Anna is the Head of Creative Excellence at Telstra
1. Why did you choose advertising/marketing as a career path?
Drawn to creativity and the power of ideas, I actually studied to be an architect. After a few tortured years on AutoCAD I discovered an industry with the opportunity to solve challenges at scale and at pace - an industry with the potential to make positive cultural impact.
2. What's the best advice you'd give to your younger self who's just started their career?
Follow your gut, not the money. The cash will always follow if you're thriving in the right environment.
3. What do you look for when hiring young people?
Many technical skills will be learnt on the job - but attitude will make an impact from the outset. I look for energy that radiates, a healthy level of self awareness and the desire to collaborate effectively with others.
4. How do I make my resume stand out?
Consider yourself a brand and spend time defining what your key selling proposition is. Avoid the pitfall of what your resume 'should' say, and focus on what it 'could' say. Roles will often evolve and expand to fit the potential contribution an individual can make.
5. What skills have been most beneficial for you?
Emotional resilience training. Our biggest strengths often come laden with our biggest weaknesses. In my case I'm a big old 'empath'. It's a superpower - most the time - but requires continual focus on boundaries and bounce back.
6. Do you need a degree?
No but it helps. As does constant learning. Don't let your perspective or knowledge grow stale. Stay on the edge.
7. What was a key lesson you learnt in your career to date?
Assumptions are the mother of all fxxk ups. Never be afraid to ask the the seemingly naive question, to interrogate the genesis of thinking, or to call out when something doesn't feel right.
8. Have your reasons for joining the industry changed over time?
Yes and no. The rational drivers, absolutely.You know, having 2 kids, a house, a dog etc has meant I need more flexibility and obviously more funding. But emotionally, not so much. I've always sought 'work' that doesn't feel like work at all. I value collaboration and creation. If I'm making positive impact to culture and businesses - then that's good enough for 20 year old and 80 year old me.
9. Have you ever failed? How did you react?
'Fail' is such a loaded word but yes, I've failed. The double failure has been I've let it define my view of self - when I've coupled an unintended mistake with a strong dose of penance. Increasingly I've come to view 'failures' as the basis for great learning. From the raging clangers, and yes, unless you don't try anything brave or different, you will make these, to the innocuous faux pas, there's development to be gained from all uncomfortable moments.
10. If you had the chance to re-do your career knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?
No regrets. All the experiences, even the shit ones, have taken me to where I am now, and that's a wonderful thing.