“Feedback is a gift,” Jessica Brown from GroupM

Nov 28, 2022

Welcome to the Pass the Mic and the Defining Moment series. We’re giving powerful women in the industry 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 Jessica Brown, Director, Digital Investment at GroupM. She works with the company’s portfolio of digital partnerships, including Pandora. Jessica has been in digital media since 2003, and she credits much of her success to the great mentors she’s had along the way as well as the opportunities she’s seized. 

Jessica stopped by our podcast booth at Advertising Week New York last month. In this Pass the Mic interview, she shares some of the most impactful advice she’s learned as well as some of her own wisdom. There’s plenty to learn, so give her a listen.

Feedback comes from people who care.

Feedback Comes From People Who Care, Jessica Brown – Pass the Mic

“Any time I've gotten feedback, going back to, I think I'm my own worst critic, and any time someone gives me feedback on something, my initial response is to think I did a horrible job. And I've learned over time, and I would say this applies to life also, is that feedback is a gift. And you have to take that feedback as a gift and use it to improve and make what you do next better. And the people that share the feedback tend to care. If they didn't care, they wouldn't share that feedback. So any negative criticism, don't internalize and don't take personally. Learn from it. Say, ‘Yeah,’ hear their point. How can I acknowledge that in the next thing I do? How can I improve on what I'm doing? – Jessica Brown

Be constructive vs. critical.

Be Constructive  vs. Critical, Jessica Brown – Pass the Mic

My filter that I always use in life is, ‘What good will come when I say this?’ And that applies to work; it applies to life. If the words that I'm speaking won't create something good, then I probably shouldn't say them. So if I do have feedback to give, how can I say it in a helpful, constructive way versus a critical way? And I'm trying to teach that to my kids as well.”  – Jessica Brown

It’s okay to leave at 5:00.

It’s Okay to Leave at 5:00, Jessica Brown – Pass the Mic

“When I was pregnant with my daughter, she said to me, I vividly remember I was sitting at my desk with my belly out, and she said, ‘You can't be afraid to get up and leave.’ I was like, ‘What do you mean?’ She said, ‘At 5:00, get up and leave.’ She said, ‘You can be on the phone while you're walking to the train, while you're taking the bus. You can be on emails, but get up and leave. Tell people, I'm not available. Set that boundary for yourself.’ 

And I guess I never, and we are all guilty of this, I never did it. And once you start doing it, you realize, 'Oh, my God, it's okay.' I can't make this call at 5:30 today, can we schedule for tomorrow? Sure. No problem. Oh, my God. I just have to set that boundary and speak up for myself. And that was tremendous for me. I still remind myself of that to this day that I can just say no, and I can just get up and leave, and my career will not be over. I'm not committing career suicide.”  – Jessica Brown

You don’t need to justify yourself.

You Don’t Need to Justify Yourself, Jessica Brown – Pass the Mic

Another great piece of advice that I got was to not justify yourself. I think as women, we tend to always justify what we're doing or why we're doing it. Even something as simple as, ‘I'm going to be in late tomorrow because my kids are sick.’ You know, we don't have to do that. If you have the trust of your managers and your team and you put in the effort, you could just say, ‘I'm going to be in late tomorrow, and I'll get my stuff done. It will get done. But I'm just going to be in late tomorrow.' And I think that's an important rule or just something to keep in mind as you're interacting with your managers and your team members.”  – Jessica Brown

We’re accepting the gift of Jessica’s great advice, and we’re excited to put these powerful lessons into practice. How about you? You’ve got this! And there’s even more inspiring Pass the Mic content waiting for you.

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