Fresh out of graduating from University, I started my first job as an Account Executive at Seed - and here are the 10 things I learnt from my first 3 months...
1. There is an acronym for everything. EST (Every single thing).
Colleague: “My AM just asked me to fill in the WIP on the CMD by EOD, so we can discuss in the MMM”
Sophie: “Umm...excuse me?”
After months of googling and questioning "what the hell does that mean", I took it upon myself to compile a DOA (Directory of Acronyms) and share with the team, as surely I can’t be the only one confused by a WIP CMD?
Don’t get lost in the world of abbreviations. Make a DOA.
2. Study the tube map. Meticulously.
Unless you want to accidentally end up on the other side of London and have to panic order a taxi, make sure you’ve studied the big map of squiggly coloured lines…
3. When all else fails, smile and laugh.
Did I anticipate spilling coffee down my well thought out and planned white work outfit? No.
Did I do that very thing on my SECOND day to the office? Yes.
The lesson here is:
Never wear light coloured clothing if you plan to down your Oat Vanilla Latte on the packed Northern Line in rush hour (probably another lesson here about consuming anything on public transport, but will save that for another time).
Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself - most likely others will laugh with you. Embrace it. Hold your head high and make coffee stains the new fashion trend this spring.
4. ASK QUESTIONS???
Which do you think is better - asking a question, or doing a task incorrectly because you were too afraid to ask a question?
If you are unsure of the answer to that, read the title to this point again.
It is always better to ask a question, than to do a task incorrectly because you didn’t know what someone was asking of you (unless you’re asking what DOA means after I’ve just told you…).
5. Saying that, don’t be afraid to get things wrong.
Your first time doing something might not be perfect, and that’s ok.
Did I cry when all the slides I produced for a pitch got completely rewritten? A little.
Did it make me want to quit and never come back? Absolutely not.
6. Share your ideas. Share your learnings.
Everyone has something to bring to the table, be that your creative ideas or your personal experiences with a leading delivery service. Sharing your learnings and ideas might be the very thing to inspire, help, or form an idea for someone else.
7. Speak louder, even if your voice trembles.
It makes sense to be nervous whilst speaking on your first virtual call, or your first client meeting IRL (...in real life). My advice? Fake it till you make it.
If you act confident, chances are people will listen to you more. Doing the very thing that scares you, is the best way to become less scared whilst doing it.
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone, or whatever the quote was I saw on Instagram…
8. When on your way to your first ever IRL client meeting, do not let someone on a train look after your belongings.
Oh, and don’t wear jeans with a broken button when you know you have to run for said train. You’ll turn up to the meeting without a laptop and trousers held together by a hair band…
If you think this is a weird point, then read point 6 again.
9. Speak to everyone in your office, at least once.
Make yourself known! Be a friendly face and offer someone a smile today (even if it’s by telling them your coffee stain on a train story).
10. Pay attention.
If you read the previous 9 points, you’re already halfway there. If you skipped to the end, read the following. Twice.
Pay attention to anything and everything. Read how your manager sends emails to external companies. Listen to how someone pitches to a client. Be a sponge for knowledge. This will be your power!
Words by Sophie Jaye - Account Executive at Seed