Getting ZEALified: First Week At My New Job

I was supposed to write about my first day at my new job (at least that’s what the content plan says), but as you might guess – it got a bit busy. Five days flew by so fast! They were so eventful – loads of new information, meeting new people… getting crowned the Bowling Queen and Digital Laura, breaking internal records. Yes, all that happened to me on my first week. Want to know more?

Weirdly enough, I didn’t have any stress or anxiety before going in on Monday. I usually do. This time it somehow felt that I’m going back to where I belong, not starting a new job. And I guess my gut feeling was right – that’s what I’ve been feeling this whole week. And I seriously can’t put it into words how happy I am about how things have turned out. I had a few tough weeks to get here, and a month ago I would never believe if you’d say that this is what’s in store for me.

Where Have I Ended Up?

Throughout my job search, I was mainly focusing on digital agencies and positions like Project Manager or Account Manager. That’s what I have been doing for the last few years and felt most comfortable with. I almost ended up working at one of the digital agencies I interviewed for, but things didn’t turn out as I planned.

One day I got invited for an interview at ZEAL Creative – a promotional marketing agency working with several big-name brands. They have done quite a bit of digital campaigns, and they thought it’s worth to check out if I could be a great addition to the team and help them bring digital to the next level.

We met twice, and I had to prepare ideas for a brief for the second interview. It went really well, and I felt quite good about it all throughout the process. And to be honest, after successfully presenting them my ideas, I unconsciously started imagining myself working there. It’s a good sign, right? But I didn’t want to be disappointed if they don’t make an offer, so I tried to keep neutral about it all.

The offer came, and I couldn’t turn it down – it felt right. Even though I have no experience in promotional marketing, they were willing to teach me all that. Exciting! I always want to learn new things. Yes, less comfortable than going to a purely digital agency, but I’m not afraid of challenges. And they trusted me for bringing my digital expertise on board, even though I am not a local. ZEAL wanted to help me fulfil my “Manchester dream”. I can’t wish for anything more!

Welcome to ZEAL office!
Welcome to ZEAL office!

Becoming The Bowling Queen

On my second day at work, ZEAL team was supposed to participate in the annual bowling tournament for Manchester agencies organised by the Institute of Promotional Marketing. Somehow I ended up on the team! I’m always up for such activities, but I was quite stressed as I had no clue what the level of the tournament is (sounded quite serious!). I am competitive, but mostly I wanted to represent my team in the best way possible.

And I guess I did. Somehow I managed to not only help my team but also got the highest individual score. Unfortunately, we didn’t win, but this was a moral victory for us. We’ll be more prepared for the next year! If you want to know more, give it a read here.

Breaking Records

Having secured a bowling record, I was up for another. This time – more digitally focused. When ZEAL put a story about me joining the team on the blog, I was challenged to beat the previous record of the number of visits to the site on a single day. All I had to do was to share this post on my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and the rest just happened. October 21 will now be remembered as “Laura Wednesday”. Big thanks to all my friends, former colleagues and acquaintances for the big support!

Posing for ZEAL blog post pictures. Do I look "digital" enough?
Posing for ZEAL blog post pictures. Do I look “digital” enough?

Finding My Way Around And Keeping Myself Busy

Quite a lot to comprehend on my first week, right? And that’s besides all the work stuff I’ve been trying to wrap my head around. It’s not easy, and I feel that being unemployed for a while has taken its toll, but I’m trying hard to get back to my usual speed and productivity. Bear with me, ZEALers!

Besides work, I still try to keep myself busy – staying physically active, reading books, studying for several online courses etc. And yes, I need to make more time for this blog!

Working at the MediaCityUK has its perks! Things like this happen all the time as we got BBC, ITV and other media organisations on our doorstep.
Working at the MediaCityUK has its perks! Things like this happen all the time as we got BBC, ITV and other media organisations on our doorstep.

Note: This post originally appeared on Expat in MCR ( blog which has since been renamed to Dream Chaser (

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