I didn't get where I am today... without being restless

Alison Couper, global communications senior director at Expedia and Hotels.com, believes a variety of roles builds experience.

After my degree I planned to follow my passion and travel, but networking at an IPR event resulted in a job offer prior to graduating. At Rentokil. On the outside not a glamorous entrée into PR, but it was a fabulous place to learn and I left with several air miles under my belt and deep global communications experience. 

If I could PR rats and waste disposal then surely travel and technology would be OK? My next job was at a luxury hotel and fast ferry company, and doing what you genuinely enjoy means you have much more chance of succeeding.

Each new role has been part of a journey and has grown from the previous one, which taught me early on to seek out opportunities constantly and to adopt a restless approach. Never become complacent with either your output or your current role.

Take risks and search for ways to achieve greater results from everything you interact with. Learn the business and its levers, analyse issues from every angle – elicit different viewpoints, not just a communications perspective. Seek formal and informal mentors and work out what motivates people. If you run agencies then treat them truly as extensions of your team; if you can’t, then question why not.

The online business and social media world that we all now inhabit is continually being made up. The rate of change is rapid so make sure you are in a good place to exploit it. Above all else, be passionate about what you do and enjoy the journey.

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