This is the first in a series that I’ll be featuring on here, spotlighting (mostly) young professionals so you can find out just what jobs are out there, how they got them and lessons they have learned thus far into their professional journey.
I’m so excited that my first post also features my bff: Kat. We’ve been friends for 16 years (😳 how?!) and she is seriously one of the coolest people I know. She’s that girl who can rock a onesie and fur hat in public and look chic AF doing it. Kat is also thoughtful, creative, giving and works in a role I know so little about – media planning. So let’s dive right in.
What do you do?
I work for a small media agency in Toronto.
And what the what does that mean exactly? I use demographic research to determine the best placements for brands to place advertising, negotiate with suppliers on their behalf and report back on the campaign performance.
How’d you get this role?
I had an internship at a major Canadian broadcaster when I was in university (studying TV) and joined the team after I graduated. They were part of an in-house media agency, which appealed to my Type A need for organization. After raising my hand to help out on a few projects I was able to move onto the team permanently.
I spent 5 years with that team, including a brief stint in Calgary, before moving to a global agency to work with a pharmaceutical client. Then I transitioned to my current role where I have a small team working to support a local Canadian product (something I’m really passionate about).
I know you’re obsessed with work back schedules (true story, this woman could excel spreadsheet your entire life #goals) – do you have a work back schedule for your career?
I do not, thanks for reminding me. But it’s something I’m planning to attack this year.
Was that just a convoluted way for me to ask where you want to be in five years? Yes.
When I think about my future I tend to focus on the personal journey instead of career growth which seems to make me a bit of an anomaly. I think we’ve been taught that our career holds more weight in defining us than any other quality and frankly, I’m not interested in limiting myself in that way. So when I think about my 5 year plan I tend to think about how I want to grow & evolve as a person in the world.
How can I do better, feel better and how can I do more for those around me?
So to actually answer your question: in 5 years I’d like to own property, have or be planning for a new addition to the family, and have become an active member in my neighbourhood or community.
What have you learned this far into your professional journey?
Be your own advocate. Don’t be afraid to raise your hand, state your opinion or ask for what you want.* It took me longer than I’d like to admit to realize that advocating for myself and voicing my needs (personal or professional) doesn’t take anything away from others – it simply ensures a seat at the table.
Also – don’t ask a question if you can Google the answer.
*Large caveat: Within reason. Don’t be a lunatic.
What are you passionate about in your job? Did you expect that going in?
I’ve been an unofficial leader on projects before, but this is the first role where I have a team of my own and it is incredible. I like to think that I’m a supportive person so being in a team support role feels really natural to me. Teaching the junior members of our team, not just how to do something, but how to figure it out for the future has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.
What are you excited to try in 2017?
This year I’m letting my crafty side have full control and I’m trying a ton of things I’ve never done before. Some of them I expect to be terrible at, but I’m hoping I’ll also surprise myself.
First up I’m trying out baking clay and arm knitting.
Any professional (career or side hustle) goals/ambitions for this year? what?
Get an Etsy store up and running.
How are your focusing on your side hustle in 2017? Why are you passionate about it?
Working with numbers all day helped me to realize that I’m (surprisingly) a very creative person, and I need to find a way to feel like I’m creating something tangible. My side hustle is still very much in the planning stages at this point, but I’m incredibly excited to find a way to support myself on my own terms.
Do you see any ways your current career can help you find success in your side hustle?
So much yes. My budget game is on point, I build supplier relationships like a champ, and I can stretch marketing dollars to the moon and back.
What is your ultimate #careergoal?
To own my own business.
Reading this all back it seems like 2017 was actually MY year for “realizing stuff”.