Close
 

Editor's view: There is a crack in everything

  • Opinion
  • November 18, 2016
  • Sarah Dunn
Editor's view: There is a crack in everything

Ambition is not an uncommon topic in business media, but nobody seems to tell young people about the anxiety that lives alongside it. Earning career advancement isn’t just hard work – it’s existentially terrifying.

Growth and development have been on my mind lately. Both my sales manager and myself were finalists in the 2016 Magazine Media Awards recently – we didn’t win, but I was thrilled to receive a ‘Highly commended’ for the Best Editor Trade & Industry category. I’ve also joined the latest round of the Cultivate Mentoring Lab, which has seen me matched up with a wonderful mentor from the marketing industry.

These things aren’t particularly scary in themselves, but of course, every opportunity for growth or success comes with an equal and opposite window for failure. By putting myself in a position to receive feedback, I’ve had to consider the possibility that I won’t like what I hear.

Conquering the fear of failure has been one of the biggest lessons of my early career. I’ve learned that it’s possible to coast through life on talent for a certain amount of time, but most of us will eventually have to make peace with the likelihood that one day, we may let ourselves down.

NZ Retail’s ‘Great mistakes I’ve made’ column is intended to deliver this understanding to readers using real-world examples. Paper Plus’ Sam Shosanya expressed it perfectly after describing a significant FMCG failure:

“No-one ended up dead. As long as you learn from it, and you’re not in the business of repeating those errors, it ends up okay in the end.”

The topic of fear in the context of development and careers came up again early in September when I met with Kim Goodhart of Real TV. She and business partner Reuben Pillsbury make videos which help improve staff engagement at companies like Mitre 10 and Noel Leeming, resulting in a better customer experience and increased sales.

Among the changes Real TV works on is encouraging staff to develop more empathy for the customer; communicate effectively with challenging people; and share ideas openly with the team. The thing is, Goodhart says, this kind of customer services conversion requires a massive behavioural shift – customers  will see through mere cosmetic changes. In this context, career growth means changing the way you move through the world. That’s scary stuff.

No matter what your role or industry, growing your capabilities is about deliberately altering yourself, and personal change doesn’t come naturally to anyone. Redefining the way you think about yourself is a disorienting process, and even when your new behaviours and identifying traits are objectively better, there can be a significant time lag before they really feel like they belong to you.

So, that leaves those seeking career advancement with two very scary responsibilities: attempting difficult feats in the external world, knowing that you might fail; and attempting the personal change that will make these feats possible, knowing that it will be deeply uncomfortable.

I’d like to tell other young professionals that working hard is only part of the career advancement picture - keeping that personal change rolling and coping with the anxiety it causes is also key. The conversations I’ve been having lately with senior industry figures have really highlighted that it’s okay to feel however you feel, as long as you look after yourself and keep pushing onwards. Is growth scary? Yes. Is it worth it? Of course it is.

And as for those awards, next year will be our year.

This story originally appeared in NZ Retail magazine issue 746 October / November 2016

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

 

Gem Retail Hotlist: Benjamin Black and regional retail

  • News
  • December 12, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Gem Retail Hotlist: Benjamin Black and regional retail

Our 'Best provincial retailer: South Island' award was hotly contested in the Gem Retail Hotlist, but in the end, it was Nelson jeweller Benjamin Black that won. Find out more about this boutique craft jeweller.

Read more
 
 

The retail diary: December / January

  • News
  • December 11, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
The retail diary: December / January

The Register and NZ Retail team has rounded up retail-relevant events and important dates for December and January.

Read more
 
 

Kiwis predicted to spend more on Christmas than Australians

  • News
  • December 11, 2019
  • Makayla Wallace-Tidd
Kiwis predicted to spend more on Christmas than Australians

New research has found that Kiwis will be spending up large on Christmas in 2019 while Australians will be taking a more conservative approach to the Christmas budget. However, Kiwis are still focused on trying to lower their Christmas spending, and retailers have been warned to keep pricing strategies transparent.

Read more
 

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
topics
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Sisterhood
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...
 
Sponsored content

Christmas music: to carol or not to carol

It’s that time of year again when retailers across the country ask themselves whether they should start playing Christmas music.

 
 

Gem Retail Hotlist: Allbirds' Tim Brown is our Retail Visionary

  • News
  • December 11, 2019
  • Catherine Murray
Gem Retail Hotlist: Allbirds' Tim Brown is our Retail Visionary

In the Gem Retail Hotlist, 'Retail Visionary' is one of our most special awards. This year we awarded it to Tim Brown of Allbirds. Here's the scoop on this innovative sneaker brand.

Read more
 
News

From concept to closet: New Zealand’s apparel industry in 2019

Held at the end of August, New Zealand Fashion Week is an annual focal point for local designers and those interested in their products. But ...

 
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise
The Register

editor@theregister.co.nz

Content marketing/advertising? Email anita.hayhoe@icg.co.nz or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit

}