Name: Karis Copp
Company: Karis Copp Freelance
LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karis-copp-0831948b/
Did you choose print or did print choose you?
I would say print chose me, as I hadn’t thought much about the industry before I joined a print trade publication as an editor. I was at the beginning of my journalism career, so as well as learning the ropes of my first proper editorial role, I had a huge amount to learn about one of the UK’s largest industries. Once I was in, I was hooked; print is a fast-paced, exciting and varied industry that brings together my passion for technology and creativity. Since then I have worked in journalism and communications for different companies and now work for myself, still predominantly in print but also working across additional technology areas. So print chose me, but I have chosen to stick around!
How do you establish credibility with customers, colleagues and bosses?
Honesty and integrity are important, and I think those things help to establish long-lasting relationships and even friendships with customers and colleagues. Now I have a great network and great friends in the industry. Early in my career, I would worry about admitting to not knowing something or not having a particular skill, which may be tied up in finding your self-confidence and your place in the world, especially as a young woman. Now I can be upfront about my knowledge and my strengths as well as my weaknesses, and I let those I work with know I am always eager to learn as much as I can and develop my skillset.
What advice can you offer regarding negotiating salary raises/ addressing fair pay issues?
As I am freelance, asking for a fair rate is something I have had to become adept at, even though I did, and sometimes still do, find it pretty daunting. I found one of my concerns was that I would disclose my rates and the response would be that my work wasn’t worth that – of course, that has never happened, and I think anyone would be unlikely to get that response! Knowing your worth plays a huge part in your ability to successfully negotiate salary raises and address fair pay issues, as once you are confident of what you deserve, it’s easy to outline why you deserve it.
What advice did you receive early in your career that you wished you had followed?
It’s not necessarily advice I wish I had followed, but I do wish I had trusted my instincts more and had more confidence when it came to speaking up. For young women in a job you enjoy in your chosen field, getting a foot in the door career-wise in a male-dominated space, sometimes you just feel grateful to be in your position and you feel you might jeopardise it if you ‘talk out of turn’ – I wish I had recognised that I was just as deserving of my place and my voice was just as valid as anyone’s, regardless of age, gender or anything else.