Career Insights

Q&A: Lessons Our Most Experienced Associates Have Learned

Two Rivers Marketing

Two Rivers Marketing
Sep 22, 2021

What I Wish I Knew

If you could go back in time and meet with your younger self, what advice would you give them? Would you give them a preview of the important life lessons they will learn? Or would you not want to spoil anything?

As a person goes through their life and career, they may have moments where they think, “I wish I knew this when I was younger.” Our most experienced associates, all of whom have been with Two Rivers Marketing for 20+ years, reflect on the marketing, career, and life lessons they have learned along the way.

Looking back, what do you wish you had known when you were entering the working world?

Brian Jones Two Rivers Marketing

Brian Jones, President:

One thing I can guarantee you is that through your life and career you will experience many changes. Take a deep breath before you do anything and ask yourself, “Why do I fear or resist the change? Why am I angry about change?” Being able to understand and acknowledge your emotions about change will help how you react going forward. You are ultimately responsible for your own career, and only you can make yourself happy. Life is short, so relax and try to keep things in perspective. I always say, “Everything happens for a reason.”

Brad Olson Two Rivers Marketing

Brad Olson, Vice President:

Great ideas can come from anyone, and the best ideas are generated with input from many.

Rachel Adams Two Rivers Marketing

Rachel Adams, Executive Director:

It's okay to prioritize something you want for yourself that isn't work-related.

For as long as I can remember, I've had a job. I’ve been very dedicated to working no matter how crazy things were, and have deprioritized certain aspects of my personal life. No one at Two Rivers has ever encouraged or demanded that I be that way. It's in my DNA. I'm pretty sure I got it from my parents who are still working at 70 years of age. I love my work and I like to work hard.

About 14 years ago, I really wanted to get a dog, but I knew that my typical work week wouldn't be sustainable with a new puppy to take care of. I stressed over how to not feel like I was pulling back on delivering for my clients. I put off getting a dog for over a year. Then I finally took the plunge. It was the best thing I ever did.

Being a dog owner and having a living companion that requires me to pull my attention away from the office is a game-changer. My dog looks at me and barks while I'm on my laptop because he wants to go for a walk. So, I close my laptop and get up and go.

Earlier in my career, I thought that if I worked the most hours, took the least amount of PTO, and was never unavailable it would get me ahead. To some extent, maybe it has, but demonstrating that I care about other things beyond work and that I'm human is more interesting. My advice is to prioritize something you want in your personal life — or it could be to literally get a dog!

Jill VanDerPol Two Rivers Marketing

Jill VanDerPol, Director, Agency & Community Initiatives:

Be open to learning and absorbing as much information as you can, regardless if it’s part of your specific job — you’ll be a better team member for it, and you never know what doors might open. Also, you don’t need to know everything. Everyone has their strengths. Leave the things you’re not as good at to someone who excels at them — together it makes for a stronger team and a more successful outcome.

Barry Bruner Two Rivers Marketing

Barry Bruner, Account Strategist:

I started managing my first account at Two Rivers in my late 20s. Back then, I wish I would have had more confidence when I made recommendations to my clients. I remember being on the phone with them and validating my point, revalidating it, and then "ultra-validating" it — I'd excessively repeat key points thinking because I was young I had to really make sure they understood my position. Looking back, it was completely unnecessary and it caused calls to run longer than they had to.

At 2RM, we have a great team of people who collaborate on new ideas and client recommendations long before they're shared with clients. I wish I had recognized that anything I presented to the client was already validated internally by the team. Now when I have a great idea or position to share, I make the case as concisely as I can, then participate in dialogue that either moves it forward or alters it to be even better.

Yiloiz Santiago

Yiloiz Santiago, Senior Developer/Architect:

Life is ever-changing. Clients, teams, and technologies come and go. So expect and embrace change. Things become less stressful once you accept that!

Interested in reading more advice from Two Rivers Marketing associates? Check out our advice for building client relationships.

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