We love exploring what makes digital minds tick. So we have launched FFS, or Futureheads Five Stories, where we speak to people who have interesting stories to tell.
And we couldn’t resist the acronym.
This week we wanted to share stories from one of own.
Paula is Director of Business Operations here at Futureheads, and plays a key role in planning and enabling our ambitious growth plans over the next two years.
She’s previously held leadership roles at Tobias & Tobias, M&C Saatchi and iCrossing, and brings in deep experience in a broad range of core disciplines: Business Strategy, Transformation and Commoditisation, People Management and Organisation, Creative Services, UX & CX Design, Marketing & Communications, HR, Finance, Operations, Product Strategy, Programme Management, Customer Services, Integrated Production, Systems and Processes, Talent Acquisition and Retention, Business Analysis & Continuous Improvement.
She also loves all things automotive and is an AFOL (if you know, you know…).
What’s the story of your career so far?
I’ve been working since I was 12. I had a 5.30am paper round and then became an Avon lady at 13. At 14, I started my first shop job (and I had three of them by the age of 15). I’ve never stopped since.
My career has been largely informed by happiness. If I’m not happy in what I’m doing, I’ll do something about it really quickly – I’ll either ask for, or enable, a change.
I love what I do. It has been diverse (and, at times, somewhat random) and immersive and has endlessly evolved. I am drawn to work with nice people who have exciting ideas – for services and/or products, so I have enjoyed a career residency in the digital industry for approaching two decades.
What advice would you give to yourself when you were just starting out?
As with life, know that with work there is a game being played, and you need to learn the rules before you can truly succeed. Find a mentor (or many of them) as early as you can – they will teach you the rules.
Work hard but stop worrying about the small stuff. Be kind to yourself.
It’s okay to admit that you don’t know something. Once. Be humble and curious.
What do you love most about what you do?
It used to be the autonomy, but now it’s about the sharing – I love having the opportunity to share my experience and be part of a team that is building a successful business.
I also occasionally share my opinion on who will win this year's F1 Championship and my stash of chocolate.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
Nothing is forever – recognise when it’s time to move forward (this can mean upwards, downwards, inwards, outwards or sideways). Keep walking…and learning…and laughing.
What do you think is going to be the biggest challenge in our industry over the next twelve months?
From a business point of view, it’ll likely, for many, be navigating the repercussions of Brexit. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool optimist and know that in every challenge lies risk and opportunity, so active management of both is key.