It’s fair to say that Heather Healy is something of an expert in juggling. No, not batons or balls, but substantially more important things like career building and child rearing! Now the Marketing Communications Director at Leeds agency Stickyeyes, here Heather shares her #wheredidyoustart story with us. Over to you, Heather!
I stumbled into digital after doing a degree in English Literature (and Drama, but I often omit that information on account of my ridiculous aspiration to become a serious actress!) at the University of Birmingham. Whilst there I dabbled in writing about gaming, with a blog for the university paper called GameGirl where I'd review the latest video games my housemates and I were enjoying. I graduated as so many of us do, without a clue as to what to do with my life but knowing I loved writing, wanted to be in Leeds and had an inkling that digital was where it was at - so many little digital agencies were popping up in Leeds at the time. I joined Stickyeyes as a content writer after I wrote a test piece on Brangelina. The idea that I'd be writing for a range of websites was exciting to me then - it satisfied my inner actress (!). I was one of three women in an office of 25 men. At the time, the industry was so male dominated but it's definitely levelling out now.
I was fiercely ambitious and wanted to get stuck in on every project I could. I spent my early years trying to soak up as much information as possible and taking on challenges I was under-qualified for - there's a lot to be said for confidence and tenacity in this industry! Over time, I built my reputation as a communications expert - showing brands how they could make the most of social and creating campaigns to get people talking. I did a lot of speaking gigs where I'd often be the only woman presenting all day. I remember once being told that 'women speakers don't get great approval with this crowd' - it fired me up to get the audience to laugh and learn.
there's a lot to be said for confidence and tenacity in this industry!
Now, I'm Marketing Communications Director at Stickyeyes. Stickyeyes is an international digital marketing agency with its main office in Leeds - we've recently become part of the IPG Media group. My role involves developing strategies to get people talking about our clients online and improving the experience that people have with our clients through great content. I'm a long-serving member of staff, but I went away to work for a full service agency before I boomeranged back! I've also had a baby and have just returned from maternity leave. The level of flexibility Stickyeyes has given me has been incredible so I feel lucky to be able to juggle a toddler and a fast-paced job. I'm also a bit of a home renovator so I squeeze that in somewhere too.
My advice to my younger self, or others in the same position? Don't worry so much about work. Digital can be a very busy world with unexpected challenges at 3am when someone calls out your brand on social media. This stuff is stressful, yes, but in the whole scheme of things it's all going to be ok. You do better work when you've had time for yourself.