The FCDC was at BrightonSEO and we were able to chat with some amazing folks, including Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis.
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis is the co-founder of B-digitalUK, a platform to educate the Black demographic about advertising & marketing whilst showcasing current Black Talent within the industry.
She is also a Search Engine Optimization Manager at Rise at Seven.
In this BrightonSEO special, Wilhemina discusses:
✍🏾Name: Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis
✍🏾What Wilhemina does: She is the co-founder of B-digitalUK
✍🏾Noteworthy: She is an experienced SEO Specialist with exposure to other related specialties such as PPC & e-commerce.
💡Recognizing the Need for Career Progression
Wilhemina discusses her transition from her first SEO job to her second. She emphasizes that, after gaining experience and expertise in her initial role, she recognized the need for further career progression.
Feeling limited in her first job, she desired to explore new challenges, work on different types of SEO projects, and see a project through from start to finish. This recognition of the need for growth and new opportunities led her to seek an in-house SEO position, where she gained more control, honed her skills, and developed her client communication abilities.
💡Balancing Money and Skill Growth
During the conversation, Chima Mmeje brings up the topic of whether it’s acceptable to prioritize money in the early stages of an SEO career.
Wilhemina agrees that it is possible to pursue both money and skill growth simultaneously. She argues that individuals can chase lucrative job opportunities while still learning and improving their skills in the process.
💡Strategies for Finding the Right Role
When discussing how to find the right role, Wilhemina advocates for trial and error and honesty during the job search process. She advises potential candidates to be clear about their skills, limitations, and learning goals during interviews.
By being honest about their abilities, candidates can determine whether a job is a good fit for them and whether the role aligns with their career aspirations. Wilhemina highlights that not every rejection is a negative outcome, as sometimes a job may not be the right fit for an individual.
💡Embracing Challenges and Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis emphasizes the importance of embracing challenges and overcoming imposter syndrome in one’s SEO career.
She shares her personal experience of initially feeling overwhelmed and doubting her abilities but ultimately gaining the confidence to prove herself in the field.
Learning SEO Skills and Soft Skills
After joining her first SEO role with little prior knowledge, Wilhemina emphasizes the importance of seeking help and conducting research to bridge knowledge gaps. She encourages aspiring SEO professionals to do their own research and approach colleagues with questions, demonstrating initiative and a willingness to learn.
Regarding soft skills, Wilhemina points out that many skills used in everyday life, such as problem-solving and listening, are transferable to the SEO industry. Recognizing these skills and utilizing them effectively can contribute to success in the field.
The Importance of Asking Questions During Interviews
Wilhemina highlights the importance of asking questions during interviews to understand the company’s culture, work environment, and potential for growth.
She encourages candidates to inquire about career progression, onboarding processes, and how their unique attributes and personalities can contribute to the company.
Knowing Your Worth and Negotiating Salaries
Wilhemina emphasizes the significance of knowing one’s worth and not being afraid to negotiate salaries during job offers.
She encourages candidates to ask for what they believe they deserve and to avoid settling for less than they are worth. This insight shows the importance of advocating for oneself in the job market and securing fair compensation for one’s skills and expertise.
Connect with Wilhemina;
Chima Mmeje 0:03
We are live at Brighton SEO and this is will the co founder of be digital UK my second guest for today. So we’re going to be getting into real stories and I’m so crazy excited. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. Alright, so where does this walk us all the way back as we always do to have first first first job will before I even got into SEO for marketing before any of that when you were still young. Did you ever have a job?
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 0:32
I did. So my first first ever job I worked at the O2 arena in concession stands Yes.
Chima Mmeje 0:42
Tell me about that.
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 0:43
So yeah, so am 18 I wanted to you know, I want to bring money to the house I want to spend on my own things. I want to buy my own things. So I got a job at O2 arena. And after that I went into supermarkets so I worked for Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda over a period of time. And once I go to uni, I did psychology and from psychology
Chima Mmeje 1:07
Hold on and we have to go all the way back to the concession stand. What was that like dealing with people on a daily basis? rude customers nice customers. When you get into like, ah, like get into that concession job we don’t want to speak over anything.
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 1:24
My first ever shift didn’t really get much training first ever shift it’s like a beer festival and I worked with alcohol. There wasn’t drinking myself. I didn’t know these customers. I can I have a beer. Can I have a shanty? I’m trying to figure out what’s a shanty? What does this mean?
Can I have a cocktail Martini? I don’t know what that is. How do I make this? I know these customers don’t want to get the drinks and go back into the show running around like a mad man but God saw me through
Chima Mmeje 1:53
so you were mixing drinks
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 1:55
mixing drinks Oh,
Chima Mmeje 1:58
that is brutal. That was That must have been? That was I mean, crazy brutal. And how long did you study construction jobs. So
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 2 2:05
I did that for about two years in different locations. So to arena Wembley Stadium and trickely stadium. So between those three different events? Well, two of them.
Chima Mmeje 2:14
Do you have any person that you met from there, like any customer that stood out that you still think that that still comes to like mind? Maybe for the experience good or bad?
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 2:25
Yes, shout as a woman who taught me how to make a Shandy. She really took pity on me and was like, You know what I’m gonna teach you as one pop in ginger ban helped me put it together. So she was have a special place in my heart. What happened to me that day?
Chima Mmeje 2:39
Shout out to the woman who thought will had to make a Shandy. Am i pronouncing that right? Shandy?
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 2:44
Chima Mmeje 2:46
All right now, after that job, you head on to the university. Right? Yes. And what do you study at university
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 2:52
Chima Mmeje 2:53
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 2:54
I didn’t know what to do in my life.
Chima Mmeje 2:57
That’s very honest. I love that. I love that. You pick psychology because you didn’t know what to do with your life.
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 3:03
I didn’t. And at that time, I knew some people who just psychology will go off into different avenues. So I thought until I figured out I’ll just do this wide topic and then later on will hone it down to one. And how did that work out?
What to call into plan somehow was I don’t want to do this. I want to go into marketing. So I managed to pivot and have a degree I’ve never used to this day.
Chima Mmeje 3:23
Okay, now, this is the interesting thing yet. I’m going to ask now because I believe that everything we do in life leads up to where we are right now.
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 3:31
Chima Mmeje 3:32
So is there anything you learned from working at a concession stand that is useful in marketing,
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 3:38
working under pressure
Chima Mmeje 3:40
Brilliant, working under pressure, working under pressure in terms of like getting shit done? Like, boom, boom, boom, boom, yes.
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 3:49
Especially like in my job. Now one day you can have a toss. You’ve never done need to figure it out. And it definitely taught me that the importance of working under pressure, being able to be like I don’t know this, how can I figure this out and being able to ask for help but then as people you’re working with I listed direct you people around you.
So it definitely taught me the work under pressure and the different things in different avenues.
Chima Mmeje 4:09
That’s brilliant. That’s brilliant. All right now, the psychology part I’m getting into this because I’ve always, I’ve always wondered although, I don’t know if I believe it. Oh yes, I have to I have to because I’ve written an article about such actually about the psychology of conversion.
Now. I’m laughing because I’m trying to do how to frame this question in a way that makes sense. Psychology and marketing what is the link like help me understand what is that link between psychology and marketing?
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 4:43
There’s so many links for example, how consumers shop the things that they look for effect by psychology also psychology of colour people are you know attracted to things how they look the colour schemes, for example, things such as like, you know, they put green with like health well and those kinds of see a lot of like brands which are surrounded around wellness will have elements of green.
Okay, in their branding. So that’s a really good thing. So yeah, so definitely there’s some things I learned from that which Thank God, you know, I was able to use it to my marketing career.
Chima Mmeje 5:16
That’s brilliant. That’s brilliant. Okay, I’m still on still on psychology. Is there anything about how humans think? Like one thing that you think every marketer should know? Like, if there was something in psychology, do you understand? What is that thing that you think every marketer should know about psychology,
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 5:37
the importance of emotions, people do a lot of the actions based on emotions, how it makes them feel, how it makes them think whether that shopping whether they’re going to make a decision is less based on logic, and more about how does it make me feel when I saw this product?
So many times I for example, you buy things and you realise you don’t actually need it, but you saw the video you put Oh, my God, this is so cool. He slices the fruits or the vegetables like this. Do you really need a your knife works? So why did you buy that? So it’s a lot of the pain, a lot of people’s emotions, to convince them to read an article to buy something, to involve themselves in something. So yeah, definitely, always consider emotions.
Chima Mmeje 6:11
Oh, my God, that is so good. That is so good. That is so so good. Because if you think about how people shop, okay, I was going to just go back, that’s something I saw on Twitter today. No, Yesterday night, the man was saying that all of the stuff we think that we know about how people show up, the most of it does not follow a direct order.
Very try his wife goes on the websites, see something goes on Instagram, and she has a picture with her friends. And then they go on, they go somewhere else, and they watch some videos. And then they come back and they jump on a call. And then he’s like, how do you connect
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 6:49
I do the same thing my friends
Chima Mmeje 6:53
How do you actually vote for a woman jumping in the car with her friends to get there? Oh, is this something I should get? Is this a nice colour is like to get a validation? How do you get attribution for that? How do marketers build that into the process? That is just it doesn’t it doesn’t it doesn’t make sense.
Usually, like if I was taught that we can attribute, so we talk about emotions. I think it’s so complex. It’s so complex, because it’s not something that we can fully understand absolutely. What’s one extents is something that we can learn. And they use empathy, to connect emotion, to build that into creating products, and then need to create like the steps that people are going to take.
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 7:34
I mean, that’s why these days you have a lot of integration, people realise the importance of you just can’t do SEO by itself a social myself a page got to integrate, because like we just said, I’ll go to the website, and I’ll see how the website is. And I’ll see how everything is on there, how it’s used. And that that’s SEO, you go inside, that’s UX UI, how the site looks, and then you call your friends and you show them like Instagram version that comes with social influences.
I see assessments. So wearing this, I seen how it looks at her or a restaurant, she’s gone to a house look, then you go to reviews as well. Okay, so it looks nice. What did you review, say I need more than one person’s opinion to the food and ice and everything. And then you want to know Okay, people when their friends had a look, before you then make a decision.
Chima Mmeje 8:14
And all of this, you’ve left the website came back into the website and you’ve collected website again. Now the
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 8:18
bounce rate is going up.
Chima Mmeje 8:23
Oh my god, this is fantastic. This is this is this is fantastic. This is fantastic. All right. So now I want to talk about when did you realise that you wanted to switch to marketing? What was that process like?
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 8:35
So first things first, I want to give a big big shout out to colour in tech. They started my journey. So it’s a company basically, they wanted to bring more black people into tech. So I tend to De Montfort University. And they did a partnership there where they take some students on different trips around the world. So they I applied for it and they took us on a trip to San Francisco. And I was able to save spaces go to different companies like headspace.
Oh, I’m like there’s a company called playground in San outer we went there and it’s the first time I could see there’s more than one way to get into tech without knowing how to code. That’s when I realised there’s something that can do in tech which doesn’t necessarily need you to code. be that so that that trip was such a turning point for me and Colin said they just take you there and experiences things.
You as a person, they how you interact with people, they gave us tips on CVs, they told me the tip whenever he gets an interview always ask questions always never just go and sit they told me how to know like I used to hate networking before then. Now how do I do is how to speak to people. So such a great experience. I was in my second year. So when I came back I said I’m going to tech I’m going to add who doesn’t like see robots serving your food there. You see the TIC TOCs and everything in life of tech. That’s how it literally was in this sunny places like yeah, I’m going into marketing.
Chima Mmeje 9:58
Okay wasn’t about this company again.
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 9:59
Color in tech
Chima Mmeje 10:01
is this something that I see available for black people who wants to get the tech right now,
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 10:05
it actually still is available, in fact, like next week or the week after they have a festival called Black tech fest that they’re put on. So you can go to ticket software, you can go to that. So they are an amazing company that helps so many people and for me, during that punch with my university is literally what started me going into marketing.
Chima Mmeje 10:25
Okay, so you did you switch to marketing while you were in university?
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 10:29
I didn’t switch I just decided
Chima Mmeje 10:30
Oh my God you finished your psychology degree?
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 10:32
Yeah, they really show that you can, no matter what you do, you can pivot. So it’s okay, this degree is not gonna go to waste, I can still keep up with it. So I came back and I was looking at different internships I can do. I applied for the DMA summer school, and I got the DMA summer school.
And then I did like, they did you do like a task, in conclusion with Virgin Media says an agency could wrap. So you went there for the day? What’s the people that do like my first project? And that’s how networks and I met somebody who works at the agency where I had my first job. So she was one like, oh, I never knew this agency existed. How can I apply? And I applied, and I got my first job in SEO. And that’s how I fell into SEO.
Chima Mmeje 11:12
So this was basically to someone that you knew that you had never met at
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 11:16
Yeah I met at the DMA. Yeah, so she’s not going to luminize them people the year before you meet up with them. And I was like, I’m a graduate, I didn’t do anything. How can I figure this out? And she’s like, I work for this agency. I’ve never heard of them before. See, what was the other really grateful, you know, graduates, they really train you. And that’s how I started. Okay,
Chima Mmeje 11:32
I’m going to ask you a weird question that I’m not sure if you feel comfortable answering Well, I feel like since it’s something you’re not comfortable doing, you will be the best person to give tips on it. Yeah. How do you network?
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 11:43
It really just comes down to talking like trash talk like you talking to your friends, I
Chima Mmeje 11:47
think you’ve never know like, how do you go up to people, and then start that conversation with someone you know, not in about how you literally start
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 11:55 talking to somebody like your friend or someone that can think of networking, you get so much your head you think is very much like a career tool. So you have all these work related questions. You start panicking thinking, I don’t know anything. Simple conversation as Oh, hello. Oh, hi.
I like your outfit. Something as simple as that. Because love networking conversations have nothing to do with work. It’s literally just talking to a person having a great conversation, then a lead on to Hola, what do you do I do this, you do this? I’m trying to get into that. And they can start that off. It never starts with what do you do your job? I want to do this. It’s always just so organic, and it’s never to do your job and you just kind of ease into it.
Chima Mmeje 12:30
Wow. Wow. Wow. I think it’s something that’s terrifies a lot of people. Absolutely. Actually people who struggle with like social anxiety. Yes. So it’s always a question. I wanted to get a perspective from someone who networking doesn’t come naturally for blindness? How do how do people like do that? Because there’s so many benefits to network and I built some amazing relationships, from brightness to the last absolutely so many amazing relationships.
So if you’re attending events like this for the first time, quietly, it is so important to try network transport to people. Just try and get out of your comfort zone. I promise you, it will definitely pay off. Yeah. All right. So now you landed in this first SEO role, you know, jack shit about SEO, and you’re working on SEO, you’re still young, which means you’re probably struggling with impostor syndrome of the highest order, which means you’re feeling overwhelmed.
I can’t even imagine what that must have been. We’ll walk us through three days, how you got the SEO skills, how you built the soft skills, how you got confidence to grow in that role. Three things
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 13:41
while I’m still working the confidence way I’ve been doing SEO for three years and I still be like, I can’t do it. I don’t know what I’m doing here. I’m I’m just lost. When in terms of like the soft skills in terms of SEO,
Chima Mmeje 13:52
the SEO skills itself, we don’t know anything about it.
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 13:56
Ask Him for help. Also do your own research as well. The great thing about industry is there’s so much you can learn online as your basic building blocks. So if you see something you read about it, and then at least you can go to somebody and be like I’ve read about this, I’ve learned about this, but there’s still some holes or some areas that need filling in, people most likely go and help you but you have to start off that yourself. And in terms of soft skills, I think people are so focused on when it comes to listening skills.
What can I do you don’t realise a lot of this. You have been doing your whole life to that point boom, just in different forms and different very just wasn’t, it’s like yes, like you know how to understand these are things you’ve been doing your whole life or because it’s not in the form of this skill you think you’re lacking. So these are definitely things I feel like if you’ve lived life, you problem solved enough. If you’ve lived life everyday you problem solved. You just didn’t realise it.
Chima Mmeje 14:51
And then lead in SEO is just taking all of those problem solving skills, those research skills, and then bringing all of it together
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 14:57
Absolutely. And have a resilient It’s definitely an essay, you get one problem and it will stump you. But knowing that it could come and never feel like, I can’t find a solution that says, someone else might have a different perspective that you never knew, or never saw and doesn’t make you someone who doesn’t know what you’re doing.
It just opens up a different variation or something that you never saw from a different perspective. So definitely always be open to help people always help you never going to someone else asked me many people said to me, no such thing as a stupid question. And it’s true. That’s true. No such thing.
Chima Mmeje 15:27
That’s true. That’s true. That’s true. This is brilliant. I just want to I just want to take notes here and talk to Okay, and talk to the people who are watching this because a lot of people get into contents, which is why we started the tech SEO training, they get into content because they feel is easy way. And SEO is like a challenge. Yeah.
So when you hear all of these stories from the people that we’re interviewing, right here in Brighton, SEO, you start to see that they have one thing in common with will with Andy, it’s going into uncomfortable situations, being resilience, learning, listening, and then applying all of all that but it doesn’t happen by being comfortable. And by staying in a box. So absolutely something I just wanted to like, step out and then say is that get comfortable with shoe that makes you uncomfortable?
I swear, there’s so many good things that can happen for you. Yeah, so you were thinking of getting into SEO, but you’d be scared about how to get started in that journey. Or getting in into in house rose. Get comfortable to uncomfortable situations is not going to be easy, but you’re going to you’re going to you’re going to get there. Alright, so we’re circling back now to that same first job. When did you know it was time to live?
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 16:42
But I wanted more money. I wanted more, money
Chima Mmeje 16:49
will. Okay, this is great. You see, this is why I like interviewing black people is that they’re gonna go straight and talk about money. Because some of okay, so people say, Oh, don’t make it about the money. Both are valid. Okay. I don’t want this to confuse you.
Because we’ve had Andy come in and say that you shouldn’t chase money in the early days. Yes. Learn? Well, I think it’ll do both. I think
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 17:16
you can do both
Chima Mmeje 17:17
You can chase the money and skill with the next role. And then still learn. So for you, it was about money
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 17:25
for me. So when my first SEO job, it was literally about money, but wanting somebody to grow as well, my skills.
Chima Mmeje 17:31
Now that’s another thing I think about what do you mean by that grow? Do you think you have learned enough? And there was no more great opportunities in your current role that made you feel like okay, I’m not learning anything? Yeah, again, it’s time to move on? Well,
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 17:44
I definitely felt like that, in my first role was very limited to my clients. And you know, sometimes an agency you have specific tasks for specific client, you don’t need to do anything more than anything less. So SEO is wide, you can do so for example, I’m really good at Site migrations. Okay, really good. Because one of my first tasks I did was that it took me a year into my career before I even figured out how to do keyword research, which is a it’s quite a basic skill to learn, but never had a task where it required that, yes, that migrations stay away.
So it was easy for me. So I wanted to be in a space where I had the growth to learn different things. And important for me at that time was I wanted to follow a process through. So at that time, I’d never done an SEO project from beginning to end. Now. Those come in the middle, I’m doing this task and I’m out. I didn’t know
Chima Mmeje 18:33
okay, I’ll start with you. The one thing and as this
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 18:36
never knew what happened afterwards, I never knew what led up to it. I never knew how integrated other things, I wanted to learn that as well. So that was very reason why for the case, I’ve learned as much as I can here and it’s been great, but I’m ready to grow a bit.
Chima Mmeje 18:48
Okay, so brings me to my next question. How do you find the right rule? Because this is something many people in the community struggle with finding the right role, putting yourself forward even when you don’t tick all the boxes that they have with the JD in the job description. And then getting yourself in there.
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 19:08
Trial and error and absolutely honesty, I feel like with jobs, people, you want a job, you want someone to work and you want money, but you forget if you don’t start off, right, you’re coming to stress yourself. So now I’ll go to interviews and I will say these are my skills. This is why I want to learn however, I wanted to be very, very clear that my I’ve never done this before. I’ve never done this before. This is how I work. I
have ADHD so you know everything so if I get that job is for me if I don’t get that job, but I know it’s not for me. I’ve been able to know that not everything of rejection is a bad thing. Sometimes it’s just not meant to work. It’s nothing personal. It’s not bad. It’s just not for you. You want to enjoy your job as much as you want and also sometimes apply for the hydrops the what’s gonna happen is you’re gonna they’re gonna say no,
Chima Mmeje 19:53
apply for jobs that you’re not qualified for the worst is because you only do Do you have white people who do that? Let’s be honest, it’s only white people, mostly white men who are applying for jobs are not qualified for. So now you’re telling our community apply for jobs, even though you’re not qualified for those jobs. You never know what might happen.
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 20:12
And sometimes you sell yourself short, you might be qualified by that role. But you’re assuming that you’re not knowing that you actually are above and beyond him, you think that Oh, I might not be right for the job. I’m not ready yet.
You might be just a nickel to sell yourself short apply, they will tell you that was what hiring, they know what they’re looking for. So they will tell you, yes, you can. No, you can’t. And you can go from there.
Chima Mmeje 20:33
Okay, that’s brilliance. Apply, even if you’re not there yet. And then you see what happens? Yeah. Okay, now we’re going on to your next role. Now, you’re in this job, what are the things that you are learning in this job, your next role, your second job.
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 20:46
So my second role was completely different. So I went in house now, the other side, I had more control, I was more in charge of things come from an account executive, it was a big, big jump for me. I just learned the main thing I wanted was less than from beginning to end.
And I got to do that I got to do that learn so much. I had more of a voice, I was able to dedicate my own learning, my own learning plan and that growth, so it was really a great experience.
Chima Mmeje 21:14
Okay, so we’re gonna go into the specifics. Your first job, you said, you’re mostly doing site migrations? Was it the second job that you learn how to do keyword research? And then to like, all the different touch points in the next year project? What is that the second job? So
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 21:28
I learned that my first job I didn’t have in theory, not in practice, okay, so I learned all these things, whenever between two to put in practice, okay, in my second job, I got to do SEO strategy, I got to do more reporting, I got to do the keyword strategy, I got to really improve my client communication, because, of course, as an account executive, okay, then you sit there and your seniors will lead it.
Now I was the senior. So how to speak to clients, how to be able to show them to school, I think important thing for SEO is, you know, what is the climb on unnecessarily? So how would you tell them in layman’s terms, what you do so they can understand this special SEO, you don’t see the results? straightaway, you have to suddenly the story basically told them, This is what we hope to see. We’re doing x y Zed to build this.
So you really learn that as an art, especially with reporting sometimes when it’s not always great results is bad. So it’s important to come with realise this is going down. However, this is what we plan to do to bring it back up, or however this what we do to, you know, improve it. So it was really a skill that I learned and I’m still to this day improving on
Chima Mmeje 22:29
okay, that’s brilliant, because I used to okay, maybe I still have that mindset, but I’ve never really worked in house in like a physical environment. So I’ve always been curious how people close those skill gap when they are working in house. Do you like sit with someone who has seen your news, those things?
Do you like go to someone and say, Hey, how do I do this? Like, what how does that happen? What What exactly are you doing to close the skill gap that you have as you’re moving across roles.
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 22:56
So you can either move people inside your organisation you can discuss, we can talk to you and I realised that anything I wanted to learn our agency would do is when you’re in house, you work with an agency. So I’m in these meetings, not only am I you know, teaching them things I’m learning from them, I’ll listen to how they would show us projects, I listen to how they would show us reports, how they represent things that they want us to do.
And these things I will take on board as well as the way they explained it really put my mind at ease. And as somebody who had the SEO knowledge I already knew, but as somebody who was declined now, it was put at ease by information, and they were given me. So I took a note of that. So next time when I’m doing that, I know that this is a way that they explain or maybe understand. Let me learn from you.
Chima Mmeje 23:36
That’s brilliant. That’s brilliant. Because I feel like it’s something that we talk about Yes. In singular about, oh, I’m going into this role, I have this skill gap. How do I close the skill gap? What am I going to do? How am I going to learn it? And then you have that demon imposter syndrome, running through your head telling you that syndrome? You’re not good enough?
And then oh my god, it’s a lot. I know. It’s a lot, because it’s something we talk about in our community in our Slack channel, people who are working in house, and they’re like, because somebody told me how to do this thing real quick. And then I’m asking myself, why are you not asking your manager your in house rule and telling them I can’t do this stuff?
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 24:12
Sure people forget about in house, you are the client, it is the agency’s job to tell you how to do these things. utilise that going with most agencies will go with the mindset. Imagine talking to a client who doesn’t know anything about SEO, you have the advantage. So if they’re showing something under understand, you can really ask them, could you send us an example of you know, the fix you just sent us? Or could you just send us how you did that.
And it’s kind of something they will be willing and helped me to do because they want you to understand the work that they’re putting so much time and effort to create for you. So I feel like when you’re in house, you have that little bit advantage to utilise your agency, whoever you’re working with outside to learn something they’re doing and see and have that experience and have that example to follow.
Chima Mmeje 24:53
Okay, so you’ve left the second agency now was your was it also about money when you need second agency See,
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 25:00
it was just more of a thing I felt like I had outgrown there, especially with me having ADHD, I get bored quite quickly. So you need to keep it moving is keeping me wanting to keep her engaged and gave me in house. I love the pace of it, but you’re working on this one client. And you’re doing this client in and out. Sometimes it’s not always something to fix. There’s not something to fix. It’s not something to build on, which is great for learning because you get to experience all these different things that you can try.
But then I missed the challenges of having different clients working on different things. Yes, it’s I had to go back to that fast pace. And of course, money is always a part of it. Listen, when times of economic crisis, you know, I need to eat as well. We need to eat at cost of living cost of living. So anything if you’re going up if I’m going to put my skills, and I’m gonna have my rank Wacom, I’m gonna go up to
Chima Mmeje 25:56
a grid, you can get boards, you can get both definitely. So you move into this third role. And I was that was that bat, your thought was a bat. Oh, you have
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 26:07
a word. I’m on my third row now.
Chima Mmeje 26:10
See, I assumed that bat was your third rule. Second Second. Okay, cool. Now, you in this in this third rule, I want to just ask one question. Apart from ADHD, why did you choose to go back in house to agency side apart from being bored? What specifically? Are you looking to learn that you think that in house can offer that you can get at an agency,
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 26:36
I wanted to challenge when I left agency the first time, like we spoke about impostor syndrome, I just thought it was too much for me, it was overwhelming. I can’t really do this. Yes. I’m really like, I was not for me. So I went into in house and I experienced that kind of for like I’ve been dinged up enough.
I can have the confidence and the push people around me to be like you can do by the agency in this room I can do on my terms. Okay, you know, I can give myself that grace, your first row, anything needs to come back and prove to myself that I can do this, who to myself that, you know, I’m not just coming from one place, I can really go to agency and really do it. So it was kind of a thing to prove to myself that I know what I’m doing and prove to myself that I can conquer this
Chima Mmeje 27:17
dam. Dam and how many months I entered this new job now
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 27:21
I’m weeks. So it’s very, very nice. Shots rise that seven. Very, very nice. I’m loving it. It’s great. When you work in a place where people understand you know, aspects of you, you don’t really have to hide a part of you is great. Yeah, I wouldn’t say interview like, listen, put all my cars out here. I’ve never done a car manager role before I was in house before I have ADHD. Do you still want me? And they were like, yes.
Chima Mmeje 27:47
That’s also here I am. That’s alright. So I’m just going to ask one more question. What do you think that? Managers because something that’s Andy said in the interview was that the big reason? In the he had one role where not just he what everyone in the team, one that performed, and it came down to bad management. So everyone who left that role went on and did greater things, including him, what do you think that managers can do to better support their teams to bring out the best of them SEO manager, specifically,
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 28:19
understand the people who are working with you, I understand people you’re responsible for, I think, when you work a certain way, you automatically assume that everything works away. And that’s not the case. And it’s something that I struggled with, when I started my career. And I had to find a balance on a demo, I definitely had that, like, Am I bad at my job, or, like how it is, and I realise it’s a combination of if you don’t have someone who can understand that you should have a really affects you.
So how you might process a task is different to how I process a task. So for example, if you give me a task, it can’t just tell me I need to see it in my calendar, you got to send it back. And I’ve also realised my own tips on how to improve it. So if I, for example, my manager gives me a task, I will recite back everything we discussed to make sure that I grasped it fully well, and points they want me to do. Okay, so you really have to understand the people that you’re working with, because no one shoe fits everyone.
Chima Mmeje 29:10
Okay, so I’m going to ask you this question because you’ve moved like this is your third row now. This is why community people who are getting into tech Su, when interviewing, what are the specific skills that you think that managers are looking for? Skills that even when you have gaps, they will be willing to overlook it, and then take you on because of the skills that you have
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 29:35
willingness to learn throughout my career so far, it’s been the key to everything, okay? You will go to jobs and people understand that no one’s going to come with 100% Some people are going to come to 7080, but that 20% You’re missing? What are you willing to do to fill it? Are you willing to go in the open and understanding that if I don’t know it now, and I won’t know it’s more I’m going to do my research and you can help me build on that.
So always have that willingness to open to learn never go in expecting them to be To feed you everything, you might get lucky, some will do that. But even then, you want to learn your own terms, you want to learn the language better you can understand. So always go into these places aware of where you are lacking. Also making it very known that even though I’m lacking here, I want to learn more, and I want to do better.
Chima Mmeje 30:17
That’s really good. That’s really good. Do you have any advice for aphid community members who are planning to get into SEO,
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 30:23
go for that job and apply for it because he’s gonna stop, you just literally just apply for that job. Every single job I’ve had, before I applied, it was literally, I’m not gonna apply for a cause I don’t think I’m ready. I’m not gonna do it. They’re not gonna like me, and I’ve got it. And I’ve got it even sometimes I can’t, are you? Are you sure? Do you want to run that? Again, you have to believe in yourself, even if you don’t take a gamble. Because if you continue gambling, so freaking to get Campbell on, the worst is gonna happen. It’s gonna tell you no.
And then you go back. And then most time interviews will also feed back, they will give it to you. That’s what feedback also feedback, always ask for feedback, always ask question, because people forget, I saw a tweet. Yeah. And he said that. So when you go for a job, it’s not just about like when you start on probation period is just not to make sure the company is a good fit for you. Are you good fit for companies, so it goes both ways. So you want to make sure it has everything that you’re looking for, in terms of how you work in terms of terms of crib graphs, always ask, what is career progression look like?
What does your onboarding look like, most jobs are gonna go straight away during the task, they’re going to slowly slowly, you know, integrate things to see. What does that process look like? Are you expecting me to come in day one, I’m already in it. Are you going to put me in step by steps? How can I improve? And also a good question I always ask is, What can I bring to the company as well, boom, because you’re coming there apart from your job. Most companies, they want you to be there and be present, and especially now bring yourself to work, not just apart from just coming down and doing your task.
What can I bring to the company, especially me, as you know, be digital? I’m coming in diversity. This is a black people only stream. So how do you feel about that? Is it something you’re open to is going to feel weird? And if it’s something you as a company are struggling for and you’re open to do it? I’m going to bring that because you will see me all over social media similar to LinkedIn, and I’m this company, I’m associated with how you feel about the how you make me feel about that. So it’s very important. They’re not interviewing you, you’re also interviewing them, do I want to work here?
Chima Mmeje 32:18
That’s a good one. Because you have you have you have people where, where they want to go into a company, and then they start telling you that you have to change the way you post on social media, you have to be like, and I remember seeing something similar like that I saw was like, oh my god, he wants to tweet something so bad. Well, he can’t because of where he works. And I’m like, what has where you work got to do with how you represent yourself. I
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 32:39
will say for me personally, that was a very hard thing for me to like, figure out because growing up, like culture, my parents told me you go to school, you go to work, and you go home, you’re not there to make friends. They’re just there. And then you realise you actually realise you can actually make friends at work. So when I was not having people I was working with in my social medias.
In other parts of my life, I did kind of struggle, my identity of how much of myself I can bring to work how much because my social media, and I realised that the old the same one person, the same person whose person that bikini pic is the same person who’s doing very, very well. So you also want to be in a place which understands and approve of that. And if you don’t, I understand some companies might not want that.
There might not be the fit for you. But wherever you choose to ever how you are, it’s important people understand how you show up, especially even outside of that how you as a person, personality wise, I’m quite introverted as well. Some people take as a ship antisocial, when I go to work I have my headphones on for the whole day. Know that I’m ignoring anyone. I just don’t work really well have distractions and stuff like sensory overload.
So I have my music on and listen to my brand noise. I’m listening to my jazz. People who understand me and take the time to name me will know that. But I’ve also learned the balance of sometimes take off the headphones, be a bit social speak to people as well. So finding that balance also helps as well. It’s all about compromise. Wow.
Chima Mmeje 33:58
This has been this has been fantastic. I think I think the biggest takeaway for me is three things. Number one, shoot over shoots, over shoots, what you’re aiming for shoot overshoots go for those jobs that you think you’re not qualified for, even when you can clearly see that what they’re asking for is not what you have. And then as you’re applying for jobs, I think ask questions that is very important and know when it’s time to leave, but you can do both.
You don’t have to you don’t have to prioritise skilling up over getting money. I love the fact that we’ll have been able to do both with every role that she has been moving towards and just yeah more Yes, get the money, get the skills to put together one more secret
Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis 34:41
to add tax knowing your worth and attacks. When you go through jobs and everything wherever salary they want to offer you if you know you’re worth more than that Oxford, again less than one tell you is no don’t be afraid to ask for the money.
Even if you can’t get in now some people understand that but you know what show your worth in a year or six months. Whoever time and will give you that don’t feel like you have to accept the money or if it’s less or whatever you can get what you want right now of what you desire
Chima Mmeje 35:07
right now right now all right that has been it from us thank you so much thank you
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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