Meet the Team: Shelley Schubert

Shelley Schubert is senior marketing communications manager at First4Lawyers. Here, she talks about her career to date, why the bright lights of Bolton beat London, and why First4Lawyers is even better second time around.

I think it’s a sign of a good employer if you’d return to work for them again and that’s exactly what I did at the beginning of last year.

It wasn’t quite how I’d imagined it – the pandemic meant I went into the office just once to pick up my laptop and from day two, we were all working from home.

Was it daunting? Yes. And difficult at times, especially trying to juggle the demands of a new job with home-schooling my young daughter. But I knew immediately that I’d made the right decision in coming back.

During lockdown we started having a virtual coffee morning each week for the team – just half-an-hour for us all to grab a brew and chat about what we’d been up to. That’s probably something we wouldn’t have done before or at least not as often, despite working in the same office, and it’s something we’ve continued to do, so in ways I feel even more connected to my colleagues.

I was 21 – 17 years ago now – and living in my home town of Bolton when I ‘fell’ into marketing. I originally wanted to work in advertising and was saving up to move to London when, on the back of a two-week work placement at a local car dealership, I was offered a permanent role. I almost said no, but it was an offer I couldn’t refuse – a great starting salary with a MINI for a company car. And the rest, as they say, is history.

In the past, I’ve worked in places where marketing wasn’t fully understood or appreciated and what I love about First4Lawyers is that it’s a marketing business, it’s what we do. We are results-driven – our panel firms quite rightly want to see where their money goes – but after each project or campaign, we also take the time to evaluate what we’ve done, what worked well and what we could have done better so we can learn for the next time.

I was the B2B marketing manager first time around and now I look after all of our B2B and B2C communications activities, which this year, for example, have included the #First4LawyersWrongTurn road safety campaign and our annual white paper launch.

I most love working on our larger campaigns. I’m a planner and an organiser so I enjoy the upfront planning element, but there’s also nothing more exciting than being in full delivery mode. Some of our larger campaigns are months in the making and I get a real buzz from seeing everyone’s hard work and efforts come together.

I also like to learn and expand on my marketing knowledge. I’m one assessment away from chartered marketer status, which is the gold standard in the industry and recognition of a person’s skills and experience.

I do set high standards for myself, and I love a challenge. I once ran the London marathon for a bet after one of my bosses said I wouldn’t be able to do it! I was meeting friends at the end, so I deliberately ran with no money or phone to motivate me to keep going. A non-runner at the time, that’s an achievement I’m really proud of – although not one I’d repeat in a hurry! I do still run but these days it’s mainly park runs with my seven-year-old daughter, Erin, who has just got her half-marathon certificate.

My biggest professional achievement was winning MINI UK’s ‘Marketeer of the Year’. It was a few years ago now and while I am still ambitious, I think the last 18 months have made many of us reprioritise. I’m passionate about what I do, but I also value the time I spend with family and friends. My husband and I were also lucky enough to do a barn conversion a few years ago, which is still a bit of a work in progress but sparked a real interest in property and development for both of us.

I feel fulfilled, both personally and professionally, and that’s a good place to be. I love the work, the people, and working part-time. I feel like I’ve achieved the perfect balance and I know that’s something many people don’t have so I do feel incredibly grateful.

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