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March, 2024

My Brilliant Career: How I went FORWARD in my Marketing Career

I absolutely loved my job.

From an early and promising media career, I had moved to Australia’s leading entertainment, leisure and hospitality company to do what I thought (and a lot of others figured also) was the best job in the world. It was exciting, challenging, every day was different, I was working on brands that everyone loved and I was consistently learning and enjoying new opportunities, surrounded by industry gurus and true visionaries.

I think I was good at it. I think some others did too.

One day, over 12 years later, I got out of bed and asked myself was this the same thing I was going to do for the rest of my career. Can you have a great job you love, with amazing colleagues that literally feel like your family, lots of perks and responsibility levels growing almost daily but happily never really reach the point where you think you could go? Or more so, was I ready to do the same thing for the rest of my working life?

The answer for me was no. So that day was one the bravest I have ever had to be, looking at myself in the mirror and saying those famous reality TV style words “It’s time to go Kristie”.

After seeking advice from some trusted industry colleagues and a mentor or two, I was lucky to quickly secure a new role. A few people were surprised I would ever even consider moving on from what they coined (and felt like at the time), the world’s best job.

Transitioning to a new, C-suite role in a totally different style of environment and a distinctly different industry was tough. It was made even tougher by the fact the organisation was going through a staggering amount of change and that new arrivals into the space, like me, were a very rare commodity. I felt like an outsider having to work harder than anyone else to not just demonstrate my worth, but to prove to myself I could do what I do in an entirely different environment.

While the two and half years was amongst the hardest of my career, ultimately it toughened me up, gave me absolute confidence I could deal with difficult circumstances, complex stakeholder environments and a staff base of widely different levels of age, skills and experience. It also taught me a whole lot of things not to do.

Developing that level of understanding and confidence, being able to communicate your strengths and supplement your weaknesses with the support of the right people around you, growing and engaging with your network and ensuring you are in a continuous cycle of learning and being open to new ideas, are hugely important factors. We can’t all be experts at everything and we don’t all know everyone.

Additionally, I have learned the huge value of the core foundational skills you develop through your early studies and work experiences. They are a key to so much more. Beginning as a radio journalist and announcer, I had to rapidly understand deadlines and time management, the importance of timely, succinct communication, how to cast the net to get information and quickly build rapport and relationships.

Regardless of seniority or experience, these skills are still mission critical for me and I deploy them every day. We all have superpowers and I like to think mine is “making **** happen”. In my business and in my developing board career, a lot of my time is spent helping chart a course forward and removing roadblocks to growth. It’s what I did for myself the day I looked in that mirror and what I also now consistently aim to do for others.


About Kristie Atkins:

A multi-award winning, commercial growth leader, Kristie is on the board of Australian Marketing Institute (AMI), is a Life Member, Fellow and former Certified Practising Marketer of the Year. She is a head judge of the Awards for Marketing Excellence and a mentor in AMI’s Emerging Marketers program. She is a fellow of Chartered Institute of Marketing, has been named Entrepreneur of the Year by B&T Women in Media and is a member of AICD. Kristie is Managing Partner of APAC Loyalty & Engagement Agency Team of the Year, Wink. She previously served as divisional Managing Director for Village Roadshow, Chief Operating Officer of Waivpay, Chief Commercial Officer for former marketing services giant Ovato and Director of Sales for Event Hospitality & Entertainment. Kristie is also on the board of leading medical research institute HMRI (and Chairs HMRI Foundation) and Restaurant & Catering Industry Association Australia. She is on the advisory board of international fashion company Azura Runway and digital marketplace for unique and unused spaces, Vennu.