Charlotte Haswell-West, one of our brilliant Account Executives, spoke to us about her journey into PR, Imposter Syndrome and learning to appreciate your own achievements.
In honour of International Women’s Day 2021, we have been speaking with some of the women in our organisation about the ways in which they #ChooseToChallenge the status quo every day. These incredible women are all at different points in their careers and lives and work across different roles.
Could you tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are today?
After I graduated from university in 2018, I went to work at Exeter Northcott Theatre in Devon as a trainee producer and then later as a programme co-ordinator. I had a great time at the theatre developing my skills in events programming and production in a cultural organisation.
I was curious about developing other skills and working in different sectors. Working with JBP offered me the opportunity to get a great hands-on experience in communications and the chance to work with an exciting range of different clients. I have been able to grow new skills in PR, stakeholder engagement and digital communications, as well as even utilising my events experience – when we’re not in a pandemic.
I’ve always really valued learning new things and trying out new experiences, and I am thankful that this curiosity and drive has got me to where I am today.
What challenges did you face or overcome to get where you are today, and have you encountered any obstacles that are specific to being a woman?
Despite growing up confident and often outspoken, I find that as I experience new environments, that I start to doubt the things I have learnt and my own voice. Self-doubt and Imposter Syndrome can be tricky at the best of times and are experienced by most people at some point during their lives, but some research has shown that women may experience Imposter Syndrome more than men due to differences in how boys and girls are raised in childhood.
There’s no single answer to conquering that niggling feeling – the inability to believe that you have earned your place at the table and your achievements are a result of the hard work that you’ve put in. Personally, I have found that letting go of perfectionism and setting myself new challenges has helped me push through the thoughts of self-doubt.
What achievement or moment are you most proud of?
I am one of the first people in my family to go to university. My family have always been incredibly supportive of me. No matter what my ambitions are, they are my constant cheerleaders. I feel incredibly proud to have studied at a fantastic university and to have had the opportunity to share my graduation day with my parents.
Looking back, what piece of advice do you have for your younger self?
I‘m sure that I’ll think of other pieces of advice I want to give my younger self as I continue to learn, grow and make mistakes! But right now, my advice would be:
Take a moment and a deep breath, appreciate where you are and how far you have come already! Sometimes the idea of success seems to be tangled up with a drive to do as much as possible, as soon as possible. Before you start rushing off to the next thing, make sure to stop for a moment to appreciate everything you have already achieved and the amazing things that you are capable of.
Charlotte Haswell-West Account Executive