AdNews has teamed with NGen to help its members (those with less than five years experience in the industry) to have their voices heard. Each week a new member of the NGen committee will give their perspective on the latest industry news.
A few weeks ago, 29 of my fellow Ngen members and I came together to learn how best to take ownership of our own careers. It’s a topic that has become very important to those both entering the industry for the first time and for those like myself, who've been out of college for a while living in the real world. I have spent several years now working within various areas of the media, and whether it’s been as an advertising executive for British Marie Claire or a PR executive at another magazine, I have been constantly thinking about the direction in which my career is going.
I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to work with some extraordinarily brilliant people within the media over the last few years and even now at Mediacom. I cannot express how wonderful it is to be surrounded by a sea of people who are successful, enthusiastic and deeply knowledgeable of the media world in which we live in.
As a young person who is somewhat new to the media agency environment, it has been fantastic to be surrounded by those individuals. They are the people who drive this industry and at this point in my career I - like you - are constantly wondering how I can make my impression last. How do I impress those people who matter and how do I show them that I have the potential to be someone within our organisation?
We live in a world where first impressions last and sometimes these thoughts are formed without a single word exchanged. The race to get to the top is littered with a lot of people who want the same as you and whether they speak louder than you within the office, or they take regular trips to lunch with the boss, there is something that us newbies to the industry can do to stand out. You become the brand called 'you'.
Becoming your own brand is not something new, I’m sure you have read at some point about it, however it's the one idea that came to me during our Ngen workshop that binded all the thoughts and ideas that were shared within that session. Becoming your own brand gives you, and those around you, a clear understanding of who you are and what you can offer.
In our everyday life, those runners you wear to the gym with that neon sole and giant swish tells everyone who's got your feet covered. Living in Melbourne, the stamp on your morning cup of coffee tells everyone what kind of coffee drinker you are, and that watch you are wearing with that instantly recognisable logo tells a story of your persona. We've become a world obsessed with brands and it’s time that we took a lesson from these and understood that we are the governor of our own brand.
Each and every one of us have the chance to stand out. Each of us are given the opportunities every day to learn and grow, and it’s the people that take these opportunities and work on strengthening their skills that make it to the top. You graduate from college, you interview, you accept an offer of employment and you join a team.
What happens next?
Quickly you understand that you need to make yourself valuable to this team, that you need to develop your skill set and along the way you start to discover that you need to learn how to distinguish yourself from your peers. You do the work that is asked of you, you do it to the best of your ability and you create a role for yourself within the office.
One of the key things I learned from our workshop was that you need to start identifying the qualities or characteristics you possess which distinguish you from everyone else. What have you done lately to stand out from the crowd? It’s key to remember these and to keep a log of all your personal achievements within the office. Everything you do and don't do signal to those around you the value and characteristics of the brand that is 'you'. The way you handle a difficult phone conversation with a media vendor or a sales rep, to the way that you express your thoughts at a meeting all send out a message about who you are and what you are capable of.
By putting yourself out there and by doing your job to the best of your ability, you will not only identify yourself as a key member of your team, you will also earn the respect of those around you and that is the what will attract people to your brand ... the brand that is 'you'.
Implementation Planning and Investment Assistant