London's Digital Advertising Women's Network (DAWN) hosted its first quarterly event of 2014, 'The Work Network' on Tuesday, February 25th. With a standing-room only turnout at the Facebook HQ in Covent Garden, the panel of speakers brought diverse points of view and facilitated a lively debate around how to develop your career through effective networking. During the in-depth Q&A and extended post-Q&A cocktail hour, the packed house continued to build their own work networks.
Speakers included Alison Battisby, a seasoned social media consultant, who gave great advice about the power of leveraging social media to build your professional brand. She spoke directly to her own experience in and how platforms such as Twitter have led to the democratisation of interaction, letting new marketers build relationships with seasoned journalists directly.
With a career forged in the London advertising agency world, Aimee Luther, MD of BMB spoke of the business etiquette lessons she learned at Ogilvy and Mather and how they've served her throughout her career. Life lessons include 'never be late - it indicates you value your own time more than others', and never underestimating the value of a handwritten thank you note in the digital era. Classic relationship building never goes out of style.
Startup veteran Avid Larizadeh brought a fresh point of view, as COO and co-founder of the startup Bottica. She spoke candidly about the cultural challenges of working across the globe as well as the wide network that can bring. Her startup experience provided great insight into the value of cultivating mentors in diverse fields - and most importantly, that mentoring relationships often come about organically. Rather than hunting for a mentor, look at who you have historically gone to for advice and guidance. You'll find your mentors may already be in place.
Finally, Vanessa Bakewell, Head of Entertainment for Facebook's Global Marketing Solutions team, talked candidly about the blurring of the personal and professional network. With the rise of social networking, it's more important than ever to maintain an authentic persona online - the 9 to 5 professional life is increasingly less common, with relationships blending the personal and professional streams. By making sure that you are true to yourself, you don't need to fear your professional and personal networks meeting. You may even find, increasingly, that personal networks bring even greater professional opportunities.
Many thanks to Facebook for hosting 2014's inaugural DAWN event - 'The Work Network' will be a hard event to top, but watch this space for upcoming events and speakers. In the meantime, we would challenge everyone to keep building their own work networks, and to think about how your work network and your personal network can build on each other.
The Digital Advertising Women's Network was founded in 2010 as a way for women in advertising to connect personally and professionally. Make DAWN a part of your work network by following us on Twitter, Facebook, or connecting with us on Linkedin.
LinkedIn: Dawn Media London