The Blog

The 29 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting My Career

Now that have been round the block in brand and marketing terms, I get asked from time to time what my tips are for anyone breaking into their first role or just trying to progress in their career.

Now that have been round the block in brand and marketing terms, I get asked from time to time what my tips are for anyone breaking into their first role or just trying to progress in their career.

So here is my advice to help you get to where you want to go and has helped me over the years:

1) Get a great brand name on her CV. Top Shop, Liberty, Sky, Channel 4, Innocent, Pret a Manger, Nike, Virgin, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, whatever and do it even, if it is short time and for free.

2) Have a clear objective of what you want to achieve in the role and achieve it. This story will impress and get you the next job and you will retell it often, so get the story straight and know it like the back of your hand. No one is interested in taking on people from brands they have never heard of or have not achieved clear objectives.

3) Never take no for an answer. But find the best way to approach each individual you are asking. They all have different styles and preferences, they way to get sign off is to carefully plan your approach.

4) Don't let anyone stand in your way of doing your job (not even your boss).

5) Be first with your hand up for anything and everything.

6) Be first in the office and last to leave. If you have no work to do, use the time to plan, research and learn. You will also find that some of the smartest people will be there at these times too. You will become well networked and get insight into what they do and how your organisation works as a big picture.

7) Have in mind what you want to do in 10-15 years time and decide what you are going to do today and the next day to get you there.

8) The jobs your are doing are all stars you pick up like when you play Sonic The Hedgehog or Super Mario Bros and they are all designed to get you to the next level and complete the game (it ends at retiral).

9) Don't get too attached to people at work as people move on and they don't care about you as much as you might think.

10) Be kind ALWAYS and never say on out anything in writing that you would not be prepared to say in person and be kind.

11) Don't think about the day and week ahead too much and play out likely scenarios as this will lead to anxiety.

12) Don't re-read emails that you have sent. If you have been truthful, kind and added value then you have nothing to worry about.

13) Acknowledge or answer your emails of text within an hour if you can, either solving the issue, letting the sender know what the next step is or let them know that you are handling it and when they can expect the issue to be solved in its entirety.

14) When checking your inbox, action every email there and then, don't mark for later as a few will fall through the net.

15) Do no harm to others when doing your role.

16) Don't take things personally (the hardest piece of advice).

17) Never come to your boss with a problem. Always think how you can lighten the load for them.

18) Have a wide network of people in your organisation that are allies. You wouldn't hang from a cliff with one hook would you? Spread the load, as again, people leave and that can leave you in a dangerous position.

19) Be pushy, but polite and introduce yourself to as many senior people as possible. Treat them as you would anyone else as they can have bad days too and you can connect at the coffee machine or water cooler just by being nice.

20) Always keep a To Do list and revise it every few hours.

21) Don't bruise everyone around you when completing a task. Make sure they are bought into your ideas and they are 'with you'.

22) Make sure you take some time out to think. 4 hours a week is recommended as if all you do is your job, then you are an order taker, you are replaceable and of little value.

23) Never ever be late for any meetings or for any deadlines, even if you have to work through the night and weekends/miss important events.

24) Always check meetings are definitely on the day before.

25) Always send an agenda a day ahead of the meeting (at least).

26) Take lots of notes in meetings and make status reports crystal clear with who is accountable and by when against each task. Send the status report/meeting minutes no later than 24 hour after the meeting (preferably same day though).

27) Make a new friend every day. Take that call/meeting, you just never know when it might come in handy.

28) Speak to a client every day and you will never lose them.

29) Keep your boss up to date on your progress most days but don't bombard them. Save up questions and queries for your boss so you can get all answered in 15-20mins.