5 minutes with… Helen Beckett

Creative Account Director, Headroom

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Describe what you do in less than 20 words. 

I support clients with their business development and marketing plans and align Headroom’s services to its objectives.

Your first full-time job. 

Market Sector Coordinator for Kingfield Office Supplies; I was responsible for catalogue and mailer production for machines and consumables.

Your childhood ambitions.

I wanted to be a singer, an actress or a midwife!

Your first car.

My dad bought me a 20-year old Cavalier in bright orange – it was like something from The Sweeney, but it was 1997!

The first record you bought. 

Get into the Groove by Madonna – classic 1980s pop!

The best moment in your career. 

I’ve had lots of great moments, but I’d like to think my best is yet to come!

Your best piece of advice to a colleague.

Take time to really understand your customers and never assume or stereotype.

If you weren’t doing your present job, what job would you like to be doing?

I’d be running my own vintage clothing business or managing my own events agency.

Your favourite event on the OP circuit and why.

The VOW Whiteout event – a really unique event that just seems to get better and better. I can’t think of a better way to network and really get to know your customers.

What do you like least about the OP industry?

That we call it ‘OP’. We limit ourselves to the office when we should be looking at the entire business or workplace.

The biggest change that has taken place in the industry since your career began.

The web. In 1999 we were still selling primarily from catalogues and direct mail. E-commerce has brought with it huge opportunity as well as interesting challenges for our industry.

Your favourite office product.

Can I have two? Coffee has to be my favourite and VOW has added Haribos to the 2015 range – I’m sure they might quickly overtake coffee!

What do you like best about the OP industry? 

That it’s always changing and evolving; it’s unrecognisable from the industry I joined 15 years ago.

The most memorable travel experience you’ve had while in the OP industry.

When organising the VOW Whiteout event, the group arrived in Geneva to learn that no luggage had been loaded onto the plane at Gatwick – I had 45 customers and suppliers in France with no luggage for two days. Thankfully, everyone took it in good humour, but now I always pack some essentials in my hand luggage.

Your greatest strength. 

I’d say it’s my enthusiasm for this industry and my ability to motivate others to feel the same way.

The types of TV programme you find most irritating.

That programme on a Saturday afternoon which just features other people watching football matches you can’t see. I don’t mind watching a football match on TV, but watching someone else watching a match – I don’t get it!