In her second article for IBC365, Discovery lead transmission operator Kat Savage reveals what she has learnt so far as part of the Rise mentoring scheme, which aims to boost gender diversity in the broadcast technology sector.  

At the beginning of the Rise sessions in May, we started with an introduction to mentoring and were asked several questions to decide what we personally expected to gain from the scheme and what our career aspirations were.

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Kat Savage: Part of the Rise mentor scheme

I knew there were a couple of things to work on such as my confidence in speaking up in meetings along with meeting new people from different departments, albeit via Zoom!

I had just been given a promotion to work as a lead transmission operator and I wanted to use mentoring to help become a well-rounded individual for the role.

This meant focusing on my organisational skills and working hard to remain calm under pressure, because in my new role I was now responsible for people’s actions and would have to explain how issues were dealt with.

The ideal outcome for myself from Rise would be that I’d feel more comfortable and confident in my role and I would be looked up to by my colleagues. I will know that I’ve succeeded with my aims when I no longer feel I’m questioning myself.

I was partnered with my mentor Stephen Stewart, chief operating officer at access and localisation services company Take1, and we meet up (currently via Zoom) every two weeks to discuss anything and everything that I want to work on and how I can achieve these goals. We also met in person at a social event during July in London.

Rounding off the intro session we were left with these questions to think about and decide how they related to us individually:

  • What are your career aspirations?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What areas would you like to develop?
  • What are your main challenges at work?
  • How would you like mentoring to support you?

This gave me some food for thought as I entered the next six months of mentoring sessions.

Personal branding

Our first session was called Personal Branding and was hosted by the lovely Sallee Poinsette-Nash.

She guided us through what personal branding means for an individual and how we could make it work for us.

Making yourself into a personal brand allows you to think of the bigger picture and, that to succeed, it will take time. However, we were reminded that you control every aspect of your personal brand. You have to think about first impressions (they leave a lasting impression) and your story (trying to captivate your audience).

Next, you show your skills, services and expertise which allow you to transform and move forward. You then need to think about who your target audience is for you to be able to grow and expand. Another part to consider is collaborations with other departments or even other industries in case further down your career path you decide to make a change.

Finally, you need to test and measure to make sure everything you’ve put into place works for you and shows positive results. If it doesn’t, what can you change to produce the results you want?

I found this session very interesting, and it gave me lots to think about with regard to how I wanted to be seen within the industry and how I wanted to round my future. First impressions are important to me as I never want to give the wrong impression but instead be seen to be hard working and always willing to help anyone.

Be seen, be heard, connect

One of the important messages we were given was “be seen, be heard and connect”.

To do this you need to market yourself, build credibility and evoke feelings and emotions. We were advised to never sell out but to sell yourself with confidence.

The next session was led by Adam Tilbury-Eld guiding us through all things LinkedIn.

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LinkedIn: Can help to boost ‘brand awareness’

Throughout this session Adam guided us through the dos and don’ts of our LinkedIn profiles and what prospective employers might look at.

He gave us the tools to think about “Why me?” and how to optimise your profile. In turn, this would help us to build up our network and linked with our first session it would help us to build our brand.

Using the power of networking, it opens opportunities, gives you good credibility and allows for professional support which in turn makes you stand out.

We were told that the benefit of having a good LinkedIn profile includes:

  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Building stronger relationships
  • Establishing authority on industry topics
  • Showing you’re able to learn your industry path
  • Building a network
  • Creating more opportunities
  • Allowing you to meet people
  • Adding value, connecting the dots, and helping others

The concept of your LinkedIn profile is that it becomes a front window for your business or career, it allows you to network and showcase yourself.

He then talked us through what makes your profile stand out. It made me realise that although I’ve always had success from my LinkedIn account, adjusting mine slightly would allow more foot traffic across my profile.

My profile is updated regularly but now I see the need to add some other touches such as a banner and start using the featured section. Overall, it was another useful session leaving me with some tasks to be getting on with to improve my brand.

Having started my mentoring journey, I have been given several tools already to improve myself and stand out within my industry. I look forward to seeing what the next chapter of sessions provides me with and what more I can take away from it.

Kat Savage is lead transmission operator at Discovery