Seven tips for breaking into strategy roles

Seven tips for breaking into strategy roles

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Bohdi Lewis

Ever considered transitioning into a strategy role but doubted yourself or didn't know how? Head of Innovation at Host/Havas Australia and AdSchool course presenter, Bohdi Lewis, says there is a shortage of hybrid strategists in Australia, making it the perfect time to up-skill and make the move. 

Read more about Lewis & the 2018
Grand Effie


Here, Bohdi shares seven ways for any strategists out there in disguise to break in:

1. Be curious
My first tip is to adopt a beginner's mindset and be curious. Speak to people in diverse fields and ask questions. Don't just rely on Google. As Brian Grazer, author of A Curious Mind suggests, you can't google the answers to questions that haven't been asked. If you can demonstrate that you continuously put yourself out there and proactively try to take on the perspectives of others, you've got my attention. The knock-on benefit of this is that you're actively growing your network.

2. Bring a variety of skills versus specialising in one area
A study by LinkedIn called the Economic Graph suggests that just one additional skill equates to four years of experience in one area.

If I had two candidates applying for a job and one had five years experience in data, versus the other who had two years data experience, studied design and worked as a research assistant for three years, I know who I'd choose.

3. Have an "anything's possible attitude"
When it comes to problem solving, show that you're the type of person who naturally casts their thinking as far as possible and then lets politics, client feedback and technology and budget restraints reel them back in.

4. Be passionate and believable
I want to hear someone get fired up about a topic or idea and sell it to me. But don't fall into the trap of regurgitating a textbook or article you've just read and think that knowing a bunch of buzzwords will get you a job. Form your own opinion and make me believe you.

5. Love learning
Read and consume everything you can - books on psychology, podcasts on startup culture, tech newsletters, online courses on machine learning or data analytics, creative archives and so on.

6. Bring a unique toolkit

There are infinite online resources and tools that will help you in a strategy role. And most of them are free. I love meeting people who bring with them a bunch of tools that they've used that I've never heard of, as it demonstrates instant value.


7. Have a "maker mentality"

If you bring some kind of hands-on skill in design, videography, UX or coding alongside a strategic mindset, you will be worth your weight in gold. I'm always on the lookout for thinkers who prefer to bring their ideas and strategies to life rather than always relying on other people.

Future proof your career by enrolling in the 2018 AdSchool Digital Strategy & Experience Design course, which takes place in Sydney October 3, 2018.  Book your place here.