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Scratching my bald head: In the darkest times, the silver lining shines the brightest

Scratching my bald head: In the darkest times, the silver lining shines the brightest

By Emily Luscombe, Chief Client Officer

This is the 8th (and final) part of this content series.

There have been a fair few moments in the past 9 months when I have been rendered speechless. That fateful consultation in March was a low point. And you’ll recall the French magician. But the fact that this is still happening makes me begin to wonder if the chemo did something to my tongue.

What to say, when a colleague confides that his two young daughters name me in their prayers every night? Another mentions in passing that my blogs are discussed at their dinner table. Another asks if I will speak to her neighbour, who is going through treatment alone and could do with an informed ear.

Not one of those is a conversation I anticipated having during my December KIT days.

I did finally make it in, on the 7:33, to join our End of Year all-agency Awards celebration. And halfway through, I got an applause. How ironic, I thought. As the lowest billing agency leader this year, to be applauded for my effort. But all I’ve done is prove what has long been drilled into us all: that workplace impact is ultimately validated not by hitting your corporate targets, but by Going Beyond.

Which, as we look down the barrel at another highly challenging year, is worth mulling over. All things are relative; however bad the recession / inflation / gas crisis / rates crisis, I’m an increasingly visible reminder to colleagues and clients that things can always be worse. I guess that appeals if you’re a glass-half-full sort of person.

As we know, public relations is about making a positive of a less-than-ideal. Polishing it up. Finding that spin. We don’t like to admit this, but every day, we use smart language to sell a product or concept that might not sell itself. And we use information to persuade audiences to think about things differently.

We’ve all had challenging briefs in our time, but tasking myself to distil the positive learnings from cancer treatment topped the chart. What was I thinking? Yet oddly, as I reflect at the end of this journey, once I started looking, the silver linings wrote themselves. Each round of treatment brought new discoveries about myself, colleagues and friends, employers and clients, that make me a better version of myself. I’ve learned a new language; become a Subject Matter Expert; expanded my network; tested the true meaning of workplace inclusivity. I’ve challenged flexible working to the extreme; understood the enormous power of openness; and discovered in myself a strength and adaptability that even management during Covid didn’t instill.

Prior to 2022, I had no reason to touch the heart of two little girls in Dublin. And I never would have thought it possible to take eight blogs-worth of positivity from a cancer diagnosis.

So here I am, signing off on my mini-series. I hope it has done for you, inspiring and relevant industry that you are, a smidge of the enormous good this has done for me. Happy Christmas.

Read Emily’s previous instalment – illness is not like maternity leave

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