Women In Design feat. Jane Seymour

Introducing Jane Seymour, Head of Design at connective3, a dynamic digital marketing agency based in Leeds. With 8 years of experience in the creative industry,  Jane shares invaluable lessons learned along her career path and emphasizes the importance of kindness, specialization, proactivity, self-belief, and communication in the design field.

Could you please introduce yourself as well as your background?

Hello, I am Jane. I am 29 and have the pleasure of running a fabulous team of designers at Leeds based digital marketing agency, connective3.

I’ve been in the creative industry for about 8 years now, and have been very fortunate to learn a lot, and meet some amazing people along the way, leading me to where I am now – Head of Design.
I grew up in the beautiful Somerset countryside, and very early on realised that I wanted to work in design, leading me to study Graphic Communication at Cardiff Met uni. I carried out many internships during my summers, which confirmed my desire to find a job in graphic design – so I finished uni in the May and had secured a job in London in the July.

My first role was in house for fashion brand, which suited me perfectly. I loved working there and living in London, but made the big decision 3 years later to move up North, to lovely Leeds, to move in with my partner and progress as a designer. At first, I was sceptical about moving away from London, questioning whether it was a bit of a risky move, but I was instantly made to feel at ease when I joined my first agency. A year later, the whirlwind that is now connective3 began, and I joined on day one as the Digital Designer.
Fast forward 4 very quick and busy years, and here I am!

What are 5 “stand-out things” you’ve learned that you’d like to pass on to your peers and the future generation of talent within your sector?

Be nice.
It sounds cliché but I really do believe you can go a long way by just being a good, genuine person. Build relationships, offer help and support and share knowledge where you can. Be open and friendly, and be the person that people look forward to working with.

You can’t do it all.
Within the design industry there are SO many skills available to learn. Just remember that although it’s amazing to expand your skills as much as possible, you won’t be able exceed in everything and don’t beat yourself up about not being the best at it all. Nurture your specialisms and don’t compare yourself to other designers – we’re all different, and that’s a great thing!

Be proactive.
I think proactivity is a really strong quality to have. And proactivity in a design role doesn’t just mean taking your brief and thinking of an additional option, it can go as far and wide as getting involved in social groups within your company, finding yourself a mentor, suggesting a better process, seeking out new tricks and tools, finding training courses, events etc. If people can see your eagerness to help others and learn more than the usual day-to-day, they will see the true passion you have for what you do.

Believe in yourself.
I feel slightly hypocritical writing this one, because that here I am, questioning whether or not I am good enough to be giving out advice like this…but, what I have to remind myself every day, and the advice I’d offer to young (particularly female) designers in the industry is – YOU got yourself to where you are today, no one else. You are succeeding because of the hard work and effort you have put into what you do and what you love. Trust in your judgements and believe in yourself and your specialism.

Communication is key.
Talk, make connections, ask questions, query things you don’t understand, or suggest what you think could be done better (respectfully, of course). Being open and transparent with your peers/managers/ from the offset will set you up for a much more communicative and collaborate working environment.

What is your take on the importance of role models?

I think it’s so important have role models, especially early on in your career. They can inspire us and show us motivating examples of what we can achieve. To see other women accomplish great things in life, not just professionally but personally too, is something we should value.
I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by strong, successful women throughout my life, and I think they have been a huge contributing factor to what I have been able to achieve so far, and I am hugely grateful for that.

If you’re inspired by the stories and wisdom shared in our ‘Women In Design’ series and would like to contribute your own experiences, we’d love to hear from you. Creatives at all levels, please email Olivia and your story could be the next we feature.

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