Name: Charlene Carroll
Company: Anti-Clockwise Consulting
What do you do every day? I manage and execute on the PR, communications and copywriting requirements of a handful of tech customers while trying to keep the team of Anti-Clockwise out of trouble. I also edit a custom lifestyle travel magazine, manage a few non-tech accounts, try and raise two children while reminding myself constantly why animals eat their young, and on occasion I ride my horse.
How did you get into the tech space? When I was fresh out of my studies I decided to break out of the mould of consumer PR and dove headlong into journalism. IT journalism, at that. My options were vast. The first was to edit a poultry magazine, the second a timber magazine and the third the old MNet magazine. The offer to be a junior news hack at the then Computing SA somehow just sounded more attractive. When I took the job I had no idea what an OS was and I had to have my boyfriend at the time painstakingly explain what a UPS was before my first interview. The rest is history.
What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Write like you speak, respect that your audience doesn’t have the time to look up big words, and never wear high heels when interviewing short men. Other pearls of wisdom were to place your trust with your people first, if fact finding shows them to have been in the wrong you can discipline them later, but it’s hard to regain trust when you at first believed another so easily. A good journalist will find, uncover and write a story from anything – no matter how mundane the event.
What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the tech sector? You will need to be armed with a thick skin and a fantastic sense of humour. It is a demanding industry so you need to have your wits about you and you will be required to pull late nights. Don’t expect the people (read experts) around you to know what they are doing, a lot make it up as they go along. Learn to speak geek and stay abreast of what is happening in the industry – so read (all the time). Oh and please, open a Twitter account and research what a hashtag is. Be prepared that someone half your age will know more than you. More importantly have fun and try and not take people too seriously – there are a lot of opinionated people in this industry who will try and break your spirit – remember they are also probably making it up as they go along. So don’t give up it will be worth it in the end.
What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? Coffee from my Nespresso machine which the tech industry paid for (jokes). That and trying to ensure my children have a little more of an edge on life than I did as a kid. I would lie if I said it was a spirited Sound Of Music leap into the office to hammer away at the next advertorial or brochure – but I do love what I do.
Who do you want to be when you grow up? I always wanted to be the editor of Custos (the old SanParks mag). Now I think it is to own a small stable yard and to drink wine / whisky while trying to ensure children and friends don’t fall off their horses and working on getting rid of the nervous twitch from having been in the IT industry too long (that’s what the whisky is for).
Find me on:
Blog: http://charlene-carroll.blogspot.com/ – (I seldom blog though, too busy writing other people¹s blogs for them)