Chris is the General Manager of The Hallway Performance Digital
Connect with Chris on Linkedin
1. Why did you choose advertising/marketing as a career path?
I've always had a genuine appreciation for clever and entertaining advertising at a young age and so it seemed like the natural path to take when I got to University.
2. What's the best advice you'd give to your younger self who's just started their career?
"It's OK if you don't know - make a start and the answers will follow." I suffered from a lot of analysis paralysis when I was younger, overthinking, over analysing and trying to pave out the next 10 steps in my career trajectory because I was worried about making the "wrong" decision, but I've found it's far bigger risk not to do anything.
3. What do you look for when hiring young people?
Signs of grit and perseverance. I don't really care what degree or qualifications you have. I want to know what hardships have you been through and how did you overcome them. I'll know within seconds of their answer if they're the right fit for my team.
4. How do I make my resume stand out?
Be very clear on your "elevator pitch". Make sure that whatever your pitching is something your potential employer needs. No one wants another "Marketing grad from Uni X" instead dig deeper, what are your passions or interests? And how can you marry those against the values of the company you're seeking employment from.
5. What skills have been most beneficial for you?
Leadership. I truly believe it's something that can be taught. Our industry is full of highly intelligent people but what separates good from the great is their leadership. Learn to lead and you'll go far.
6. Do you need a degree?
Absolutely not. I have two degrees and no one has actually checked to see if they're legit. If anything, I take more interest in people who haven't gone to University and they've done with their time instead.
7. What was a key lesson you learnt in your career to date?
Never get emotional in commercial decisions. Therefore keeping your cool in the right context is imperative. The second you get emotional in money meetings, your've lost. Express confidence even if you're bricking it on the inside.
8. Have your reasons for joining the industry changed over time?
Not really, I still enjoy making an impact and seeing my "work" out in the public domain. I've always like saying "yeah that's my ad!"
9. Have you ever failed? How did you react?
Massively in early years growing up. I was a dyslexic kid trying to navigate a dated education system in a school that didn't have facilities to help kids with "Special needs".
My grades were awful and wasn't because I didn't care or try hard, I simply didn't get it.
Irrespective of this I took a barrage of comments from teachers who said things like "you're not good enough", "you've failed" and "you probably won't amount to much" and turn those into positive momentum and a burning desire to prove them wrong and drive impact in whatever I set my mind on.
10. If you had the chance to re-do your career knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?
I wouldn't put so much pressure on myself.
Comparison was my biggest setback in hindsight and if I were to go again I'd focus on improving a little bit everyday knowing I'm 1% better than I was the day before instead of comparing myself to people in completely different circumstances than me.