Rocket account director: learning how your seniors receive you is hugely important

Claire Milton: the account director at Rocket
Claire Milton: the account director at Rocket

Claire Milton, the account director at Rocket, shares her lessons from the ladder.

Since being in Media Week’s 30 Under 30, I have been promoted to account director and have moved to work on Rocket’s largest client, which is an exciting challenge.

I have also become a MIPA, a new industry qualification. In just one year, I’ve learned that change can be the best thing to show you what you can really do! In terms of advice…

Be as lucky as you can be

I rather like how Hegarty on Advertising starts: "I’ve been very lucky to be in the right place at the right time enough times."

My first piece of advice for anyone getting into the advertising industry would be to ensure you’re most likely to be in those places.

Yes, Sir John Hegarty suggests luck has helped him along the way – but what if the real genius is setting yourself up to be as lucky as you can be and then using those opportunities to your advantage?

How you set about this may be different. For me, I’m always the enthusiast: I want to work with everyone on everything and be involved in everything I can be. While this makes me sound incredibly irritating, it has stood me in good stead for being front of mind when it comes to attending training courses and working on pitches, as well as other things that have been fundamental to my growth.

Love what you do

This actually leads me on to my next overused quote, from Steve Jobs: "The only way to do great work is to love what you do."

I was never particularly geeky at school; I was good at maths (which seems to be becoming less evident as the years since school pass) but not particularly passionate about any one thing. Yet now I can safely say I’m a massive media geek. I love the industry and I find that the more I’m exposed to it, the more I enjoy working within the advertising sphere and the more fascinated I am by it. 

Be self aware

I wouldn’t suggest going about setting yourself up for luck in a way that is disingenuous to you. For me, enthusiasm comes easily in a show of fast speaking, jazz hands and often clapping and whooping. However, this isn’t for everyone and nor should it be.

Learning how your seniors receive you is also hugely important – which leads me to my next piece of advice: be self-aware. You will have seniors who react very differently to you and you may struggle to find common ground with them – but this is so crucial.

I am lucky to have had some amazing managers, most of whom I have spent a healthy amount of "media Thursdays" with too. These guys have been hugely inspirational, have supported me and have helped craft my career, which I am incredibly grateful for.

Without the support from some of the more senior people within the companies in which I have worked, I would not have had my work or myself acknowledged.

Don't be in a rush to arrive

This piece of advice was given to me a couple of years ago. The point is that we’re in a fantastic industry and should enjoy it. Yes, be ambitious and seek out new roles and opportunities. But, remember, the things you love doing are often not things that you’ll get to do at the most senior levels, so there’s no hurry to jump to that!

Claire Milton is the account director at Rocket. Milton was featured in Media Week's 30 Under 30 in 2016.

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