On Thursday night I attended the Stylist Event, Three Steps to Feeling Fulfilled at Work. Hosted at the Ham Yard Hotel, the setting was always going to be exquisite. Greeted on arrival with champagne and delicately designed soft drinks, followed swiftly by canapés, the £15 entry fee quickly felt like a bargain!
There were three speakers, in different rooms, and the attendees were divided into three groups to rotate between the speakers. You would think then that the talks might become repetitive or tiring for the speakers, but the collective power of women in the room was clearly energising as the sessions might even have improved over the course of the night!
First up was Sarah Wright, Head of Acquisitions at Sky, who shared her experiences with negotiation, but started from a different perspective – she gave her tips on how to even begin a negotiation from the right place. So start with having the right brand for yourself – make sure you are putting across the right message, that people get the best first impression within 5 seconds of meeting you. Then make sure you use the people and networks around you – be they role models, mentors, colleagues, or even other counterparts in the industry. Go out, meet them, and work together. She spoke of how when you create that network of peers, that you can all rise together – this clearly aligns very well with the ethos of this website!
Next up was Freddie Harrera, the fashion blogger and stylist, who was 100% uniquely fabulous – her inimitable style, and infectious enthusiasm was capped off beautifully by her Parisienne accent! She spoke of starting out life wanting to be a “superbanker”, taking life and her career very seriously indeed! She told us how lucky we are to live in London where people can change jobs irrespective of their qualifications, compared to a more conservative Paris where the career paths are more direct. She made some very valid observations about work, which makes perfect sense when you hear it, but surprisingly people don’t act on this more often- such as the fact that we spend the majority of our lives with the people we work with, so why not make an active effort to seek out the people we can make a connection with? Or the fact that we spend so much of our life devoted to a job, so why not try to find one that we enjoy as much as possible? Why does work have to be a penance? And if we want to change jobs/industries, why do we convince ourselves we are destined to lose money as a result? She quite rightly pointed out that the last question is simply an excuse so that we don’t have to face that fear and make that change! There are plenty of ways and means of changing jobs without a reduction in salary .
Last but by no means least, the softly spoken Shavata Singh, the eyebrow guru, beautifully and eloquently shared the highs (and lows) of her 25 year career in the beauty industry. Her experience of building up an business and the major setback she experienced along the way only fueling the fire more to inspire her to achieve greater things! She took opportunities whenever they arose, listened to her gut instinct, and never let anyone tell her what she cannot do!
The entire evening was inspiring, but a personal highlight for me was standing up during the Q&A session to talk to Freddie Harrel about this very blog! Speaking in front of a crowd can be daunting for most people – I’ve found it even more so when it comes to something I care about as much as this site, but with every time I’ve made myself do it, I’ve found it to be ever so slightly easier.
Oh, and the night was capped off by being presented with this beautiful goody bag at the exit! Well played Stylist, well played. 🙂