“Listen to your intuition,” Laurie Keith from the Ad Council
Welcome to the Pass the Mic and the Defining Moment series. We’re giving powerful women the opportunity to make the world their mentee. These rockstars are joining us to share their stories and sage advice with up-and-coming women.
Meet Laurie Keith, Vice President, Emerging Media & Technology from the Ad Council. Laurie brings over 17 years of experience to her role. She builds strategic relationships, partnering with major social media and tech companies to develop large-scale, innovative social-impact campaigns. She now leads a new center of excellence, focusing on emerging media, technology, and innovation.
In her Pass the Mic interview, Laurie shares the big aha moment that motivated her to follow her passion for impacting positive social change. To hear how she pivoted into career alignment, listen below.
Align your career with your passion.
Highlight: “I passed the Ad Council billboard after the Haiti earthquake in 2009, and it was ‘Brought to you by the Ad Council.’ I mean, we've all heard of the Ad Council, most of us, whether it's a radio spot or a billboard. And for me, that was kind of a light bulb moment to go check out this company, see what they're all about. And their mission statement had mirrored my mission statement that I had just wrote in my journal. I was doing a lot of soul searching and journaling to figure out what my next steps were. And it was to use the power of communications and media to drive social change. And that was exactly what I was looking for.” – Laurie Keith
Follow your heart.
Highlight: “It was very much serendipitous. I went to New York, I had an informational interview that ended up turning into like a job interview, and I got offered the job. So, for me that was aha. It was very much listening to my intuition, really following my heart; which was to find a job that I could really apply my skill set to social good and social impact. And I was able to do that.” – Laurie Keith
You don’t have to follow a straight path.
Highlight: “I think it was really good advice to just know that if you have something burning inside you, like you're sitting at a job, you don't love it, but you love this thing over here—that maybe it's a passion project, maybe it's something personal—to think about how you can turn that into a job, and to just listen to your gut. Because you don't have to follow this straight path that you think you need to follow. And sometimes jumping around in your career ultimately ends up getting you the dream job or the perfect job that you envision.” – Laurie Keith
Find areas for growth.
Highlight: “I've always kind of looked at my organization, and I’ve thought, ‘What are we not tackling? What is [the] future state of media technology that we need to figure out, or we need to start listening to different partners that are experimenting, so that we have a point of view?’” – Laurie Keith
Highlight: “Think about your skill set, what you're passionate about, and where there's an opportunity within your company where you can grow and scale that. And that'll be really great for your career.” – Laurie Keith
Surrender to opportunity.
Highlight: “They wanted me to really pivot... And that was hard to just come to the realization and really understand that this opportunity was an opportunity. That they were asking me, with my experience, to tackle the new frontier. And it took some time to really think about it and then really surrendering to: this is an opportunity,” – Laurie Keith
Highlight: “I think it's really important when you're in conversation with someone to mindfully listen to what they're saying. What their challenges are, what they're trying to work on, what they're trying to achieve. And what you bring to the table is how your expertise can actually mesh and merge with what they're trying to do. That has been just really a game changer in my career.” – Laurie Keith
Listen more than you talk.
Highlight: “I try to just listen as much as possible so that when I respond, I can respond very insightfully on how Ad Council and what we're doing can help them actually achieve the goals that they're setting out to achieve. And that was something I learned from an early boss at the Ad Council early on, just sales techniques and how to really win the room and how to get people to get excited about working with you.” – Laurie Keith
Never send anything you wouldn’t say.
Highlight: “Anything that you're talking about in the email or any one that you're talking about in the email, imagine that you're sending it to that person. And so that really helped me just to kind of put that lens over any email that I send, whether it's external or internal, just really imagining that it's going to be read aloud into a room.” – Laurie Keith
We’re not afraid to say that we’re inspired by Laurie’s amazing anecdotes and advice. For more motivation, check out more Pass the Mic content.