In June 2014, my wife, son and I moved from London to San Francisco and I started a new job as a planner at Apple.
I’d spent 8 years in agencies and had never seriously considered going “client side” but was fascinated by the tech industry, and the opportunity to work at an iconic company like Apple felt different and exciting. I can’t lie - the prospect of living on the sunny West Coast was also very appealing.
The move has been tough but rewarding, both personally and professionally. Navigating the challenges inherent in establishing a new life in a new country has made us even stronger as a family. Work-wise, I've learned a huge amount in a short space of time. Since joining Apple, my remit has expanded beyond marketing communications to the creation of entirely new products and services. I’ve also worked alongside incredibly inspiring people with backgrounds and skills that you would not ordinarily find in an agency.
While the nature of my work is different from the time I spent in advertising agencies, I draw on my training and experience as a planner every single day. I’ve discovered that the “core skills” of a planner are highly transferable across both borders and disciplines. Telling meaningful stories with data, solving complex strategic problems, writing good briefs, inspiring creative people and being reductive are as fundamental to the creation of technological innovation as they are to marketing communications.
I’d urge all planners to ply their trade in new, unexpected places. You never know where it might take you.