Making an impact and passing the baton. Carly Wickenton on career success

Carly Wickenton joined Specsavers just under four years ago in
the Specsavers Marketing team as the Head of Brand Creative,
after success in a local role in ANZ, Carly is moving into a global role
as Head of Strategic Development in the Global Strategic Initiatives team to further
develop within the business.

“The Brand Creative role was a great opportunity to work on bringing the Specsavers
brand to life with the team and get to know different people across the business in
ANZ and globally,” she says.

“I’ve often put my hand up to work on projects outside of my role remit and looked
to take on activities more broadly across the team to get to work on things that I’m
interested in and give me energy,” she says. “And that is what has led me to my
current role.”

And as her career progresses, Carly says success starts to look different – and is not
always inwardly focused.

“For me success is linked to working in a team focused environment where everyone
is achieving together. I am a very people-focused person and I get the most out of
working with positive people with different talents and perspectives,” she says.

“Mostly recently, I’ve measured success by how well I’m developing and progressing
others in the team. I think it’s also part of success to recognise when you’ve made
your mark in a role and recognise when it’s time for someone with different talent
and experience to come in and make their impact.”

For those looking to take the next step, Carly says it’s good to have a development
plan and objectives in place.

“Having these has supported conversations with my line manager about where I’m
looking to focus energies and thinking about what types of things I might like to work
on in the future. I would also say being ‘open minded’ about what your next move
might be is really important. Sometimes the straight path might not be the best path
for you and being in an organisation that supports movement across roles and
departments is amazing,” she says.

As well as being open minded, Carly says you may need to change things up to get
where you want to go.

“There have been three key times in my career where I’ve consciously made decisions
because I needed a ‘change up’ or wanted to try something different,” she says.

“The first was when I made the decision to pack up and travel to London. This has
proved invaluable as it got me out of my comfort zone and gave me international
experience. The second was 12 years into my marketing career, when as part of a
talent program at Coles, I took a secondment into the learning and development
team in HR for a year.

“Working in an area that I had no previous knowledge of was super daunting,
however it taught me that you can bring your talents and experience to a range of
different roles and industries.”

And she says the third was taking her “dream job” which she very quickly realised
wasn’t her dream after all.

“I had to make the tough decision to leave that job after only a few months. It was
extremely difficult, however it made me really reassess not only what I wanted to be
doing day-to-day, but also the types of people I wanted to work with.”

She says knowing who you are and what you want will help you decide if your role
and your employer is right for you.

“For me the thing I love most is really being able to be myself at work. The fact that
most people refer to me as ‘Wicko’, means I really feel part of the team.

“No matter how hectic things can get on the work front, being able to have a laugh is
so important. I love that about Specsavers. Being supported to continue my
development journey even though I’m about 20 years into my career is also
something I really value, and I feel like there’s still a lot of exploring to do.”

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