Take control and ask for that pay rise, says TBWA\London's Manning

Poppy Manning: head of broadcast, TBWA\London
Poppy Manning: head of broadcast, TBWA\London

Suck up those fears and ride the waves of change, says TBWA\London's head of broadcast.

It’s hard to believe I was once under 30, let alone one of Campaign’s Faces to Watch. But a quick flick through the magazine confirms it: there I am, looking younger and healthier and more optimistic about the world around us.

Now I sit here older, wiser and poised, ready to impart my (supposed) wisdom to the next generation. The past few years haven’t been without problems or, indeed, mistakes. But a mantra springs to mind: "There are no such things as mistakes, only lessons."

Here are a few of those.

Be present in your office

OK, this sounds obvious. For me, getting on was all about flourishing in your role. As head of broadcast, this meant making brilliant productions and meeting all the right people. But don’t neglect those who sit by you every day.

Look after your office, not just your team. Play a role in it. Join the cultural committee. Start a cultural committee. A proud moment was leading the agency to success in the inter-agency bake-off in 2015.

Love change

Change is inevitable. Embrace it. Suck up those fears and ride the waves of change: you and your agency will come out better in the end.

I used to run a TV department; now I run a content production department. Shrinking budgets and a changing media landscape mean I’ve had to evolve – that unlocked an entrepreneurial streak that I didn’t even know existed.

You work in marketing. Your most important client is you

I learned the hard way: you have to push for your own career progression. No matter how much you deserve it, the world is filled with people who look out for number one: don’t be a bystander in your personal development.

Take control. Definitely ask for that training opportunity. Ask for that pay rise. And don’t feel you’re getting ideas above your station because: a) You deserve it; b) Your employer makes money when it invests in you.

You are not the finished product

When I joined Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO as a TV production assistant, I was told by those I assisted that I would "be their boss one day". Empty words. Flattery is not a fuel.

The greatest lesson those early roles taught me was that hard work gets you everywhere – it’s why I respect every member of my team. Regardless of their position, each person is a vital cog in our machine. I learn just as much from them as I hope they do from me.

Make things happen

It’s easy to sit back and complain about various failings and obstacles that prevent you from reaching your potential. It’s even easier to ignore them. Instead, channel your energy into "doing". It will get you much further in the long run… promise.

Fuck knows

I shouldn’t use a swear word but this is important: your future remains unwritten and only you hold the pen. Take my advice with the metaphorical pinch of salt it deserves and do it your own way.

We don’t know what’s going to happen. Be true to yourself and good things will come.

Poppy Manning is head of broadcast, TBWA\London. Manning was featured in Campaign’s Faces to Watch in 2014.

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