot more involved with the development of the site than I thought I would be. One of the first things I had to do was re-organise an Excel spreadsheet which maps out all the pages on the site, what should appear on them and how they should join together.
I soon found myself talking a lot of with the web developers, who are putting together all the templates and functions within the site. So when you click on something and it takes you to another page, they’re the ones who made that happen.
The developers showed me how to use the content management system which the site is being uploaded on, and they said I could put in, take out, re-order and even make new content in it. That’s a lot more control than I thought I’d have.
I also report everything that I’m doing, and the developers are doing, to the co-founder, and I report whatever she says to the developers. And I make notes of what happens in all the meeting that take pace.
Why it’s terrifying
What daunts me most about this job is the simple fact ‘manager’ is in my job title. I’ve never been a manager before, and I often find myself doubting my abilities because I’m so young and inexperienced.
To add to this, I’ve only ever thought of myself as a writer before. I thought designing was for designers, content managing was for content managers and editing images and making clickable buttons was for anyone who isn’t me.
But even if this whole thing goes catastrophically wrong, I can say I’ve been a manager and done the things I’ve done.
Every job description I look at in marketing or communications always needs the applicant to be more than a writer. Regularly using a content management system, talking to web developers and making progress reports might just help me get one of those jobs in the future.
But a good terrifying
Being a project manager frightens me. I’m doing a lot of things I’ve never done before, and I fear I’m not good enough to do them. But the fact I will have done them by the end of this job will be good for my long-term career prospects in the creative industries.