I started my journey with a three-month internship having just moved to London to complete my Masters degree. When I started my internship, I never thought I would be sat here looking back five years later. But the combination of an incredible team of (past and present) LACErs, the opportunities of a growing company, plus the flexibility and support Aaron and Cathy have given me to evolve my skills in different areas of the business have been incomparable and a truly unique experience.
As I reach this milestone, I wanted to reflect and share my five lessons learned:
Step out of your comfort zone
None of this was on my original “life plan”; my qualifications were in Psychology and Education, and my previous work experience had been in schools working with those children who needed extra support. However, I am so glad I took this opportunity and really stepped out of my comfort zone!
If a door opens that’s not necessarily on your plan, don’t be afraid to see where it could take you. The current job climate shows workforce shortages and recruitment difficulties, but simultaneously people are struggling to find the right jobs for them. Is this therefore the perfect time to step out your comfort zone in the job market?
Use your unique selling point (USP)
As I highlighted above, I didn’t come from a consulting background, nor a HR one, which at first, I thought would really hold me back. However, by switching the focus from my weaknesses to my strengths (my real differentiators and USP), it enabled me to provide a different skillset to support in various areas of the company.
My strongest skill is my creativity and ability to think outside the box. I have dyslexia which, while can be seen as a disadvantage, can also be a great advantage, especially when it comes to thinking differently. Personally, I process in images and must physically create to learn and understand content.
How is this an advantage?
- It has led me to take ownership of the LACE brand, the imagery, colour palette, how to make content look good on a page
- LACErs can come to me with an idea of what they need, provide the content and I become that bridge to make it a reality, whether that’s infographics, whitepapers or videos
- LACErs also can come to me when they need a different perspective on something e.g. how can this work better? How can we make this look visually pleasing?
So, my advice is to really utilise your USP, even if at first it doesn’t seem like an obvious strength; your differences can really become your core skills!
Don’t be afraid to fail – resilience is key
We are all human, mistakes are inevitable.
The greatest personal growth for me took place through learning from my mistakes. Treat them as a chance to be a better you, create a better method, adapt and produce something far greater than before.
It will feel uncomfortable to begin with, no one likes to fail! But lean into it, learn from it and most importantly, don’t run away from it. You can gain a lot from pushing yourself through a failure to see the other side.
Learn as much as you can from your leaders and colleagues
If you are lucky enough to work somewhere with easy access to your leadership team, make the most of it! These people have the experience and knowledge and remember – they have been where you have.
One of the greatest strengths of LACE is that everyone brings something different to the company, whether that is core skillsets or their experiences, meaning there is always someone who can help you!
So, if you are just starting your work journey or have just moved to a new company, don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s a lot to process, take the time to listen and observe, you will gain great insights in the language they use, behaviours, leadership skills and where each employee’s skillset lies. This will help you with future communications and, particularly for those starting out, knowing who to go to for different needs.
Don’t underestimate the importance of company culture
Company culture is becoming increasingly important, not only for your own engagement and happiness but also for business growth, longevity and success. It’s the part of the company that is truly unique to them and you should consider whether it aligns with your own beliefs and values.
At LACE, I have learned the importance of the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) and assessing whether the company’s values and culture presented on paper match up to your actual experience. In other words, does the promise match the reality?
At LACE we are proud of our culture and express that upfront but, in doing so, we ensure that it matches the experience you receive when working here. This is something that is supported and continuously expressed when you talk to any LACErs.
I am very proud to be a part of LACE and I look forward to seeing what the future brings.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
We are always looking for new people to join our team and if you like what you read you can visit our vacancies page to register for roles you are interested in, or just to express an interest in one day becoming a LACEr – I promise you won’t regret it.