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Born to do it! How creating a podcast revealed the power of networking

I like to think I was destined to work in the world of financial services. My dad has been a financial adviser my whole life and after trying several career options, I joined the financial services industry at 17.

After a couple of years in admin roles and a move into paraplanning, I started to think about what my career might look like. I was actively looking for women in financial services that would inspire me and who I could learn from, but they were few and far between. When I attended events, training courses and networked, I often felt out of place as one of the only young women in the room.

My career progressed and over time I connected with and met amazing women in the industry. My journey was one of continual learning and each of the conversations inspired me to reflect on my own experience within the industry as a woman. I considered a nagging thought – ‘wouldn’t it be great if I could share my conversations and advice from my network with a wider audience?’ But how would I achieve that?

I began by live streaming on LinkedIn, interviewing inspiring women in finance about their careers. This was super scary. I struggled with technical glitches, and it didn’t always go to plan. However, the interviews were amazing, the women were incredible, and the inspiration was powerful. To top it off, people watched!

After several months of showing up on LinkedIn every Friday, I decided I wanted to take it further. How could I make it easier to reach more people? I decided a podcast met the brief and gave the audience the opportunity to listen at their leisure.

At this point, the show known as ‘We Mean Business’ had extremely basic branding. I also had no idea what it would mean to start a podcast. After brainstorming a name, hours spent on Canva creating a logo and days googling what I needed to do, ‘Her Future Bright’ podcast was born. Now all I needed were guests to interview. I began reaching out to everyone I knew and cold-emailing PR teams to tell them I had this ‘idea’ for a podcast to support and encourage women in finance. I couldn’t believe how many people wanted to be involved.

I spent weeks interviewing the amazing guests for season one and days (attempting) to edit them into listenable episodes and finally launched on 28th of September 2021. The first couple of seasons had very few listeners and the editing and marketing took me forever, but I always came back to my goal for the podcast…

To inspire and support more women to pursue careers in finance and provide a platform for female financial professionals to share their experiences and advice.

‘Her Future Bright’ is now a year and a half old, has over 5,000 downloads, appeared in podcast charts all around the world and a global financial services corporation sponsors it. I never thought about or believed the podcast would reach this point, but I followed my passion and never gave up. The podcast has also massively grown my personal brand. Often, people know me because of the podcast. Individuals who have listened feel like they already know me and what I stand for. It has provided me with a voice in the industry and has opened doors to conversations that have been pivotal in my career, whether it was about my next career move, opportunities, or inspiration. It has also opened my eyes to soft skills I can use in other areas of my career, such as relationship building and communication skills. Creating the podcast has been a huge learning curve over the last couple of years, but I also genuinely believe it has propelled my career.

Along the way, I have met some amazing women and as a result I’ve built an incredible network. I hadn’t quite realised the importance of a network until the last couple of years, but I now know it is invaluable. Networking can often feel awkward and forced, but if you think about it as just having a conversation with someone it takes the pressure off.

‘Her Future Bright’ has been a way of networking to suit me, but not everyone will start a podcast. It’s important to find a form of networking that works for you.