Ahead of this year’s 30 Under 30 Awards Night, Vevo managing director Steve Sos, spoke to B&T about the importance of working for people that value you.
“If I had one piece of advice, it would be to work for people who value you, your time, and your input as much as their own,” he said.
“Personally, I have worked for some of the best and worst that the industry has to offer!”
When it came to what made a good leader vs a bad leader, it all came down to humility, Sos said.
“The best leaders understand that they do not have a monopoly on good ideas and that some of the best initiatives come from those with fresh eyes and fresh thinking at the early stages of their careers”.
“The worst leaders tend to think they know it all and act more as autocrats than leaders!”
Sos’s own career has spanned some of the biggest names in music and media. Currently MD for music video network Vevo in AUNZ, his previous roles include MD Asia Pacific at Shazam and senior group sales manager at the Multi-Channel Network.
For Sos, it’s important to celebrate your achievements at any age, but especially early on in your career.
“From experience, celebrating achievements and recognising the success of younger employees tends to do a few things,” he said.
“It validates their commitment and shows that hard work is valued and does not go unnoticed”.
“It shows they are on the right track and have been recognised as leaders in their field by their peers, and it helps to confirm their career choice at an age and time when changing careers is more fluid”.
Whilst Sos was clear that developing your own voice and career style is a gradual process that starts in your mid-twenties, he did outline some key leadership traits he recognises in young people.
“They tend to have a strong degree of self-motivation, a high level of common sense, and loads of initiative. All traits that are hard, but not impossible to teach, if they are not inherently present.”
“Secondly, from my experience, they tend to be able to see the bigger picture beyond simply that of their role and are genuinely “team first” in their approach to the business”.
“Lastly, and potentially most importantly, they exhibit a strong level of empathy and compassion for those that they work with and understand that helping others achieve in the workplace can be as rewarding as achieving as an individual contributor in your own right”.
In a post-Covid world (sorry, I had to mention it!) Sos did warn that, whilst it can be “comfortable” to work from home, there is real value in making it in to the office.
“The most I learned in my career was often from just being in a room with people and listening to them talk or listening to them present,” he said.
“I think there’s value in being present with colleagues and senior leadership.”
You learn from “osmosis” he added.
And his final piece of advice for those under 30?
“I would look to build a diverse and strong network of contacts as early as possible in your career. Particularly given that it is your network that tends to be the strongest driver of your future employment prospects!”
30 Under 30 Awards, presented by Vevo, are widely regarded as the leading showcase for the brightest young talent working across marketing communications. Three outstanding individuals will be recognised for their achievements in each of the 10 categories, as well as a Grand Prix Award for the most influential individual overall. You can buy tickets for tomorrow’s event here.