Great to catch up with Elisha Temminck, who is a Research Manager at ITV. Having delved both into agency and client side roles across the 7+ years of her career so far, and also having worked in both the UK and US, Elisha’s a massive advocate in inspiring younger researchers to take the reigns and take charge of their career in the industry.
Hi Elisha, so great to be able to catch up and hear your story, lets crack on shall we! So, how did you get into the industry, and take us through how you got to this point?
So, whilst I did go down the typical University route, I didn’t actually fall into the industry like many! One thing that sparked my drive into the industry was working in the research department at University over Summer. From here, I just got that ‘gut instinct’ that research was the path I wanted to follow, but with a commercial spin! From here, my first steps into the world of research followed, securing roles at research agencies working in both the UK and US, before getting tempted by the ‘other-side’, landing a golden client-side role at ITV. Seven years down the line and I’ve never looked back. I’m still hopping out of bed each working day with a spring in my step!
And if you had to distil everything you’ve achieved right down, what would you say are three secrets to your success so far?
1. Take risks. Don’t let what ‘might’ go wrong defeat you.
2. Have ‘fire in your belly’. Be energetic.
3. Develop a USP and have the evidence to back it up.
I’m pasting all that on LinkedIn ASAP! And so not being in the office and around colleagues, it is incredibly challenging, for younger researchers to stand out. What two bits of advice do you have for a junior researcher, working from home in lockdown, on how they can best stand out and impress their teams?
I have to say, I really feel for junior researchers at the moment. I absolutely thrived on being in an office when I first entered the industry and learnt so, so much from bouncing ideas off others!
But now more than ever, be proactive.
If you spot opportunities that will help your development, let your voice be heard. In the current environment, I think it’s so easy to glide along and put your development on a back step until all of this blows over. I actually think this ‘new’ world has opened up opportunities that junior researchers should snap up. For example, presenting at conferences is nerve wracking for many, especially in person on a rather daunting large stage! But why not get your foot ahead of the game and give it a shot in lockdown behind that extra security blanket of being in your own home behind the safety of your laptop? Confidence comes with experience after all and if a conference feels too big of a step, so many agencies are doing webinars these days. Put your hand up and get involved.
Secondly, have a voice.
I feel like the best work in the industry comes from collaboration so don’t let this new way of working hinder that. Don’t let these extra virtual barriers, stop you from seeking help or advice on anything work related. Even if it involves just having a quick call with a colleague getting that extra perspective on a project you’ve been working on.
And thinking more long term now, what two things should junior researchers focus on as they progress in their careers?
Always challenge yourself. I can think of so many examples throughout my career that have played on that well known ‘fight or flight’ response. I could have easily just sat back and played it safe out of fear of the unknown and what ‘might’ go wrong, but just jump right in! See an opportunity to present to a client for the very first time in your career, take it! See a new job and think, I don’t tick all the boxes, give it a shot!
Then it’s all about passion and energy –Something which naturally will get you noticed. At the end of the day, the industry is people-facing and if you can’t get excited about your work, how do you expect clients and your peers to? After all what’s more exciting than diving on what makes humans ‘tick’. Let the passion shine through.
Having been both agency and client side of the industry, what advice would you give to a new entrant into our industry who was deciding which path to take?
Honestly, I think it’s so difficult to realise exactly what path you want to take unless you experience it hands on. Go with what feels right at the time and if you want to change later down the line, what’s to stop you!? I genuinely can’t imagine being the researcher I am today without having experienced both sides of the coin. Being an agency-side researcher massively honed those ‘harder’ research skills. Whilst being client side has developed me in a totally different way, from providing me with ‘bucket loads’ of confidence through to really pushing myself in delivering research that gets our non-savvy research stakeholders excited. Also, as a sneak peak, after jumping into the world of client-side research, I’m actually making the move back to agency side very soon…evidence that you don’t have to feel the pressure to take one path and stick to it.
And do you have anyone who has helped your career so far that you’d like to acknowledge and say thanks or give a shout out to?
Wow, okay, where do I start! I’d have to say first and foremost, Tom Gould (Impact), who gave me my first opportunity into the industry as a Graduate and really gave me the backbone to a lot of my research skills today. From there, Verve were absolutely amazing in contributing to my personal development, giving me a chance to go and work in Chicago; An experience which to this day has shaped me in a way I could have never imagined. And finally, a massive shout out to Glenn Gowen (ITV). Despite having zero media knowledge at the time, thank you for seeing through that ‘tick box’ in the job description and allowing me to thrive at ITV and supporting me along the way!