Director of Pick & Challenge Steve, gives a brief insight into the journey he’s made with us so far, including a big, and slightly terrifying, move

The people behind sky posted on 8 Mar

"You know you’ve found a job you love when you wake up and feel genuinely excited about what you’re going to do that day"

Sky Careers

Name: Steve Ladlow

Role: Director of Pick & Challenge  

I started my career here almost 14 years ago. During that time the business has helped me grow and realise some amazing opportunities. It sounds cheesy but I genuinely love my current role running the Free to Air Entertainment channels Pick and Challenge. With this little blog post I wanted to give a brief insight into the journey I’ve made here so far, including a big (and slightly terrifying) move.    

When I started here, my very first job was Sales Assistant for Sky Media, working in spot advertising. It was my job to look after Universal Music’s account where I found myself trying to persuade colleagues to let me drop their client’s advert from The Simpsons in favour for the latest 50Cent album. It often took some serious persuasion skills but what I learnt there has helped me in so many other areas.      

I loved the entrepreneurial buzz of Sky Media and realised that sponsorship was an area that I was most suited to as it included things that I enjoyed like negotiation and the creative process. In time, I became the Sponsorship Controller allowing me to work closely with Sky’s Entertainment team securing brand partnerships with our biggest channels and content. I found this area fascinating and through building relationships with various departments gained an insight into how it operated.      

When I heard about the opportunity to run Pick and Challenge I was excited, but also filled with doubt as to whether I could do such a big job. Ultimately, I trusted my inner voice and decided to go for it! Taking such a big leap, you have to accept that you can’t be the master of everything on day one. My approach was to be patient and learn from those around me allowing me to shape a much more effective strategy in the long term.

I’ll always be grateful to this organisation for the investment it has made in my development. I’m glad for my time spent growing at Sky Media, it set me up with the skills to make an amazing career move. You know you’ve found a job you love when you wake up and feel genuinely excited about what you’re going to do that day.    

If I could offer any advice to people starting out, it would be to take opportunities when they come up – you’ll meet so many interesting people and learn a lot. Nick Milligan once said to me: ‘Have lunch with somebody different each day’, and I’ve tried to remember that. Whether it’s a colleague, someone from a different department, or someone from another company, the connections you make are invaluable.