Laura Donovan Hall

What I wish I’d known…

Any good girl gang is based on a solid foundation of sisterhood, support and sass, and you only have to go to the women’s toilets on a night out to know that us girls are THE best at doling out life advice – but what about the world of work? Here, Laura, one of our Future Boss Club Board Members, dishes out some of the things she wishes she’d known when she was starting out in her career…

  1. There are NO stupid questions – It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in the office 2 weeks, or 2 years – every day you will learn something new so don’t be afraid to ask loads of questions. And more often than not, that colleague you were scared to ask will need your help sometime too. So, there’s no point wasting time sitting wondering how the photocopier works when you could be spending that time working on your next exciting project!
  2. No-one else knows exactly what they’re doing either… –  It can be so easy to think that everyone else has their life completely together, while you’re trying to juggle a successful career, social life, self-care and a million other things. Social media doesn’t always help either, with everyone out there living their best life every. single. day. But you soon realise that everyone is in exactly the same boat and winging it just like you. So, give yourself a break and straighten that crown, Queen (And remember that social media is only one, carefully curated, side of anyone’s story)
  3. Fake it ‘til you make it – Everyone gets nervous before a big presentation or important meeting, but sometimes those nerves can get the better of you and steal your sparkle. The best tip I ever got is fake it ‘til you make it! It takes some practice, but try to channel your inner Beyoncé and act confident, even if you don’t always feel it. No one will know you were worried about it and before you know it, the confidence you were faking will come naturally.
  4. Be a magpie, not a parrot – Surrounding yourself with people who inspire and motivate you is really important, but make sure you don’t lose your own style by trying to mimic the people you look up to. Copying someone else completely means that the world doesn’t get to see how fab you really are either. Instead, taking bits and pieces of inspiration from lots of different places, and blending these with your own personality is a great way to find your own boss style.
  5. Proceed until apprehended – So often, we waste time asking (and waiting!) for other people’s approval at work when we know full well that our idea is the perfect solution to an office dilemma, or that putting that meeting in the diary will help to get a project off the ground. My mantra (which I learnt from the fabulous Harriet Minter and her amazing TEDx Talk right here in Liverpool! *) is ‘Proceed until apprehended’. Often, people will stall on giving you an answer when you ask whether you should send that email or book in that meeting, but people will soon tell you if you do something wrong. So be brave, and go for it – you got this girl!

So, there you go, no one told me any of this when I started my career – but I found out the hard way so you don’t have to. You’re welcome, bosses.

Laura Donovan-Hall – Future Boss Club Board Member ?


*You can watch Harriet’s full TEDx Liverpool talk here:

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