Millennials are the first generation that needs to maintain a dual social life. Although the amalgamation of the real and virtual world has caused the Generation Y to be an informed, connected and productive generation, it has also birthed a lifestyle made of competitive cramped corporates and fast-paced hustle with little or no time to the sphere for rejuvenation. While technological advancements are to blame for the stressful modern lifestyle, one has to admit that the wonders of technology outweigh its drawback. One of its gifts is podcasts. While conventional forms of entertainment seem to be detrimental to our lifestyle, Podcasts fit perfectly into one’s routine. They provide us with a source of rejuvenation and a bit of personal touch: the two attributes that this generation is majorly devoid of. While surfing through my podcast playlist, I stumbled upon this podcast called “In Conversation with Avery Akkineni ‘’, an installment of a series of podcasts organized by Mitti Ke Rang and hosted by Mishika Sharma. Avery is an Ex-Google employee with a passion for digital marketing currently leading VaynerMedia’s expansion into APAC via Singapore. Her credentials were enough to raise my curiosity. Mentioned below are a few takeaways from the podcast. I highly recommend listening to the podcast before going through the text for an immersive experience.
1) Grabbing every opportunity one can
The most prominent takeaway from the podcast (for me at least) was the part about grabbing opportunities. By worrying too much and underestimating ourselves, we let the self-doubt creep in and we fail to fulfill our potential. Every event in our life (even the ordeals) is a learning experience. Avery is a prime example of an opportunist, she looks at every opportunity and tries to make the most of it. While interning for Morgan Stanley, Avery realized that she doesn’t like her work environment to be too formal. She learned that she loves the fast pace hustle similar to the one she experienced in a live nation. Even when offered the opportunity at Google Avery was not at all hesitant and that definitely played a pivotal role in her hiring process. In Avery’s words, “Be a sponge, absorb opportunities.”
2) It is about the journey and not the destination
Life is a topsy turvy journey. It is a combination of moments of eccentric euphoria and moments of despair, but we got to stay grounded and stick it out. No one knows where he/she is going to land up, so stay in the present and try to the best with the resources that one has. In her childhood, Avery aspired to be a lawyer. Then she moved on to major in Literature in college and she finally ended up working in a completely different sector where she is quite successful and doing well for herself. Even while working for Google, she worked with different teams ranging from the adverts team in 2012 to the team handling the Double Click channel ecosystem. Career paths are always non-linear so don’t worry about the road ahead and don’t be too rigid, move one step at a time.
3) Desire to be better than yesterday
Humans are identified by an unalienable desire for perfection. After acquiring her then dream job of working in the management role in Target Corporate, Avery was immersed in joy, but she still strived to improve and it was her desire to dream big that led her to Google, San Francisco. She worked six years at Google headquarters, which is a dream job for anyone in this entire world and yet she made an unconventional move to VaynerMedia.
4) Breaking the conventional Mindset
It isn’t to say that conventional methods are substandard, but to stand out from the crowd one needs to get out of the comfort zone, and break the conventional mindset much as Avery did. Even VaynerMedia, with its approach to curate different products for different market segments (instead of going for a hero idea), is trying to do something different and are gaining a lot of traction.
5) Looking out for the Community
Although it is essential to make profits to keep one’s business from going under, it should never be at the cost of the community. At the end of the day, keeping our consumers happy keeps them from straying away. The healthy workplace environment and the people's first approach of VaynerMedia areB what is helping them grow rapidly. Avery mentioned that VaynerMedia is a honey empire that is 51% Honey and 49% Empire. Being an empathetic empire is what helps build a brand.
6) Building up your personal brand
Coming back to the dual life that we need to live in order to survive in the competitive market, building a personal brand is indispensable. The Internet is an inexhaustible source of information; the communicative abundance has diminished the attention span of the general audience. Paradoxically, the solution to this problem is the internet itself. As Avery mentioned, listen and learn. With resources available in the form of podcasts, articles, blogs, and videos, there is a strategy for every individual. It is important to stay active and find out the ways in which one can provide value to their audience. A strong community built around your personal brand can take you places.
7) It is all about the Attitude
The desire to be better than the day before, being motivated to work for clients, being ready to learn and hustle, and going way out of the comfort zones are a few characteristics that Avery talked about and these are the characteristics that make her a valuable employee. Being ethical and sincere is what makes one build a reputation. For Example, even in such trying times the employees at VaynerMedia are trying to come up with innovative approaches and are collaborating with various local artists. It is a clear display of their commitment. Work ethic similar to the one mentioned above is the reason why the doors for Google are always open to Avery, the company sees value in having sincere employees.
Throughout the podcast, Avery gave a lot of insights on the ways to do things at corporates. After listening to the podcast I would say that the concept of digital marketing seems fascinating to me. I believe that it would be fair to conclude that the amalgamation of one’s skill sets, attitude and hard work that leads to individual success and Avery Akkineni has been able to exemplify the same.
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