If it takes about 10 years to become an expert at something, what do you call someone who has two decades of experience in a career she loves? Louise Chandler is celebrating 20 years of working in the creative media industry and gives us the lowdown on what she has learned along the way.
A highly experienced media practitioner, Louise Chandler has come a long way since she started in the creative media industry 20 years ago. During a vast career of TV, radio and newspapers, as a broadcaster, reporter and journalist and newspaper columnist, Louise now works in PR & media communications having worked with brands such as the BBC, Superdrug, HSBC and Lloyds pharmacy. She’s also part of the Melan team!
At the recent annual Women in Media Conference in Manchester, Louise joined a panel of ladies to share her impressive experience of working in the PR and media industry to share her observations and lessons that she has learned. Her observations are exceptionally transferable and could serve as a blueprint to anyone just starting a new career or someone who needs a gentle nudge to remind them about their value and worth.
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Thank you @wimconmcr for inviting me to join a panel discussion about PR and also to run a workshop about: "building your brand" as a woman working in the creative industry. 🚺👏🏽 I love learning new things and meeting new people so it was a blast! 💫👏🏽 I also felt honoured to support and answer questions for the next generation of media women! I have met some amazing people during my 20 year career in the media so I say: pay it forward and help others! 💝📢 I also think it's important to be a representative voice for black women and show that the industry has ladies from diverse backgrounds who are doing great stuff! Addy Frederick and Clare Quansah are just two great women who are smashin it – go on gals! ✊🏾#Blackgalmagic . . . #lovemedia #newfriends #payitforward #knowledgeispower #listenandlearn
Read on for Louise’s top tips…
Ask yourself ‘what are the values that summarise you and what you stand for?’
I started my working life in retail with my first job being a footwear salesperson at River Island for £2.88 an hour. Weekend shifts at WH Smith, Dorothy Perkins and Marks & Spencer during my student and university years would follow and I think it was the best preparation for working in the media industry. I learnt some valuable lessons about having a work personality and how you conduct yourself. Body language is important for all interactions; arms folded across the body can come across as defensive, avoiding eye contact can seem evasive and a genuine smile can go a long way to building rapport.
I also learnt the essence of being professional, having a can-do approach to problem solving and being reliable for a job. These values have stayed with me throughout my media career and when I bump into ex colleagues, these are the things that people still remember about me all these years later!
Nurture and build positive relationships
No man (or woman for that matter) is an island and there is no ‘I’ in the word team. I know from my experiences that I have had the pleasure of working with, and for, some great, talented people who have been supportive mentors and showed me great kindness. Nurturing and building positive professional relationships are key to operating in the media industry. To have trusted people you can speak to for advice, guidance and ideas when you are stuck and need help is always a valuable thing. I have a tribe of work friends who I respect, and trust and we work well together. One good turn deserves another and remember that the people you meet will form a part of your journey during good and bad times. Remember to treat everyone with respect.
Know what you do well and what to improve
We all have our talents and skills, things that we’re really good at. This could be a natural skill for complicated maths equations, being able to cook a delicious meal in 20 minutes or the ability to dissolve an argument between your two best mates. Often, we underestimate these skills, but I think it’s important to look closely at the attributes you display and give yourself credit for them. Truly value these skills. I believe our strengths come from understanding what we do well so that we can build on it. But we also have to be honest about the areas we need to improve on so that we can develop our perspectives and thoughts.
Be bold about your achievements
Celebrate you and all the great things you do! We achieve great things in our personal and professional lives so why do we not shout about them enough? I meet many women who are talented and do fantastic work, yet we refer to the ‘imposter syndrome’ of not being good enough. I believe that self-esteem and confidence blossoms, but it starts with us. Celebrate what you do well. I take pride in being a chatterbox because my ability to articulate and communicate led me into a broadcasting career and this is something that I’m always proud to share.
Just imagine introducing yourself to someone new and how you’d like to be remembered, this will help you to stand tall and speak up to represent everything you have worked to achieve.
Be prepared to learn and share
Every day we learn a new fact or piece of interesting information that we can use to navigate life, which can in turn, enhance our career. Learning something new and sharing it has formed the basis of my career. When you meet a colleague or new friend and begin chatting and exchanging ideas, it can be insightful and empowering to exchange knowledge. Sharing ideas about a particular website, place to visit, person to meet or life hack will make a difference. Think of the ideas that you have learnt from someone else and how they made a difference to you! So, pay it forward, learn and share them with someone else.