Julia Laarhuis

Communications Coordinator, Total E&P Canada

Describe a typical day

Working in communications, it can be tough to dictate your own day. When I can, I like to start by getting caught up on the news, reading the paper and checking social media feeds. Most days, you can find me managing the company’s Canadian social and external web presence, tackling various projects and initiatives, working with internal clients like HSE or Health & Wellness, and sometimes handling more urgent requests by media, HQ or senior management.

Finally, I try to wrap up the good days to celebrate with a beer come happy hour!

Perks of your job and things you like about your current company.

Variety, variety, variety! Anyone who knows me knows I’ve never been a routine type gal, so my current role is perfect. I’ve been able to work across all areas of communications, either internally on employee engagement, events, and content creation or externally on media, community investment and digital media. I also think it’s really unique to work for a truly international company. While it can be challenging at times, I’m so thankful for the team’s trust in me, as it has allowed me to grow more than I ever thought possible at such a young age.

Proudest accomplishments both in and outside of work.

At work: Like many companies right now, we have gone through a tough time but I’m really proud of how I’ve handled the added responsibilities and roles. I was able to initiate and lead a company-wide teambuilding and town hall to help bring us back on track and then create a strategy to engage employees and respond to direct feedback and ideas. There is so much in life you can’t control, but hopefully I’ve been able to make life at work a little better, clearer and rewarding for some.

Outside work: I think sometimes we get caught up in the momentum of our careers and consequently, can lose touch with the awesome people we already are! I try to regularly remind myself of that and reflect on my accomplishments. I’m proud of the reputation and relationships I’ve made thanks to how I was raised – on hard work, showing gratitude, staying curious and never underestimating the power of comedic relief. I hope I’ve done my parents proud!

Thoughts on the future of the industry as it relates to your field.

It’s obviously a very tough time in the industry right now; however, communications will always play an integral role in the ever-evolving energy industry. If you keep your head up, the current environment is a great opportunity to be more creative, expand your scope and push the bar further while preserving business value, license to operate and reputation.

Current community involvement efforts.

I collaborate on community investment in my role, so I am lucky to have multiple opportunities throughout the year to get involved in various capacities in our community. I also recently have been looking to mentor young communication students.

Why YWE?

I’m a firm believer in surrounding yourself with people who bring out the best in you. I think it is important to share the strengths young women bring to the industry… and as Beyoncé once said, “Who run the world? Girls.”

What are you reading?

Right now I am reading “Let’s pretend this never happened” by Jenny Lawson, because sometimes a girl just needs a funny book!