At Rise we are truly lucky to be immersed within a community of experts. Each individual has their own talent, opinion and knowledge. We decided that instead of writing what we thought of the world and the industries we all work in, why don’t we ask them?

 

This has part of our series of Q&A style articles that we hope will inspire you, educate you, and or empower you. 

We had a chat with Hayley O’Shea the Marketing Manager at Talbot Heath School, we picked up on a few things, about starting a career in a new industry and how the marketing world has changed in her eyes.

 

RISE: What is your name and your role?

Hayley: Hayley O’Shea, Marketing Manager of Talbot Heath School.

RISE: How has your role changed over the past five years? Has the marketing world changed?

Hayley: I’ve got busier! I’ve had to learn new skills to keep up with the digital trends in marketing. The marketing world has changed in the last 5 years but incrementally, the big changes happened 10 – 15 years ago when the internet took off and ‘traditional’ methods (although still worthy) were challenged.

RISE: Education can be a particularly challenging area to market in, what challenges have you faced in your role at Talbot?

Hayley: We are in a very fortunate and unusual position, with waiting lists in many years. The only tricky area is recruiting boarders from overseas, when you are looking at an international market – the rest of the UK is your competition – our budget is not big enough to keep up with all the the bigger boarding schools. Luckily we are a day school with boarding not solely a boarding school, so we don’t rely on it.

RISE: We want to inspire job seekers/those looking for something new that you can make your own path, can you explain a little bit about yours?

Hayley: You really can! If you work hard & are creative – people will notice and doors will open. My career started in graphic design at 16, I had no intention of working in education my career has evolved by being adaptable.

RISE: Looking to the future what does it hold for you?

Hayley: Who knows! The great thing about my role here at Talbot Heath is that I do so many different things in many areas, we could introduce something new & exciting next year and I will be working on that! I’d love my job so I think I will be here for the foreseeable.

RISE: If you were to give some advice to someone that wants to make the jump to a new career or carve their own what would you say?

Hayley: Do what you love, love what you do. That way positivity and enthusiasm comes easy! If you are going to work for someone else, make sure you believe in them and their company ethos.

 

At Rise we are truly lucky to be immersed within a community of experts. Each individual has their own talent, opinion and knowledge. We decided that instead of writing what we thought of the world and the industries we all work in, why don’t we ask them?

 

 

This has part of our series of Q&A style articles that we hope will inspire you, educate you, and or empower you. 

We had a chat with Rebecca Pearl a freelance copywriter. Here we pick up on a few things; messaging, re-branding and being consistent with your content.

 

 

 

RISE: What is your name and role?

Rebecca: Rebecca Perl, Director of Messagelab Communications Ltd.

 

RISE: How long have you been a copywriter for and how did you get into it?

Rebecca: I’ve been a professional writer for 16 years. I started my career as a journalist in Munich, then moved into university comms back in the UK. I started copy-writing seven years ago. It’s the perfect culmination of my previous writing experience and my creative writing degrees.

 

RISE: What kind of clients do you work with?

Rebecca: I choose not to be a specialist copywriter, because I love working with a broad array of clients. I’ve written for universities, global charities, tech start-ups, the automotive industry, financial companies and local businesses. I’ve written about dairy farms, cathedrals, mouth guards, scientific breakthroughs, yoga poses, lawns, divorce, mapping software, tea trays…it’s nothing if not varied! I have to become an expert in whatever I’m writing about at the time, and then it’s onto the next thing.

 

RISE: How did you find moving to Bournemouth and starting your business here? Did you find the community/networking groups helpful?

Rebecca: Bournemouth has been nothing but brilliant to me. I quickly built up a bank of local clients, first from a networking group I attended and then through recommendations. I’m still working with some of those clients now, seven years on.

 

RISE: How has the industry of copy-writing changed with the incredibly fast rise in digital? Have you had to adapt in style and format?

Rebecca: I am doing more and more digital copy-writing – websites, apps, email marketing, blogs, etc. I think that’s true of many copywriters as there is more emphasis on digital and less on print. I have to adapt my style for each job I take on whatever the format, so digital hasn’t really come as a big shock. I just have to make sure that I continue to learn and evolve and not get left behind. This isn’t too difficult; copywriters are naturally curious* people.  *nosey

 

RISE: If you were to give some advice to someone getting into journalism/copy-writing what would it be?

Rebecca: Work hard. Read, read and read some more. It’s the best way to learn and perfect your craft. Get out there and meet people and make your own opportunities.

 

Trying to be everything to everyone does not work anymore and sometimes the service and skill that we would normally deliver in our niche can be affected by the fact that we are trying to provide services that we do not have the expertise for.

 

Could having the right working culture influence the positive growth within businesses and encourage collaboration across the community? Surely that way everyone gets to play to their strengths, and everybody benefits? Most importantly the end users/customers/clients.

We had a chat with Marcus Wincott Marketing Manager at Media Lounge and Chapter Director of Startup Grind Bournemouth all about driving collaboration and where e-commerce fits into that concept.

We will delve into the ideas surrounding nurturing a company culture, owning your ‘own space’ in the market and how you then use the power of social media to back this all up.

The future is bright for collaboration and ecommerce, let’s delve into it with Marcus.

 

Culture – Let The Team Do The Talking

 

We see this word A LOT. As Marcus quite rightly says “I think some people think if you get a ping pong table and some funky wall graphics that’s all you need, that’s your culture nailed, you’ve smashed it.” Perceptions are short lived, your beer fridge isn’t going to help you when your staff are all overworked and unhappy and as a result, the work your agency does is suffering. Culture by definition means “a way of life” not a few fun gimmicks that you can throw in to appear to have an understanding of what people / employees nowadays are looking to get from the work they do.

Your Instagram stories may tell the world one thing, but the hours your staff work can paint an entirely different picture. This can be downfall a for your workforce, leaving them feeling exhausted. Marcus stresses that there can be a change, we just need to move away from rigidness and outdated ideals.  “There was this meritocracy [at a previous agency] applied to staying late, but at Media Lounge we actively encourage staff not to work late because ultimately you have to get the work life balance right and we’re probably not managing our workload properly if we feel we have to work late. Also, you just shouldn’t – it’s not healthy.”

This will look different in every company, but making a culture successful and a team work together is about playing to individual strengths  “When meeting with my team about direction and strategy, I’ll have my own ideas for content and advertising budget and stuff, but I won’t have it formulated because everything has to be discussed with my team because they have to deliver it. I don’t force ideas upon them, but instead let them steer the strategy, change the way they work and be flexible in order to achieve our goals.”

 

How Do We Want To Work, Really Though? 

 

More and more of us are now talking about a better work life balance and having a more Holistic approach to this. However is it really achievable to implement flexible working on a large scale and can every business achieve it?

Marcus sees some positives and negatives in this approach. “Some of the best work we do is when we are all in a room together talking about a project and chipping in which you can’t do if you’re all remote. But for some tech businesses, remote staff works better, some of which don’t even have a HQ.”

Or maybe it needs to be an overhaul about how we work and spend our hours working. “I get it, I think it could be more about bits of remote working, side hustles, and people generally working less hours in a normal job so they have time for all the rest.”

 

 

“I think people still want a baseline salary but increasingly, they also want the flexibility to run a side hustle or a meet up group or something else that they’re passionate about.”

 

 

If we’re going to take this collaborative approach to the next level, maybe this is where we turn to next, where our teams work less hours and pursue passions outside of their 9-5. Could this make for a happier more productive workforce despite less hours in the office? Marcus certainly feels the benefit of this mutual trust between him and his employer and is able to watch his side hustle grow. He is the Chapter Director of Startup Grind Bournemouth which is a series of events for local Entrepreneurs, “Our commitment to the global Startup Grind brand was that we would hold an event every month and since September 2018 we’ve done that. Our only goal is to educate inspire and connect entrepreneurs in our local area to make the startup journey, a less lonely and scary one.”

 

Collaboration In Our Communities 

 

As our community opens up more, and we nurture and support each other’s ideas and smaller business plans, our guards lower and ‘competition’ suddenly becomes less of a threat.

After a few years in London, Marcus reflected on his return to Bournemouth and his surprise at the change. “The extremely active and open meet up an event scene here, just would never have happened 10 years ago. I think the collaborative nature of the digital community here has grown, and it’s because everyone is less guarded now.”

“When I came back from London there was still some of those big names knocking about like BBD, Adido, RedWeb but they were very different, they looked different. They have got their niche and the thing they do and nobody these days claims to do everything.”

The term ‘jack of all trades’ comes to mind but people are not fooled by this anymore. There is a place for’ say yes and learn how to do it when you get there’ but as a strategy this has been proven to fail and these failures do not go unnoticed.

Marcus went on to say that often Media Lounge liaise with agencies that offer similar services, because they know what they’re good at and when a project comes up, if they know they can’t give their 100% they’ll pass it on to the right person or business that can.

“Now times gone on, there is somewhat of a karmic feel to things where kindness and support come back around.”

“The most important thing should be the outcome for the client. Holistically it creates a much better idea of trust.”

 

Online Community And Buying From Those You Trust

 

When we’re pitching to our clients, trust is a key factor in conversion. As we’ve seen the rise in Social Media, Instagram particularly, the term ‘influencers’ is now part of our everyday lingo.

A new feature is on the horizon which we believe could change the face of communities online, making them more authentic. It also opens up the spectrum for the side hustle that is micro influencing.

Individuals within these smaller online communities are now going to be able to purchase directly from their favoured micro influencers posts on Instagram “They are now taking it a step further, so you can now purchase in app. That’s powerful. I think it will make the whole influencer trend more accountable and so-called influencers will have the opportunity to prove the ‘influence’ they have over their communities. Or not.” It’s no surprise that one person having millions of followers and getting paid to post a picture of themselves with a dietary supplement milkshake was going to be short lived. Just like that of a business with a transparent culture, we can see straight through it.

We are hoping this will lead to the rise of powerful and influential micro influencers who are passionate about what they do and have niche, but loyal following. This in turn can be an individual’s side hustle and will help to grow collaboration within our online and offline communities.

The companies who drive change and adapt are the ones who will have a competitive edge.

There will always be companies that hang on to old working structures. Today is more than putting people in jobs.

The mindset is more than simply having someone fill an empty desk. The time has now come to equip businesses to make the change to flexibility in their employment practices.

Let’s look at re-evaluating our working mindsets.

Where Can Employers Go Wrong?

When looking for a driven and dedicated mindset, it is easy for employers to slip up and make some common mistakes. You can’t expect your workforce to know how to behave if they have been given little or no guidance. Angela Piromalli, MD for Rise, strongly believes in empowering employees as a way of improving attitudes.

Angela states, “You need to identify the right mentality in an employee but also find out what an employee needs from you. It is the employer’s job to enable someone to be their best.

“Businesses have a more collaborative approach now, so taking everyone’s needs into consideration is essential.”

Appreciating everyone’s value in a company doesn’t necessarily have to come across in pay. From simply heading a side project or having more flexible time by job sharing (something that doesn’t impact cost for the company), employees stay happy and hand in hand continue to work to their fullest capability.

Flexibility Within Your Work

With work taking up a significant amount of your week, being flexible within that is fundamental to having a positive view of your job. For instance, Fleur Cook, Marketing Marketing within Rise has taken on responsibility for the 2019 Rock Star Awards. This provides others with a sense of leadership and more importantly ownership, within their contracted hours. Just because you have a job title does not mean you should be doing the same routine every day of the week.

Not only does wider responsibility keep you intrigued, but it can also bring credibility, confidence and pride in that you are working to create something entirely yours. Being given responsibility within the company keeps employees happy, and that passion alongside responsibility draws the team closer together:

Angela says, “All our employees should have flexibility too. You should trust the people you work with and decide your priorities.”

“If someone is late to work, it does not matter. We know the same people would voluntarily stay late at the weekend if they needed to. Having the right people with the right values is essential.”

Having The Right Values And Bringing Them Into The Workplace

If everyone in the workplace has a common collective goal, things fall into place.

Toni Taylor, Rise Office Manager stated, “If a business instills no trust in the people they are working with and people do not work together, things will not run smoothly.”

“Taking on that new and fresh way of seeing a business as a community means it is more likely to succeed. Businesses who see people are commodities will be the ones who will fail.”

“This isn’t just a job. It’s a career. It is give and take on both ends — the more you put in the more we give you back and vice versa.”

Within Rise, we believe that the nature of a person comes first, as skillset can always be learnt. Recruiting wise, attitude comes before experience.

On an organisational side, we are seeing this in abundance with the quality of the applicants for the 2019 Rock Star Awards, not just those who have made it to the final stages, but the majority of people who applied this year.

Behind The Curtain Of The Workplace

Learning more about the people behind a company can tell a thousand stories. With our up and coming ThinkTank initiative, we want to look more into the people and find out how different work methods impact stress and wellbeing. This will provide us with data to improve ourselves and companies around us.

Seeing what makes our employees the best versions of themselves, we can build towards a happier and more productive workforce. We are always looking for new companies to get involved too.

Knowing how to not only attract but keep staff is fundamental to a good working attitude too, and with that mindset comes longevity in that career path.

Communication is of the utmost importance, and in maintaining a good relationship with colleagues does not always have to be work related — you are allowed to talk about non-work matters, and build a strong relationship. Virtues and values interchange in all aspects of life.

Let’s Conclude

When the employer and employee mindset is right, things fall into place.

Being surrounded by others who care about you past the working day makes a significant difference in working life.

Gone are the days of traditional office small-talk and solely searching for skillsets, we are welcoming with open arms a more fluid and friendly work environment where people feel valued. Let’s tread this new path together.

If you would like to come onboard our ThinkTank programme, where we will test new working models intended on having an impact on you and your business, then step forward with us in our pilot programme. Let’s rise together. To find out a bit more email fleur@letsrise.co.uk

 

Performance has to be measured from goals set, not how much time someone spends in an office.

Flexibility and openness have to be taken on board when it comes to getting back into work.

A recent report From Career Woman to Working Mum for Mums Enterprise, asked 1,000 mothers on happiness in their working lives. The survey highlighted that 24% were denied flexible working, 15% were passed over for promotion, 8% were made redundant whilst on maternity leave, 18% returned to a different role.

There is clearly an issue that needs to be addressed.

The challenge is very real when it comes to getting back into work. This can expand into areas such as mental health and also caring for elderly family members.

What are the options when it comes to finding balance again? Is it making that step into what could feel like unfamiliar territory or making that step to go it alone?

 

Making The Step Back In The Ring

Angela Piromalli, Managing Director of Rise highlighted,

“When you take a career break, you still have an armoury of skillsets embedded within you.”

“Having children and then getting back into the working world, is where the challenge lies. It doesn’t matter whether someone has an MBA or reached a heady place within their respective profession, when it comes to a working parent they simply cannot sit at a desk for 45 hours per week.”

 

Whilst we can all acknowledge that society is changing when it comes to getting back into work, there is a trust issue when it comes to a flexible approach to working.

Angela stated,

“We have an abundance of commercial businesses in Dorset. However, we cannot ignore the fact that some businesses would not entertain a world that is away from 9 to 5. Those who win will be those businesses who actively want to empower their staff. There needs to be a 360 degree circle of trust. For instance, if one of the Rise team is writing a report away from the office, it’s not a case of an excuse to go shopping or spend the afternoon down the beach.”

“Attitudes around trust and the ability to work remotely have to be addressed. In the next five years, the businesses who will suffer are those who cannot recruit the best talent because of a rigid attitude. There has to be a transition. Looking for a work life balance, should not be seen as a negative approach.”

 

Practising what you preach is important. At Rise Recruitment we believe that a flexible working model is a successful model to adopt. To put this into context, none of our clients want to know that we are continually sitting behind a desk in our offices in Westbourne. Clients want to know they are cared for and supported and someone to talk and discuss.

Whilst the world of flexibility presents a commercial nirvana, let’s put the brakes on slightly. When it comes back to getting into the rhythm of work again, people may be frightened that they may lose their jobs. Being open and discussing with HR straight away may seem easy on paper, but the last thing a parent wants is a heavy burden of anxiety. Angela explained,

“I went back into work (before I set up Rise Recruitment) three months after my daughter was born. Nursery did not start until 8.30am, so I had to pay for another level of childcare, so I could be in for work at 9am. I carried guilt heavily around with me.”

 

There Is An Alternative

Alongside the decision to come back into the workplace, the decision does not have to be stepping straight back into familiar territory.

Erin Thomas Wong leads the Making Mumpreneurs community where the company mantra is,

‘Having children doesn’t mean the end of your career – it might just mean you have to redesign it.’

 

Erin highlighted the challenges.

“According to the Sunday Times a mother with two children at nursery needs to earn at least £40k a year to make any profit from going to work. The stress this places on families is a very real problem.”

The Centre For Economics And Business Research highlighted that the cost of raising a child to the age of 21 (and attending state school) is over £230,000. However, having children doesn’t mean the hopes and dreams are thrown out the window, it all comes down to redesigning the world you are part of.”

“People are making a conscious decision to prioritise flexibility over income.  Making Mumpreneurs supports these women as they make the transition to self-employment.”

It’s a huge learning curve to start your own business, but many women are finding it to be a positive and empowering step. Erin explains,

“My business is mine and I am in control of it. I can go to my children’s sports day, make it a priority and nothing gets in the way.”

 

A Positive Look

Angela highlighted the shift that have been happening over the past few years.

“Technology and the digital revolution is playing its role. For instance, Skype video calls connects people, work files become accessible via the cloud and all team members are easily contactable. We can’t live in a world where every action on email has to be, ‘by end of play.’”

A career break and time off can mean confidence is knocked and the stress of asking for some flexibility. Where can things become easier. Angela explained,

“If people are coming back to work, they need to feel part of a family. Inclusivity is vital. It is the duty of an employer to get systems in place. It is all about creating the right attitude and bringing in an emotive side.”

There are options available. Whilst the step to build your own one man army provides independence, it also provides the challenge of starting everything from scratch to build a customer base. When heading back to work, whilst there are the issues of self-doubt and building confidence again, if this is supported by flexibility and openness, the world becomes more accessible.

Empowerment and transparency is a very real and powerful driver for change within businesses and also individuals.