“Success is enjoying what you do and being valued for the part you play”
Kat Holt – Head of Marketing EMEA
I began my career in the automotive industry, but have always worked in marketing roles since graduating from university. Looking back at the early days (fresh out of the lecture halls) those roles felt very far removed from what I would class as true marketing today.
For me, marketing is often misrepresented; it’s a discipline that is equally scientific as it is creative (hence why it is one of the few subjects that falls into both an art/social science or science degree). I am incredibly fortunate to have found a career I truly enjoy and now, working in the healthcare field I can apply these skills to indirectly helping patients and improving the lives of others.
It was back in 2008, when I was recruited to join the Department of Health (based in their marketing and behaviour change team) that I knew I had found my vocation. I was recruited by an inspiring woman called Kelly, who recognised in me a willingness to diversify and challenge myself beyond the more traditional boundaries of what I had so far understood marketing to be.
Using research findings and commissioning focus groups, I worked alongside community and business leaders from a range of backgrounds to set about taking a more effective approach to some of the UK’s biggest public health issues. It was here under Kelly’s mentorship, that I found my career niche, applying marketing skills to a social good or applying evidence to achieve a particular commercial outcomes.
My top tips for self-improvement and career progression are:
Have Self Awareness:
If you don’t have this, how will you ever deconstruct your performance and learn from mistakes you make along the way?
Learn and Apply Emotional Intelligence:
This really feeds into the previous point but, for me, is a fundamental requirement as a leader or aspiring leader for any business to understand the basics of emotional intelligence within a working environment. It is the ability to be socially competent in a workplace situation, understanding and interpreting other people’s behaviour and responding appropriately.
Be Willing to Accept Mistakes as Opportunities to Learn:
Without doubt transparency and honesty are always the best policy, because to admit you made a mistake is not weak; we are after all, human. The important take away is to ensure you learn from the mistakes you make and share your learnings with your colleagues and peers.
We have a responsibility as managers to set an example for the next generation of talent, and STERIS helps us as leaders to facilitate this. We operate a graduate scheme and have the opportunity to work with the brightest minds, graduates learn about the business and we learn from them. It’s a really inclusive working environment that rewards innovation and contribution and I honestly enjoy every day (yes even the tough ones).