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I didn't get where I am today... by being defeated by change

Alison Eyles-Owen, global EVP marketing comms at Hill+Knowlton Strategies, explains how she got to the top.

Alison Eyles-Owen:

Alison Eyles-Owen: "Being agile, flexible and driven can help you stand out from the crowd."

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In the days when it was de rigueur to include an industrial placement as part of your formal education, I organised three, two of which secured me offers of employment before I’d graduated. The opportunity to experience diverse organisations and learn in the real world of work taught me lessons I still value today. Do something you are really passionate about: if it’s something you love, it doesn’t really feel like hard work.

Never underestimate the power of tenacity; it’s amazing what you can achieve if you are focused on your goals. It will test your ability to innovate and think laterally and teach the power of successful problem solving, all great client management skills that will set you up for success.

Meeting new people is always an opportunity and the wonderful thing about our industry is it’s all about the talent. Be curious about those around you and what you can learn from them; that’s as true in an interview as at any time. Always hire people you think are smarter and more capable than you. Working with amazing talent is inspiring and game-changing.

Never be defeated by change. It can present the opportunity to be whoever or whatever you want to be; within two years of starting my first job I was made redundant. What felt like a huge challenge turned into a tremendous opportunity to work on new clients, acquire new skills and broaden my horizons. Being agile, flexible and driven can help you stand out from the crowd.

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