PRIDE: James Young

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James Young is a Group Account Director at the Havas Lynx Group. Joining fresh out of university back in 2011, James quickly learnt to think more strategically and, thanks to his fellow colleagues, developed better client relations and stronger people management. In this blog, James discusses his time at Lynx and why he wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.

I was all but fresh out of uni when I joined in 2011. And workwise, I was right into the thick of it. There was plenty of support to help me, but the attitude was very much ‘We’ve hired you because we believe in you, so crack on.’ There was never a chance I was going to be photocopying all day! I was on calls and in meetings with clients, briefing internal teams, and working across print, web, social, mobile – in fact, within a year of being here, I’d covered pretty much every channel you could imagine.

There’s a lot to take on, but the people here made sure it wasn’t too much. The culture of this place has always been people first – sure, I had to put in the hard yards, but there were always people looking out for me. The directors and seniors I worked with – the likes of Steve Nicholas, Steph McCabe, and Laura Parsons – always had time to teach me things. And I learned a lot just being around them and seeing them work. In terms of client relations and people management, I probably couldn’t have asked for anyone better.

Later on, I worked with Dave Hunt a lot more, and he opened my eyes to thinking more strategically. He also helped me with my pitch technique a lot. I was absolutely terrible at public speaking and presentations! I remember Dave telling me it was all about finding my own style, something I was comfortable with. And it being Lynx, with workshops and pitches coming thick and fast, I had plenty of opportunities to practise!

Along the way, I was encouraged to set big ambitious goals and to take on more and more responsibility – from heading up client accounts to promotion to the LXLT. Again, there are some sink-or-swim moments in there, but people always have your back.

I think the thing I learned most and that I try to apply everyday in my job is respect. Treat people well, and don’t ask any more of them than you’d be willing to give yourself. If the team are staying late, then I’ll be here with them trying to help out.

Outside the office, there’s always been a good social scene to this place. Whether it was football or just pints in The Garratt on a Friday, I made really good mates here pretty quickly. I don’t think that’s ever changed over the years. Neither has The Garratt for that matter! Bless it’s sticky floors.

All in all, I’ve always enjoyed it. This job’s taught me loads and given me plenty of opportunities. When I joined, I had no idea I’d be here as long as I have (I was 23; seven years seemed like a lifetime!), but I’ve never once thought of going anywhere else. When you enjoy the work, when you’re surrounded by people that you consider genuine friends… why would you leave that?