Create something you are proud of: here's how
A view from Parry Jones

Create something you are proud of: here's how

Parry Jones, The Specialist Works' chief operating officer, shares his lessons from the career ladder.

I would like to share with you a conversation I had with a bright twentysomething who works in marketing:

"Do you think I should change jobs?"

"Why?"

"I’ve been here two years." She reveals she likes her company, the people she works with and is learning loads.

"So…?"

"It’s just that my friends and I all think that, if you don’t move jobs every couple of years, you aren’t making the most of your career. So I think I should move."

I’m not sure my response was the mix of compassion and sage advice that I would have hoped to deliver in such a situation. So thanks, Campaign, for giving me another go. A career should not be judged by the number of brands on your CV but by the impact you make.

Changing jobs is a means to an end, not an end in itself. If you find the right place, stay. Create something you are proud of. Here’s how.

Align your goals with those of your business

At The Specialist Works, everyone is on a bonus scheme – and it’s a joy when we get to pay it each quarter. If you make a difference to your business, create growth, make clients happy and are a positive influence on the team around you, you’ll get promoted and paid more. And if you have a decent manager, they will get a kick out of your progression.

Care. Genuinely

Clients. Suppliers. Colleagues. They’ve all got their own pressures, challenges and dreams. They’ll love you for caring. But here’s a secret - you’ll win if that caring is genuine.

Finding out I’d made it into 30 Under 30 wasn’t the highlight of my evening. It was phoning my colleague Sian, telling her she’d made it too and hearing her friends cheer in the background.

I’ve had the honour of managing a few people who didn’t believe they could achieve what I knew they could. Seeing colleagues grow and achieve their potential is a joy.

Surround yourself with people who inspire you

Make sure you work with managers who inspire you and colleagues who set the bar for you to aspire to. Friendly competition can spur you and your colleagues on to do great things.

If you do the hiring, look for people who are, or have the potential to be, better than you.

Treat everyone as your equal

Every business has different levels of seniority but the era of bosses talking down to staff is gone – or it should be.

Any business that relies on innovation needs all its staff working towards that goal. Look for open-plan offices, where the chief executive sits in the same room as staff and takes the time to meet every one of them.

Hold regular team strategy sessions – a good idea is a good idea, no matter how experienced the person who comes up with it is.

Keep raising the bar

While I’m advocating finding the right place and staying to make an impact, you should never stand still. Keep innovating. Keep pushing to do more. Be proud of what you have achieved and then raise the bar higher. 

Parry Jones is the chief operating officer at The Specialist Works and i-transact. Jones was featured in Media Week's 30 Under 30 in 2012.