Tuesday 23 January 2018

'I relish the challenges I faced - but I wish I had known how to "fake it" a little better...'

What I wish I’d known before I started

Jill Downey of Livewire
Jill Downey of Livewire

Jill Downey Managing Partner, Livewire

I was lucky enough to have a very strong female role model for my future career in my mother.

At just the right age for me to be inspired to achieve my goals, my mum started her own business. And she worked hard. So I knew early that commitment and a work ethic were key for success. I'm glad about that.

A great start - but of course I've learned a lot along the way. The first thing is about learning itself. I'm involved in the sponsorship and advertising business and the pace of change in this industry is rapid, I am learning every single day.

Learning never stops and this is something that you don't fully appreciate when you're younger. You cannot get to the end of learning and, to be honest, I never want to.

I relish the challenges that come my way. In a contradictory sense, along the way I wish I had known how to 'fake it' a little better. Women, in particular, struggle with this in the workplace. We tend to believe you must have the experience first, before you deserve the opportunity. We should be saying yes to every opportunity and then working out how to make it fit, rather than the other way around.

I wasn't hesitant to say 'yes' when I was asked to take up the position of managing partner of Livewire. I grabbed the opportunity to grow a credible and dynamic business in the very exciting world of sponsorship - and I am so happy I did.

My next great female role model arrived about four years ago now. And I truly wish I had known how much having a daughter would completely change my attitude towards women.

I want to work hard to build a better working environment, so that Susie can excel in a more balanced working culture. I love that she already knows her own mind with clarity, confidence and certainty. That said, I know I'll have to work hard with her to ensure this self-confidence won't dissipate when she hits the inevitable uncertainty of the teenage years.

The lesson here is that we need to stop the self-limiting behaviour that often holds us back - and start thinking more like a confident four-year-old child!

Sunday Indo Business

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