Letter to My Younger Self: Cathy Ricketts, GMR Marketing

Cathy Ricketts, head of client services at GMR Marketing, looks back to 1986 with some wise words for her younger self.

Letter to My Younger Self: Cathy Ricketts, GMR Marketing
Letter to My Younger Self: Cathy Ricketts, GMR Marketing

Dear Cathy,

It’s 1986 and you’ve just left a rather uninspiring careers coaching session at school and you’re feeling pretty downbeat, as about the most ambitious option that was presented to you as a future career was being an accountant.

As a result you’ve been advised to spend your two-week mandatory work experience placement in the finance department of the local Parcelforce office.

But fear not, for once you listen to your mother when she advises you to focus on modern languages.  This will give you the chance to spend your 21st year living in Paris and Berlin, giving you the chance to work in a business that makes money from your passion, music.

You won’t know the first thing about brand experience marketing when you start your career in the live music industry in London, but there are a number of things you do really well that will help you learn and progress to head of client services at GMR Marketing UK; being passionate, determined, persuasive, learning from your mistakes, being true to your word and trusting your instincts.

Following your passion will mean that every time you stand in the middle of a field at a music festival, or at a major sporting event delivering a brand experience campaign for one of your clients…you’ll feel like a kid again. You’ll be so glad you ignored those that kept asking you ‘when are you going to get a proper marketing job’.

Don’t try to be perfect, the best leaders are the ones that are smart enough to identify their weaknesses as well as their strengths and are able to collaborate with people that complement their skills. Together you will deliver some truly great work.

Make sure you give those people credit along the way. And beware of the ‘social media’ phenomenon that will come to be a big part of your life, in short, it means it’ll be really hard to hide from anyone…so be respectful, always!

Don’t try to be someone you are not… be true to yourself, stick to your guns, and you’ll be amazed by what you can achieve.

Best wishes,


P.S.  Remember that geeky kid on the computer sciences course at uni that you avoided as he was the prize geek that never went out clubbing… well, he’s in LA working as head of digital at a major film company, so grab any chance you get to learn about digital/coding, as you won’t believe how marketable and employable you’ll become if you have digital in your job title once you get past the year 2000.

More: For more letters to my younger self from the likes of RPM's Hugh Robertson, TRO's Michael Wyrley-Birch and London & Partners Tracy Halliwell, visit here.

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