Stop just talking about millennials, says OMD's Connaughton
A view from Carl Connaughton

Stop just talking about millennials, says OMD's Connaughton

Celebrate your successes, demand regular feedback and stop talking just about millennials, writes Carl Connaughton.

I was lucky enough to be shortlisted for Media Week’s 30 Under 30 back in 2010.

Since then, I have stopped writing about myself in the third person (cringe) and have worked my way up from associate director to head of department and a position on the board at OMD UK.

I now run the AV department, managing a team of 40 OMD staff who are collectively responsible for the strategy, implementation and execution of our clients’ campaigns, making sure our planning and buying achieves the best value for our clients and ultimately drives their business performance.

I love the fact that no two days are the same and I can go from having a conversation with a client about their business, to one with a media partner about the latest evolution in their market, to an internal conversation about how we can solve the former with the latter.

Here is some career advice from a former young millennial, now aged 35½.

We are a people industry

Remember that first and foremost. Clients buy an agency’s people.

We have two ears and one mouth

Be sure to use them in that proportion. This was one of the best bits of advice I got very early in my career and it has stayed with me ever since.

Be curious

It might have killed the cat, but curiosity certainly hasn’t held anyone back in an industry that is always looking for the next big thing to answer a business challenge.

Question the status quo

What might once have worked in an analogue world might not in this digitally disrupted one.

Make the most of your media owner friends

Not only are they an intelligent bunch, they are sitting on a goldmine of research, data and insight. I’ve found that working collaboratively always delivers the best results.

Demand regular feedback on everything you do

Make sure it is specific by asking exactly what was great about what you did.

Find yourself a mentor to give yourself a different view on the world

If you work in a specialist area of an agency, you should want to understand how what you do feeds into the bigger business solution.

Keep it simple

We love to overcomplicate our world. Our clients want simplicity. They don’t want to know about our challenges; they just want to hear our solutions.

Remember to celebrate successes

As already mentioned, we are a people industry – and we need our people to be part of the journey.

Please stop just talking about millenials

Enough said.

Carl Connaughton is head of AV investment, OMD UK, and was featured in Media Week's 30 Under 30 in 2010