Note from Ideadeco Team: Copywriting Contest submissions are extended until 15 January 2021.

Submissions are now open for the Copywriting Contest. We believe in the kindness of strangers. We are romantic souls that find the energy to notice the collateral beauty in a broken world. We refuse to let 2020 destroy our trust in kindness and humanity.

Life is better than that. We believe that we are connected far beyond the internet. In case you find this call appealing then send over your thoughts. We are welcoming everyone.

Learn more about the Copywriting Contest: My 2020 Extraordinary Story.

My 2020 Extraordinary Story

Author: Melanie Bateson

I was just let go from my third job this year, and I have to tell you, this one bloody hurt.

Way back in March, when all was well in our world and we didn’t know what we didn’t know was coming, I got myself a fairly grouse office job, thanks to a family friend putting in a ‘good word’. I’m pleased to say, I landed the job. All parties were excited and looking forward to the start date. That start date was to be on the 23rd of March. All I was waiting for was the paperwork.

During their meeting with the head honchos of the business, they and the rest of the team were directed to close all offices, as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, that were about to be announced by the state and federal governments. That counted me out.

6 weeks later, I got a call from a local real estate agent. I went in to see her to discuss the role, and bibbidi bobbidi boo, I had secured myself employment! I was exhilarated. I Facebook bragged that I had managed to get a job during a global pandemic. I should have known better.

No sooner had I begun learning how to nail my new job, stage 3 restrictions were unfurled by our state government. My hours were slashed in half. And then came stage 4 here in metropolitan Melbourne. I was stood down again, this time with a few tears of regretful frustration.

I decided to upskill. I looked about internet land, and found myself a copywriting course. Once booked in, I felt a tiny surge of excitement, and the sense that perhaps the previous losses had come so that I could find my true path. Or something. After completing one course, I was keen to keep up the momentum, and needed something that would assist me with what I truly lacked. Confidence.

My 2020 Extraordinary Story by Melanie Bateson

Meanwhile, I’d been checking out jobs on Rachel’s List, LinkedIn, Seek etc, for writing and copywriting roles. A few popped up that I knew I wouldn’t suck at. They were remote jobs, meaning I couldn’t be stood down due to COVID lockdown! Applications were sent. I was not hopeful. A mutual friend provided an email introduction, the cut through that I sorely needed. The Boss and put in a call to me! There was much wooting and ermahgerding. From my end, anyway.

After jumping through the requisite hoops, I was bestowed the job. Going the extra mile, I jimmied The Boss’ eyes open with toothpicks so that they were open to my lack of experience with certain software. The Boss did not flinch. I had found a mentor, without ever realising that I’d wanted one.

The very cells in my body pinged. The Boss pointed out that over 70 qualified journos had applied for the job. But The Boss chose me, and I was ready. I knew I would be great at this job once I’d nailed the three months of training.

My second copywriting course began on the same day as my job. Sure, the extra workload from both course and job would be a bit burdensome, but I was so ready for the challenge.

By the end of the first week of my job, I was feeling…jittery. I was absorbing a heck of a lot of information, and The Boss had reassured me that I reminded them of them when they first began in the industry. Any self doubt was swept away.

Then, things took a turn. After asking for some help with a website plugin, The Boss’ attitude shifted. I received a phone call. I was referred to as a square peg trying to get into a round hole. I responded that I could not, realistically, be expected to have learned the job within a week. I had gone from being reassured that I could not be expected to know what I was doing, to being shamed for not knowing what I did not know. Out of pure desperation, I contacted my course lecturer.

The questions she asked were considered. Her response, wise. And it worked. For a few days, I still had my ‘dream job’. After getting my tasks ready to proofing stage as requested, The Boss called me and unceremoniously sacked me.

Being stood down due to a global pandemic certainly did suck. This was way worse.

The Boss told me that it would be wrong to judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, and I started to feel kind of angry.

I was neither a fish, nor a monkey. I was a writer, trying to earn a living via my craft. Trying to support my family. The Boss then changed tack. This was not my fault, I was assured. This was poor timing. Due to the resignation of The Boss’ EA, the running (by The Boss) of various courses, and other imminent workplace factors, there was simply no time or mental space for training a newbie. Perhaps The Boss had gotten lost in the romance of becoming a mentor when choosing me for the role. I guess I could understand that.

Compounding my misery, I was to meet the client for my course that afternoon. My eyes. Swollen. My nose. Red. Confidence. Shattered into seven-hundred-and-ninety-two-billion pieces.

The urge to retreat to my bedroom and Netflix was strong, however, with the support of my ACTUAL mentor, the lecturer, I pulled up my big girl pantaloons. I took the client brief, I put together the copy for the required job, and I got on with my life.

These two weeks had taught me to have faith in my abilities. It taught me to be more assertive. It taught me that, when you fall, there are ALWAYS people around you who will catch you.

My lecturer turned out to be more than just an information conduit. She is a supporter of writers. She is nurturing. She is nuanced. She is elegant. She is a master counselor. And above all, she cares about her charges, a bunch of writers who yearn to earn using their craft. So if it was really a mentor that I was after, then this was just a shortcut to finding one. Not one I would recommend to a friend, mind you, but that is a side issue.

The views and opinions expressed in the submitted stories are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of IDEADECO.

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