Meghan: Articulate Your Goals and Go Above and Beyond
My first real job out of college was as a Media Sales Assistant at Glamour–I absolutely loved it. I assisted three sales reps and knew early on from observing them in their roles that I wanted to go into sales, particularly at a brand like Glamour that I was passionate about. I expressed this to my bosses at the time who were very supportive of that goal, but advised I needed to earn my stripes and put in at least a year as an assistant, and then they would help me take the next step into sales. They also warned though, that sales positions at Condé Nast were few and far between, and that I would likely need to go to an agency first to work on “the other side of things” before making the jump into ad sales, which was traditionally held for more tenured employees. Although my chances of going straight from sales assistant to sales rep seemed slim (that’s what everyone in the industry told me at least), I was determined to prove to both my managers and the rest of the leadership team at Glamour that I was capable of making the jump without working at an agency in between. To do this, I knew I needed to work overtime. During the day, I tended to my more admin-level tasks and general R&R, but after hours I would research my bosses’ account lists–I’d send them competitive analysis’, pitch ideas, and more. I proved to them that I knew more about their clients’ business than anyone, and so I started going on sales calls with them because they saw me as an asset.
A year into the job, I revisited the conversation of being promoted to a sales rep. While there weren’t any positions open at Glamour, one of my bosses knew of an open role as an Account Executive at Architectural Digest (my favorite publication in the world) which would be an internal promotion under the Condé Nast umbrella. I ended up getting promoted to Account Executive at AD, thanks to the support of my bosses and referral of the Glamour publisher at the time, and of course serious preparation that went into the interview process! Ultimately, in expressing my goals early on combined with going above and beyond to prove myself, I was able to plant seeds for what I wanted and then bring those goals to fruition. My biggest recommendation to be vocal about your goals early on–then, you must put in the work to achieve them. Beyond that, attitude is everything. I always say, if you’re easy to work with, then you’re more than halfway there–when you’re easy to work with, people WANT to promote you and are willing to fight for you.