Name: Jessica Greenall
Job Title: Copy & Content Writer
Social handle: @jrgreenall
We can’t believe that the third Catalyst programme is coming to an end… It’s been quite the journey packed full of insights, new experiences, personal development and incredible people. To share with OH’s community just how talented this bunch are – we’ve been chatting to them to share their own story.
Here we have the content and copywriter who’s got the skills to pay the bills when it comes to words. Writing for OH, Bido Lito, Art in Liverpool and LAB by Capacity, Jess has no problem in engaging an audience with her authentic writing style.
Hey! We might know you, but OH’s community need to get to the gritty on who you are... Tell us a little about the story of you.
I grew up on the Wirral and took my first step out of the peninsula bubble in 2013 when I moved down to Kent for University. I’ve never had a definite career in mind, so I’ve always tried to base my decisions on whatever it is I’ve been enjoying at the time. I’ve always loved reading and writing, and English Literature and Drama were my favourite subjects throughout school, so it just felt natural to continue studying both at University.
Fast forward 3 years, I graduated, moved back to the Wirral, and got smacked by that sudden feeling of, ‘oh crap, what now? What’s the next step? Where’s my September timetable?’ So I thought I best get busy and throw myself at anything I liked the sound of. And so began the frantic Google searches… I took a job in a local cafe whilst building up my portfolio by contributing to publications in Liverpool, did a bit of charity work, and took on two internships. I was seriously lacking in direction and knowledge of industries in Liverpool, so Catalyst has felt like the cherry on top of these scoops of work experience. I feel like a fully fledged ice cream sundae now.
Everybody has their weird and wonderful... What’s something that people don’t usually know about you?
I’ve been scribbling and doodling some nonsense into notebooks for as long as I can remember and have ended up with a weird collection that starts from the age of 6. I also love running and yoga, I’m trying to learn German, and am also a notorious stress-baker. It’s not pretty, but everybody gets cake.
We’re thrilled to share the Catalyst journey with you! Why did you want to be a part of it?
Robyn and Victoria caught me one morning when I’d just reached the peak of that ‘I don’t know what the hell I’m doing with my life or where to go next’ mountain and stuck my sad flag on top. Robyn suggested joining this year’s Catalyst and I’ll be forever thankful to her for throwing me that line!
It has massively helped me find my way. I wasn’t sure if it would be the right thing for me, but whatever your craft or future goals (or even if you have no idea at all), I think Catalyst is invaluable for anyone, at any age or stage of their life. I left each session with a little more self-confidence, connections with industries in the city, and a greater awareness of the roles available and how to get them.
We’re inspired each and every week by the Catalyst group. But we want to know, what inspires you?
I love hearing people’s stories, whether that’s career paths, experiences, or passions and hobbies. When I see people doing what they love or taking action to alter their life, it motivates me to follow whatever feels right and work on my craft. I’m a terrible over-thinker and I worry before there’s even anything to worry about, so looking at the success of others and their self-belief is really encouraging. I’m also inspired by people who see a fault somewhere and have the courage to actually take action and make a change.
What do you think has been your significant moment of the programme and why was it so out standish for you?
Although every day of Catalyst was outstandish, the most significant day for me was day three at Avenue HQ. In the morning, the panel shared their different career paths and proved that whatever I’m doing now, even if it feels like it’s lacking structure or might not necessarily be what I want to do, is building up to something and will get me to where I want to be.
It was also helpful to hear that their different paths didn’t restrict them when choosing roles in the industry – you can change your mind at any time and do something else with the skills you’ve got. The day finished with a brilliant talk from Alec Dudson, founder of Intern Magazine, one of my favourite publications. He helped us narrow down our work to ‘what?’ ‘why?’ and ‘how?’ in one neat elevator pitch. He also gave us some advice on networking, pitching to publications, and I think he’s a great role model for anyone looking to get started in the creative industry.
Cohort 3 of OH Catalyst has been an absolute ball! How have you felt about the experience and what has benefitted you the most?
First and foremost, the thing that has benefited me the most is the people I’ve met, from fellow Catalystees to people working across the industry. It’s cemented the fact that getting out there and talking to people is what makes stuff happen because people really do want to help and are genuinely interested in your work.
I think even just having someone say, ‘yes, you can do it’ makes a huge difference to your mindset. You can be the best at what you do, but you need the confidence and the know-how to put yourself out there. Luckily, this is where Catalyst comes in because I had little confidence and the creative industry was still a foggy mystery for me.
Not only have I been able to get to know the industry and who’s in it, the ‘Be’ phase of Catalyst helped me understand myself and how I work, taught me the importance of a strong ‘why’ behind what I do, and coaxed me out of my comfort zone.
And finally, what’s on the horizon?
At the moment I’m applying for jobs and looking into freelance writing as a possibility. I want to keep building on my portfolio and see where that goes. And then, maybe in a few years time when I’ve got a bit more experience under my belt, my goal is to tottle off to Berlin and go and bother them for a bit with my awful German.