It’s hard to comprehend that two years have passed since I appeared in Campaign’s Faces to Watch. It has been a whirlwind – not just the past two years but my whole career so far.
It’s one of the things I love about this industry – we work in a fast-paced environment that’s constantly evolving and you never get time to reflect on what has happened.
So when I was asked to consider my top tips for those starting out, I was a little taken aback as, to be honest, I still feel like I’m only just starting out myself. I’ve had the opportunity to work with incredible people, great clients and inspirational leaders.
Along the way, I’ve picked up a wealth of guidance. For me, it has been the simplest advice that has stuck with me and shaped the way I work. As a result, my tips aren’t unique to our industry – they are principles that I think make me a better employee, colleague, boss, wife, friend and daughter. So here goes...
It sounds obvious but it’s easy in our industry to become a chameleon – being what other people want or expect you to be. Don’t. Be true to yourself and be authentic. Your bosses, colleagues and clients will respond better to the real you.
Run your own race
Don’t compare yourself with the success or failure of others around you. Being competitive is a necessary evil in this industry and very valuable, but don’t let it turn you into a green-eyed monster – not everyone follows the same path at the same rate. Learn to use competitiveness to your advantage and use it to seek out the right opportunities for your personal development.
Be the person who voices the question that everybody is thinking but is too afraid to ask. Chances are that, if you’re not sure of the answer, you won’t be the only one. Have the confidence to ask: it shows a hunger for knowledge and enables you to do your job better.
Become an expert
Find something you are interested in – learn all there is to know about it and bring it into your work. For me, this is behavioural economics – I was hooked as soon as I read Nudge and Freakonomics a few years back. Now, I use every opportunity to bring it into our work.
The advertising industry is at the forefront of innovation, creativity and change. Keep up to date with what’s going on. At times, this will push you well out of your comfort zone – but change is how we progress. The industry has seen immense change in the way that agencies work and the processes we go through to deliver behaviour-changing creative.
Agility is important. As clients have changed their ways of working, we’ve had to mirror those changes and adapt quickly, without losing the rigour and expertise we’ve spent so many years crafting.
It’s about going the extra mile – not being afraid to stand up for what you believe in and not pussyfooting around the issue. If you want to make something happen, make it happen.
As my gran would always say – a smile goes a long way.
Victoria Lorence is the group account director at Proximity London. Lorence (née Hutchinson) was featured in Campaign's Faces to Watch in 2015.