Adriana Rocks First Month at Phiture

I wrote this article as a means of processing and evaluating my first month at Phiture. I started as the new junior copywriter in March and wanted to not only reflect on my first experiences in the mobile growth industry but also as a recent university graduate during a pandemic. 

Becoming the junior copywriter at Phiture is what you could call my “first real job.” I graduated from university and moved home to Berlin last summer in an attempt to begin my career.

Unfortunately, the world remained in the midst of a pandemic, job opportunities were rather thin on the ground, and I interviewed on Zoom. Phiture was maybe the 50th application I sent, and I was even met with a resounding, “we have enough candidates,” after my first attempt. Thank goodness I was, and still am, incredibly persistent. 

And one month in, I’m just beginning to feel comfortable. As the park becomes my regular meeting spot and my morning coffee must be enjoyed on the balcony (despite that unseasonal April snowstorm), I’m building a healthy routine at Phiture that’s finally feeling familiar. 

Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned in my first month as a junior copywriter at Phiture. And although many of these conclusions may seem obvious to many who have worked at a startup in Berlin, they were revolutionary for me.

  1. Organization that Actually Works   

I’ve worked a lot of odd jobs in my day. Translator, student journalist, waitress, bartender, pub crawl leader — I even led bike tours while living in Hanoi. But never in my entire career (which admittedly is not that long) have I worked somewhere where everything works the way it’s supposed to. Until now. 

At all my past jobs, a manager would try to implement some kind of new process, system, or tool. It would inevitably be vehemently forced upon everyone for about two days and then left to the wayside. Nothing ever changed. No one ever innovated, iterated on, or improved anything.

After two days it became apparent that this is not how things are at Phiture. Everything I’m expected to do is accompanied by a tool to assist me, especially while we’re all still working from home. And if something isn’t working, the HR team is always there to offer a helping hand and make sure things run smoothly.

These innovations may seem like an industry-standard (because they are), but I found them unthinkable.  Why was everything made so unnecessarily complicated before? 

2. Clever Emoji Choice is Essential 

I laughed at myself when I bookmarked Emojipedia as a writing tool. It was hidden behind that little folder icon with things like thesaurus, dictionary, character counter, and spellchecker. I thought maybe I’d find a better place for it later, but strangely enough, that’s actually where it belongs. 

A strategic emoji can make the difference between a push notification that performs well and one that flops, especially on certain channels. One simple symbol can help your audience read between the lines: do you want to imply sarcasm? Relief? Assistance? Adventure? An emoji can do any of these things with a single character. No need to extend the length. 

Clever emoji choice is one of my key communication tools, both as I converse internally with my coworkers, and externally to clients through copy. Emojis have evolved into a contemporary, iconic language in their own right, and copy that is equally modern demands emoji fluency. 

3. Process vs Product 

Before starting at Phiture, I was working as a freelance translator writing subtitles and was paid per minute of footage translated. The faster I worked, the more I could make per hour. I was baffled when a more senior teammate at Phiture told me to spend more time on tasks.  Of course, my teammate wanted me to produce impactful and client-ready copy, but they were also concerned with how I had gotten there.

“Phiture invests in its employee’s skills and time, not just individual tasks.”

The shift from a product-oriented workflow to a process-driven one was a pleasant surprise for me. It showed me that Phiture invests in its employee’s skills and time, not just individual tasks. 

4. A New Kind of Professionalism  

I was rather intimidated by the idea of stepping into an office, even just on Zoom for now. In my mind, offices were always places where you have to wear a suit, carry a briefcase, and make a lot of copies. And although I have yet to even step foot in the Kreuzkölln office, I’ve already come to the conclusion that Phiture is not that type of workplace.

Physical appearances seemingly melt into the background when we’re in the thick of a meeting. The company evaluates both current and potential employees based on merit, not on appearance. I feel like I can completely be myself with my colleagues. We are professionals because of the way we work, not the way we look.  

5. The Berlin Roots are Deep 

I knew that I was going to be working in Berlin, but I don’t think I realized how deeply Berlin was going to penetrate my work, especially considering Germans are a minority at the company. Nevertheless, everything at Phiture drips with the undeniable cool factor that coats everything in this city.

From the branding for the ASO conference to the gin basil smash cocktail box I was sent to celebrate my first month, even to the sweatshirt I was delivered, everything is sleek, sustainable, slightly casual, and usually black. It goes to show that Berlin’s irresistible and indescribable charm is decidedly not German, but stems instead from the melting pot of cultures that call this city home. The same could be said for Phiture’s charisma. 

Some Socially-Distanced Conclusions:  

As previously mentioned, anyone who’s been working in Berlin for any amount of time would take all of these things for granted. But for me, they were revelations. Real efficiency coupled with a laidback workplace culture and colleagues who actually care about your growth? Revolutionary.

And these are just the takeaways I’ve managed to gain from the comfort of my little Schöneberg bedroom. I’ve experienced my first foray into the professional world completely through a webcam. And I am absolutely itching to meet the colleagues I already feel I know so well, maybe sit in a real meeting for once, and I can only dream of company lunches at the excellent restaurants around the office. 

But for a first foray, I couldn’t have asked for a better venue. Phiture is the kind of workplace where my inexperienced opinions are validated, and I’m invited to learn from my mistakes, to grow and develop my skills, and become the best writer I can possibly be.