What do you most admire in a colleague?
People who really take the time to know their craft and understand what they’re good at. It’s so much easier to build a high performing team when everyone is playing to their strengths. Teamwork is all about the common goal, but to get there, you need a variety of skill-sets that compliment one another.
There are also personable traits like being an honest and sound person. It can seem somewhat obvious, but being respectful to other people in business is also a huge bonus. It’s something that is easy to overlook, but essential when you’re trying to empower and encourage collaboration.
What moment in your life most helped in shaping your career?
I recently reflected on this when taking part in the Bloom North panel event about Being brave and taking risks. There are a couple of moments that stand out rather than any one particular:
When I began my career in media, I was due to go into TV buying, but on my first day I was asked to change and join the newly formed digital team. I’ve worked in digital ever since, and my career and life would be very different if I’d said no.
I’ve always been interested in answering ‘what’s next?’ The digital sector has allowed us to use the constant change to our advantage and spot trends which helped us to develop business ideas and maintain momentum.
When I became a mum my outlook changed. I knew almost immediately that I wanted to progress my career on my own terms in a fully flexible manner. I wanted to do this by seeking a working culture that was the right fit for me.; I couldn’t see this in established companies at the time, and so I was compelled to create my own.
Which women do you look to in life to help guide you?
I’m surrounded by strong women in my family, amongst my friends and work colleagues. Everyone in my personal network is an inspiration in so many different ways, I draw strength and good vibes from them all.
My mum and mother-in-law are both petite, blond, fearless, Irish little firecrackers. You would not cross either of them! They definitely provide invaluable guidance and so much hands-on support.
What advice would you give your twenty-year-old self?
I would say don’t worry that your path isn’t laid out in a clear template. You’ll find your way, try lots of different things and will earn a living doing something you enjoy in the end.
I graduated with a History degree, and had that panic (which I’m sure is familiar with lots of humanity students at the end of University) of not really having any clear direction about where I was going to start a career. I think we were prepared poorly in terms of career advice and opening up our horizons about all the possibilities out there. When you don’t see yourself in any traditional career roles it’s a worrying time.
The reality is I ended up in a career that didn’t even exist when I was at school. That’s one of the reasons why I think it’s so important for our industry to reach out to schools to raise awareness about a more diverse world of work. This is especially true in communities where personal networks are less likely to be able to offer exposure to traditionally middle-class or emerging sectors.