Portland Profile: Harry Watson

Portland Profile: Harry Watson

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career so far?

Be curious, don’t be afraid to ask questions and to share your ideas. It’s easy, particularly when you’re early on in your career, to feel like others with more experience have already thought of something or that the question has already been asked. It often hasn’t and even if it has, you’ll learn from the experience. In this job it’s worth asking the “stupid” questions.

What is your favourite part of your job?

Working with amazing people and high-profile brands. I am constantly learning from and feeling challenged by my colleagues, and they’re a really friendly and fun group of people. The exposure you get at Portland, advising major business, is really rewarding.

What is the biggest mistake you’ve learnt from in your career?

I try not to think about it in those terms. I think it’s a mistake to think there is one answer to every question or challenge. The vast majority of the time there isn’t, so it’s about trying different approaches. Some will fail and some will succeed, but you’ll always learn from it.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self starting out in comms, or to someone entering this field of work?

Take every opportunity to get as much experience as you can across as many sectors and disciplines as possible. It’s easy to focus on the things that interest you early on and discount everything else. But I feel strongly that learning how to do as many things as possible across the different communications disciplines is really important. You are likely to have to turn your hand to all of these at some point in your career, and it will make you more valuable and open many more opportunities for you.

What do you do to switch off from work?

In the pandemic, not much more than a lot of walking, watching TV and trying to beat my Strava 5k PB. But, when I can I like to get up to the Scottish Highlands.

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