I'm Maria, and I'm an entrepreneur working with research, strategy and innovation agencies.
Describe your job
Day to day I’m working with agencies helping to identify the types of profile that would inspire and stretch their thinking on the project at hand, I then go about finding them online / offline by immersing myself in different communities, learning about new trends and getting to know those leading the way and influencing the space. It’s a bit like headhunting or casting.
What are the most important skills you need to do your job?
An interest and understanding in consumer profiling, marketing and general business challenges, good communications skills, advertising and marketing, lateral thinking, empathy, flexibility and above all dedication!
I left school and...
did a-levels, an art foundation and a degree honing my creative skills in advertising and community management.
I spent time in advertising placements, then took an opportunity to grow an online network. I worked there for several years with my role evolving overtime - something I had no idea existed before that. I then moved to a start up managing their community.
After that, I wanted to reflect on what I was doing and whether it was what I wanted or something I had just fallen into – I took 6 months off to become cabin crew ✈️ - it paid off as I realised I did want to be doing what I was doing and it gave me the guts to go about it on my own.
Before I started my career, I wish I knew…
Be a sponge! I think I did a fairly good job at it, but I wish I had had more intention and awareness of the opportunities I had to learn.
In the beginning I don’t think ‘that’s not my job’ is particularly helpful to say to yourself.
Start off by learning everything, you get a clearer understanding on how everything fits together in business and you become more invaluable, especially if you do decide to go out on your own at a later date.
Have water cooler chats with the accountants, project managers, receptionists, founders etc. That’s not saying suck up, just learn how things work.
A mistake I made which you can avoid repeating is...
Staying late, working at the weekends and through holidays, it doesn’t pay off and can lead to you getting ill.
Sometimes it’s necessary and we all do it, but if it’s constant there’s questions to be asked about what’s being asked of you and the efficiency of everyone involved. Don’t just see it as your fault/responsibility.
So, what’s next?
I want to be a company of one – more efficient, working with freelancers to fulfil demand higher than what I can fulfil myself. I hope it continues to be something that gives me alifestyle I want. I want my work to enable a life I want to lead.