Section 6: Where do i want to go?
My end career goal is to work as an account/design manager; consulting and managing brands and their strategies. Due to my personality, I can become bored easily and thrive in pressured situations. As an account manager, it allows me to work across multiple projects with a range of people whilst having opportunities for networking. Another career goal is to work at a well-established, fun brand who have multiple relationships and projects (such as Nike, Apple, Beats by Dre). Although knowledge of the digital world is essential, I aim to work within a company who deals with non-digital spaces and experiences. I am passionate about understanding a space and recognising the potential to maximise the use.
Marc Soloman, a brand strategist for successful agency Bulletproof, highlights how people don’t “set out to be a brand strategist – it seems to be something people fall into, which is a real shame. But it’s changing” (Dawood, 2019). He identifies the role as “creative thinking with logic” and to hire for a strategist role he would look for “someone who is articulate, super curious, slightly obsessive with detail and interested in loads of things. I’d also be looking for someone capable of forming an opinion and moving that on quickly. The ability to talk competently and present confidently, regardless of the seniority level in the room, is also important. You need to be able to stand on your own two feet and convince people that your opinion is the right one”.
Teamwork is essential within most areas of employment. However, particularly with my career aspirations, it is important to understand my role. Dr Meredith Belbin (1969) believes a successful team includes these nine roles (see fig 14). After researching at University, then developing a business game, Belbin was invited to use the game to study team behaviour. A successful team arguably does not need nine people with individual roles, but the nine roles need to be covered. Therefore, one person can adapt multiple roles.
I believe I identify the most with Resource Investigator, Coordinator, Implementer and Shaper. Whilst I related to the Monitor Evaluator contributions, I felt that the weakness of ‘lacks drive and ability to inspire’ was not true. However, I can also be overly critical. In correlation to this, the strengths within Belbin’s roles relate to the ‘Maker’ and ‘Connector’. I scored the same for organiser too (see fig 15). The roles all play to my strength and highlight areas to work on.
Emotional Intelligence is being self-aware of your emotional state; being able to understand and manage emotions in a positive way. Channelling emotions into effective communication, productivity, empathy and overcoming challenging situations (Segal, J., et al, 2020).
Figure 16 shows the intrapersonal and interpersonal relation with emotional self-awareness and how it translates into social context. Understanding emotional self-awareness can have a positive influence on team members performance. Druskat, V. et al (2013) study shows high emotional intelligence predicted team effectiveness. Whilst it “attracted considerable attention in relation to performance gains”, the studies benefits highlighted this as a manager focus point. As an aspiring Design Manager, it is important to have high emotional intelligence which can reflect onto my team’s performance, teaching them self-awareness promoting effective teamwork and communication. The Johari Window is known as a premise of self-awareness, recognising and understanding one’s traits and behaviours. The Johari Window raises the question of “how can we increase or become better aquatinted with our own level of emotional self-awareness?” (Druskat, V., et al, 2013).
A managerial role is not just people management, but also project management, especially within an account management role at a creative agency. The role entails people management, project management and client communication. Manser, M (2016) summarises project management into 5 themes:
Context: Who, what, why and how?
Schedule: Timescale, when and deadlines.
Strategy: Needs, approaches and delivery.
Resources: Benefits vs costs, location, stakeholders, team, budget, time and delivery.
Limitations: Challenges and what not to do.
The project manager needs to remain disciplined and grounded, keeping consideration of the client, customer and end users wants and needs. A project manager will have areas of judgement, qualities and planning aspects (Newton, 2005):
University includes many group and client projects to help prepare for the world of work. This allows learning on efficient teamwork and adaptability skills to challenges and situations. I was recently part of a group brief working with AECOM, whilst managing two modules and working part time, this was a huge learning experience for me. My tutor feedback that I showcased my managerial and leadership skills, it was “clear I had brought my BA Design Management skills to the project”.
I asked for feedback of on my skills as a manager and team player (see fig 18) from people I had previously worked with at university and my current workplace.
An area of focus for me is leadership and controlling, I recognise that I can dominate therefore controlling this would provide better teamwork. Recognising when I may be dominating and offer opportunities for others to feedback.