Back to Katie Bard – 20 years on…
After graduating, I walked into a well-known recruitment agency in Birmingham and told them I wanted to work there. They’d found me a few temp roles over the years while I was at University and I liked the idea of being on the other side of the desk.
‘No’ was the answer, as they didn’t take on new graduates, but they knew an agency that had a graduate training scheme. And that’s how my career at Katie Bard started in 1999. Little did I know that fast forward 20 years I would be back working with Katie Bard as a Marketing Consultant!
So how did this happen? Did I have a well thought out plan that I executed perfectly? Well, not really, no. I took the opportunities that I saw, I created my own opportunities when I could, and eventually followed a life-long dream to be my own boss.
I went from a career in recruitment, onto business development, and then marketing for creative agencies where I found my spark. I had always wanted to work in a creative environment and it had a way of drawing me in over the years.
University – At University I wanted to study art but I was told that I would never earn a living painting pictures. So, I decided to study for a business degree and unsurprisingly, the marketing modules were my favourite!
Recruitment career – I fell into a career in recruitment and quickly decided to specialise in the marketing and PR industries, placing people in their dream roles. I’d come up with ideas for attracting candidates, events we should run, branding suggestions and website re-designs.
Business Development – After maternity leave I was offered a Business Development role with a leading PR agency so I grabbed it with both hands. The owner taught me how to sell PR services to new business prospects, as well as create marketing campaigns. This was a turning point in my career and it really helped open the door to new opportunities.
A good friend of mine had been asking me to work with her for years. She had a boutique branding and design agency and she believed I would be a great addition to their team so I said yes and absolutely loved it.
I was coming up to a significant birthday and knew it was now or never. Despite feeling a little out of my comfort zone, I took the plunge and decided to start out on my own with two clients, a second hand Mac and lots of excitement!
Now, in year three, I have some amazing clients and one of those is Katie Bard. I run their events in Birmingham and support with other marketing activity.
From my own experiences and the lessons that I’ve learned, my careers advice would be – don’t overthink it. I’m not saying sit back and wait for things to happen. Far from it! But take each day as it comes, keep your eyes wide open to new opportunities, and enjoy every minute.