5 lessons from the first 100 days at Iris

5 lessons from the first 100 days at Iris

14 July 2023

Stepping into this new challenge at Iris came with a mix of excitement and a great level of responsibility, as expected. Transitioning from a career in media production and from a whole other country, I was keen to learn as much as possible and deliver.

I remember the first day I came into the office, and I was expecting to feel nervous, but I wasn’t. There was something about this environment that felt freeing. Everyone seemed approachable, with lots of smiles and productive work going on simultaneously. It felt like a dream, and it still does today. There is such a thing as work and happiness, and a culture of progress.

If there is one thing over the first hundred days that anyone knows me for, it is probably asking questions. And yes, I don’t miss an opportunity to ask a question because it is the quickest way to learn from people.

To sum up my first hundred days, I will share five lessons I have gleaned from people around the agency.

Take note

Starting out anywhere can be daunting, but it’s important to take a moment to critically observe, listen, and participate. Building consistency around these three skills is essential to excelling. "A drip fills a bucket over time, bit by bit", in the wise words of Louis Balogun.

Take a break

One of the first conversations I had was with Ben Essen, and I remember asking a question regarding how he got to where he is career-wise. The conversation spiralled in many directions, but one of my key takeaways was about prioritising mental health and how taking a break is so important. Take breaks, switch off when you can, and do something you love or that relaxes you over that break. Your mental health will thank you for it.

Take advantage

Be bold, raise your hand for opportunities, and in the worst-case scenario, you will learn lessons. "You never know until you try" are the famous words from my manager, Katharine, as she encourages me to come out of my comfort zone and try new things around the business. A fish in a bowl thinks it knows it all, for it has never seen the ocean.

Take the extra 5 minutes

We rush to get things done, we rush to speak our mind, and we rush to send that email. Take the extra 5 minutes to look at whatever it is you are about to send, say, or present and look at it from every single person’s point of view. Check your words, check your tone, and most importantly, check your typos.

Take direction 

At Iris, we have frequent training sessions aimed at helping us develop as an agency and excite progress in whatever we do. One of those sessions we all take part in, and practise is that of radical candour. This session was an eye-opener and increased my awareness of how I think, how I communicate with people, and how they communicate with me. Radical candour is about being able to challenge someone while also demonstrating that you care about them personally. It takes courage to give criticism, and it takes courage to ask for criticism to improve, but without either, we just maintain the status quo.

These five lessons have shaped my thinking and approach over the first hundred days and beyond, and these are lessons I strive to achieve daily.

There is this interesting quote I’ll leave with from Indira Gandhi, the former prime minister of India, which says "The power to question is the basis of all human progress".

Therefore, to anyone reading this, question things, be courageous, and always be a student of life.





We use cookies to make this website work better for you and to track site visits anonymously. You can opt out if you like.Tell me more