Watch Me Bloom: Sabrina Francis
Sabrina is lucky enough to live a triple life. The first is as Strategy Director at the7stars media agency, where she has over 12 years’ experience in strategic media and creative planning.
She's also a semi-professional singer; most recently performing in The Royal Variety Show, The Brits and making regular appearances on Channel 4's The Last Leg.
Next year, she will be making her acting debut in a new play that explores the humorous side of the imposter syndrome epidemic. She shares some of the biggest lessons she’s learnt to date with us, today…
What big lessons have you learnt over your career so far?
1. It's only a job, BUT...
Anyone having a tough time at work will understandably try to find comfort in the justification that ‘it’s only work- we're not saving lives’. But you deserve to have a long and fulfilling career, so make the best of your own life by finding a role that brings you some joy.
2. There's a lot of energy in boredom
Boredom is the best thing that ever happened to me. It made me look for other challenges, diversify my friendships and start my own creative projects. Don’t waste such a powerful mindset; break the cycle and channel your boredom into something that excites you. It might just lead you into your next career.
3. Don't wait for the orange squash
While your career can often feel like a marathon, there won’t always be people waiting on the sidelines cheering you on and handing out cups of orange squash. You can’t wait for other people’s approval when it comes to your personal goals and ideas; ultimately, how you best use your skills is up to you alone.
As you’ve had to make big changes, what helped you through the process?
After a particularly stressful year in a job that culminated in frequent panic attacks, I decided to change my unhealthy relationship with work.
I realised that my work behaviours had been established long ago throughout my education.
Think about it...you study 11 or more subjects for your GCSEs.
4 or more subjects for AS levels.
3 or more subjects for your A levels.
One main subject for your university degree.
Life programmes us to narrow down our choices as we get older; that to succeed, you need to specialise and focus on one thing in order to reap the financial and personal rewards. A few years into my career, I realised that my entire self-worth was being measured through what I delivered in one office on one big client – what a one-dimensional way of existing!
I didn’t want to just fit into one box.
So I decided to rediscover my love for music. In the process of ‘adulting’, I had stopped playing the piano, singing and going to gigs. The day I walked into a choir rehearsal, my life changed forever.
Connecting with people outside of my industry through the medium of song did wonders for my mental health, but also gave me a renewed sense of energy that I made me better at my day jon that was heavily dependent on innovation and creativity. I went into singing as a hobby but a year later, I was supporting Mika at the London Palladium and featuring in The Royal Variety Show.
My career had become multi-faceted but most importantly, my happiness didn’t live or die based on my experiences in the office.
Now when people ask me what I do, my reply is that I’m a media strategist, singer, actor and dog mum. I don’t get paid for all of those things, but I measure my worth from a combination of them all.
What would you recommend to anyone feeling like they're in a similar boat?
Breaking any habit is challenging so take baby steps to re-discover what gives you a buzz outside of work and do what you can to make it happen. It also really helps to work for a company that supports side hustles.
I’ve been incredibly lucky at the7stars where side hustles are not only supported, but actively encouraged. It makes such a difference to not have to be apologetic for your interests and work for a business that values employees because of what they do inside AND outside of the office.
Don’t forget to share and pay it forward. Talk to other people in your business about what you do outside of work.
Let’s inspire the next generation to step out of their singular boxes!