Last week marked the one month “Edelversary” for Edelman Chicago’s Associate Enrichment Program, and what a month it has been. Within this program, eight recent college graduates are granted the rare opportunity to rotate through Edelman’s various practices over the course of 18 months as “enrichment assistant account executives” (eAAE).
As participants, we were lucky enough to start our rotations in Digital, where we have been honing our “insights and instincts” before we move on to Edelman’s media services, Health, Consumer and Corporate teams. In addition to expanding our knowledge of analytics, strategy and creative thought, colleagues are eager to feed us advice on how to be successful at Edelman.
Here, we’ve compiled five of our favorite tips and “tricks of the trade” as provided by the seasoned minds of our colleagues:
1. Your career at Edelman isn’t a ladder, it’s a jungle gym.
We’ve been told that if you want to try something new, try it. As eAAEs, it’s our job to try as many things and learn as much as possible. But that isn’t limited to our position. This idea resonates at all levels, as shown by the wide variety of practices in which Edelman employees have worked. We’ve been advised to take risks and try things we could fail at. Because even in failure, there’s learning. Progress isn’t linear, and there’s a freedom in knowing our careers have no bounds
2. There’s no such thing as a dumb question. Seriously.
At the start of any new position, asking for help can seem intimidating. Luckily, that hasn’t been the case at Edelman Digital. Not only have our colleagues been incredibly approachable, but they’ve advised us to always ask questions and utilize our resources. With nearly 600 talented individuals working within Edelman’s Chicago office, there’s an expert on everything. Even if it’s just providing a fresh perspective, colleagues are always willing to offer their time and expertise – so don’t be afraid to ask for it!
3. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
Edelman’s independence affords us and our colleagues the increasingly rare opportunity to be entrepreneurial and wildly creative. We’ve been advised to take advantage of this opportunity by working outside of our comfort zone and taking intelligent risks. Yet we’ve also learned that great, creative ideas are only great if they’re backed by research. Ultimately, always strive to push the envelope – even if you’re uncomfortable doing it at first.
4. Work hard, play hard.
Ah, yes, the age-old adage. During our first month, we’ve learned that Edelman employees are intense workers, constantly looking onward and upward. But we’ve been constantly reminded (and with good reason), “don’t lose focus on what’s going on now, in the world outside.” Hone your creative skills, take in the local culture and experience global culture. Never stop learning, and make time to do what you love. The inspiration we find outside the office walls inspires us within them.
5. Break rules, change the world.
The media industry is changing rapidly, and we must have the flexibility to change with it. We’ve been advised to be fast and agile in story creation, ready to “show and tell” 24/7. We’ve been told to “be brave, be of counsel and be confident” in client relations. But with regard to embodying Edelman’s core values, we’ve been told not to change a thing. Edelman’s entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to quality, integrity, respect and citizenship is unwavering, and it’s our responsibility to constantly uphold these values as we push the boundaries and push forward in careers at Edelman.
What’s the greatest career advice you’ve received that has helped you excel at what you do? Share it with someone! You don’t need to be the “new kid” to learn something new.
This post was compiled by Megan Zagger and Elizabeth Koss.