Why it pays to give your all to all you do

Our advertising correspondent Ben Kay reflects on the unexpected opportunities that can come your way in a career, and why it’s important to always bring your A-game to all you do

Over the course of my career it’s occurred to me that the moments that have led to opportunities have not always been deliberate, or followed a logical path.

Although the conscientious and diligent application of effort and talent to tasks my bosses have sent my way has been a major factor, certain situations have come to me via various unexpected chains of events.

As an example, I spent years writing an advertising blog. The intention was to gain publicity for our fledgling agency, and even then I had no idea how that was going to manifest itself. Soon Campaign magazine started to reprint my musings (for free, without permission, often edited for space at the expense of meaning, but I’m not bitter – winky emoji) and the industry fame of the agency began to increase.

Of course, something else that increased was my own level of notoriety. In discussions of the blog, my own name was as prominent as the agency’s so we flew upwards together. Not the intention, but there we go.

Unbeknownst to me, I had been auditioning for that job every day for several years. Thankfully I’d kept the quality of the writing as high as possible.

CREATIVE DESIGN MANAGER

Leeds, West Yorkshire

GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Farnham, Surrey

PRODUCT DESIGNER

United Kingdom