Storytelling, Community and Purpose: Finding Balance Within the Tech Industry

pr account coordinator jaden gill

By Jaden Gill, Account Coordinator

The Beginning

From songwriting on my back porch as a kid to telling my little sister improvised tales of castles and princesses before bed, I have always been a storyteller. I would spend hours writing fictional narratives in my room, transporting to the imaginary worlds I was creating.

As I grew older, lost a bit of naivety and became more informed, I was suddenly fixated with the very real issues in our world — gun violence, climate change, mental health crises, racial and gender inequalities (the list goes on). I continued writing stories, but castles and princesses quickly became congressmen and protests. I wanted my stories to be read, to impact people and to foster action; this drive led me to journalism and eventually, public relations.

The Middle

Skip over a few chapters, and I was a public relations major and soon-to-be University of Oregon graduate. I was unsure of what I wanted out of my future but knew it had to involve three key components: storytelling, a strong community and a sense of purpose.

Sitting down for my first informational interview with The Hoffman Agency, it became clear that the firm would give me an opportunity to challenge my storytelling abilities and build meaningful relationships. However, as an activist passionate about DEI and sustainability, the technology industry never stood out to me as a noble profession to pursue. I wasn’t entirely sure this career path would fulfill my desire for an authentic sense of purpose but being 22 years old and desperate for a post-grad plan, I enthusiastically accepted the offer.

The End

After only a few days with Hoffman, our clients opened my eyes to the fact that working in this industry is truly one of the most effective ways to positively impact people. Tech influences every aspect of our lives — the decisions we make, the people we can connect with, how we work, how we play, how we educate ourselves, how we protect our information and how we can collectively improve the state of our world. Being a part of this process has opened new doors for me as an activist and PR professional that I couldn’t be more excited to explore.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been cramming my brain with tech jargon, spending hours researching clients that I still don’t fully comprehend and jumping into tasks knowing I’ll overwhelm my managers with questions. I won’t sugarcoat the adjustment to agency life — it has been challenging, but I’ve also learned and grown more in these two short weeks than I have in my entire life. Working at Hoffman is exciting, rewarding and real.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a fan of fiction. Most days after I officially shut my work laptop, I take my current favorite book to the bluffs near my house overlooking the ocean and try to get at least a chapter in. Shifting from the chaotic life of tech PR to the whimsical fantasies of a creative writer ensures an essential balance. You can’t be making a meaningful impact in the real world if you don’t take time to step outside of it and breathe.

At Hoffman, I’m finding that balance. I’m strengthening my skillset, and I’m learning to ask questions. I’m challenging myself and my perspectives. I’m practicing advocating for myself but also being someone that others can rely on. At Hoffman, I’m finding my purpose.

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