Do you feel like it’s time for a change at work? Do you need a little boost of confidence to express your ideas or become more involved? If you answered yes, then you have come to the right place! Often, we struggle to know what to say and what to do, but we have the perfect top tips to ensure that you begin to climb the career ladder in no time!
Stacy Westhead, 30, is a Director for online marketing agency atom42 and recently won the Media Week's Rising Star award. Stacy began her career in the media industry but after just one year she met her now business partner, Andy Atalla, and helped atom42. “I think having lots of responsibility early on, and feeling like atom’s success was partly down to me individually really helped drive me to succeed. I don’t think I would have been as successful in a big agency where you can be pretty anonymous.
Stacy puts the success down to her hard work and determination as she believes she’s not a natural achiever. “I am a natural “try-hard and set myself tough targets. If I say I am going to do something, then I will do all I can to do it, and if I don’t think it’s achievable, I won’t say I’ll do it!"
Don’t be fooled into thinking Stacy was handed any of this on a plate, because you will be extremely wrong. She grew up in Gloucestershire which she lived with her Mother, Father and sister. She believes her eagerness to work hard and succeed derives from both her parents. Her mother was a hands-on mum and a part time civil servant. Her father was a ‘typical army man.’ “He was a logical, meticulous workaholic who instilled in me the importance of meeting deadlines, exceeding expectations, being a perfectionist and fulfilling my potential. I think I have a really nice mix of both of my parents.
Stacy admittedly says that she was always the academic ‘nerdy’ sister, so this may be no surprise that she was the first person in her family to go to University. "From a young age it was drilled into me by my dad that I would be the first person on both sides of the family to go to University, that I would go on to get a good job, so I never really thought about doing anything else.
However, confidence doesn’t come naturally to Stacy, on winning the Rising Star Award it came as a huge surprise. "There are times when I am plagued by insecurity. I thought I had no hope in winning the Rising Star award, especially when I looked into the other candidates. I think that’s just part of being human though, so don’t beat myself up too much about that.
Humble as she may be, she has proved to be a worthy winner, putting 110% into her business. She admits that she finds it difficult to switch off at times. "My husband frequently gets annoyed that I always have a project that I am working on or researching.
Stacy is proud of her achievements and the development of atom42. "I am really proud of atom42 as a company. I am really enjoying watching the teams grow as I did, and am really excited about what atom will look like in the next few years! I think we have cultivated a company where a good work/life balance is really encouraged.
"For atom I would like to continue to see our people progress and our happy client base grow. Personally, I would like to start a family in the next few years and be in a position where I can continue working but also have quality time with them like my Mum did. Oh, and maybe a bit of relaxation time, too."
Stacy's eight top tips to help young women in business get further up the career ladder:
- If you are pushed outside your comfort zone or thrown in the deep end, it might feel scary, but it can be the best learning experience!
- It’s OK to make mistakes, you are only human. It’s how you deal with those mistakes and learn from them that defines you!
- Success is often to do with your frame of mind. If you don’t perceive yourself to be inferior then you’re less likely to be treated like that
- Don’t rely on other people in order for you to progress and learn. You can learn so much yourself! Ask questions!
- Be creative and push boundaries. Even if you’re doing something monotonous, find ways to make it more creative and get better results
- You also can’t underestimate the importance of having a good team of people around you – surround yourself with people who add real value to you (important for both in and out of work!)
- Your happiness is in your control. If you don’t like something about your job / life, take steps to do something about it!
- Similarly, don’t spend time worrying about things outside of your control. Yes, it might rain tomorrow - so buy an umbrella and smile.
For more information on atom42 visit www.atom42.co.uk
If you used Stacy’s top tips to climb the career ladder, get in touch and let us know your experience.