Be more you
As I’ve progressed throughout my career, I’ve gradually grown more and more comfortable being myself at work. In a competitive marketplace, it’s easy to feel the pressure to always bring the very best, highly curated version of yourself to the office.
For me, that’s the buttoned-up, conscientious side that’s passionate about smart design and engaging brands. But, of course, that’s only one small piece of the puzzle. We’re all three-dimensional beings, each with our own interests and joys, stresses and struggles.
I think there’s a lot to be said for opening yourself up and bringing what makes you uniquely tick outside work in. And I think there’s a lot for employers to gain.
What makes my heart sing will be very different to yours. For me it’s flowers. But I’m not super keen on that word as it can come loaded with limiting preconceptions of dated floristry and old-school dome bouquets. So let’s call them something more modern. Stems. Blooms. Foliage.
Whatever we call them, I’m a big fan. For the smiles they can raise, the warmth they can bring. Their versatility to go in any creative direction and speak many a message.
On the surface of things, my love of stems has nothing useful to offer me in my Client Service role. But I’d challenge that. The act of physically making something, faced with an empty vessel, an image in my head of what’s to come and inevitably landing somewhere that looks (for me, often disappointingly so!) very different, has given me a renewed appreciation for what a difficult gig being a ‘creative’ must be.
Having to continually start with a blank sheet of paper and a whole heap of anticipation. Opening yourself up to having your creativity judged by others. Irrespective of all the commercial pressures, it takes real bravery.
Empathy is hugely important in Client Service. It’s our role to try to find the sweet spot of driving things forward whilst cultivating a safe space for teams to be vulnerable and brave. To help get truly distinctive, strategically aligned, award-winning work made efficiently in a way that’s (ideally) enjoyable for all.