Laura Salesa, selected to feature for “Celebrating Creative Women’ campaign
I was recently interviewed as part of the campaign ‘Celebrating Creative Women’ by recruitment agency Purple Consultancy. Answering questions on career progression and challenges I was happy to take part on this initiative focused on the opportunities and dynamics of working as a creative. Below it is the transcript of the interview, which you can also view here.
I always wake up with the feeling that the day is not going to have enough hours for me. I was freelancing full-time until very recently, which gave me a great balance between client projects and more personal work [Laura regularly exhibits her digital artworks across London venues and she is currently writing the sequel to her debut novel New Era]. Now I need to juggle my permanent role with my personal work and my family life. I start the day by getting ready and then getting my daughter ready for nursery. If I have the luxury to arrive work before my start time at 9am, I have a relaxing breakfast at a coffee shop nearby, where I browse through news, LinkedIn posts and Tweets or make a post on my magazinewww.thecreativepost.org.You need to be consistent and persistent and never underestimate your talent or your capacity. It all starts from within.
At the office I am a Senior Designer within the Creative Strategy Studio. We work on a variety of projects, both print and digital, for a great mix of clients within Consumer, Technology, Healthcare and Public Affair industries. I always aim to provide a high end piece of work that is also effective and can be done within the quick turnaround times that are usually needed for Social campaigns or presentations to potential clients. After work I usually rush to pick up my daughter and head home, make dinner, put her to bed and then have some quality time with my husband. A couple of evenings I get the luxury to go to the gym while my husband takes over with my daughter. I don’t work Fridays (at the office) so that’s the day I use to develop my personal projects, do some training courses and re-organise my home inside out!
What career path lead to your current role?
A very diverse one! But mostly what lead me to where I am today was determination and self knowledge. I started my career as a press journalist. I’ve loved writing since a very early age. There is also a very strong artistic gene in my family, so at first I found it difficult to find a role that would make use of both of my skills so I either worked as Graphic Designer or as a press Journalist for the first 3 years after University. When I moved to London I decided that getting a job as Graphic Designer would be easier, so I looked for perm roles as Designer while writing columns for publications or my own magazine during my free time. When I decided to move from my 6 year Graphic designer role in Finance, I found it hard to get a chance to be interviewed for perm jobs outside that industry, I was suddenly considered “specialised in Finance” just because of this last job. So my only way to prove wrong was to Freelance and create a new and fresh portfolio of varied projects for different industries. After freelancing for 6 months at FleishmanHillard they offered me a permanent role.
What has been the biggest challenge in your career?
I think I have answered that in my previous question. Moving away from Finance into more exciting industries without compromising my level of experience was a big challenge. I left a very secure job to set up my own limited company, hoping that I could win the trust of both clients and recruitment agencies and it worked.
What is your favourite thing about our role?
The work is very varied and we are constantly motivated into trying new things. Most of our clients use Social Media very actively and not working on Social Media Design previously (at a professional level) has given me a great inside knowledge on how to engage and create successful social media campaigns. Also working with a team that is fun, friendly and have the same interests and passions as me is very important.
What advice would you give someone who wanted to launch their own creative initiative?
I started my own online magazine www.thecreativepost.org in 2010 in a time where blogging was quiet a new thing. The best way to understand a new technology advancement is testing it for yourself and that’s what I did. I have always enjoyed networking in various forms: either at events, by letter (in the old days), through social platforms or by writing editorials and articles where readers can provide feedback. If you have that need to communicate and share your thoughts and your work, then that passion will drive you onwards and upwards! You need to be consistent and persistent and never underestimate your talent or your capacity. It all starts from within.