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Jan 8, 2024

Morning Coffee with Amanda Payne of Clear M&C Saatchi


By Chelsea Power

Associate Director - I'm a recruiter for world-class strategists and researchers.

Welcome to Morning Coffee, a series from Bamboo Crowd in which we showcase the brilliant people we’ve had the opportunity to work with. So brew yourself a cup and cozy in to hear stories from people who’ve landed their dream roles, from the exceptional folks who support our clients, and from our own mighty staff here at Bamboo Crowd. We’ll talk about everything from how they take their coffee (yes, we ask this) to what they’re seeing and doing in their new roles and the industry at large.

“Treat Yourself.” It’s a phrase we’ve heard many times over the past couple of decades. From TV shows with our favorite indulgent characters using it as an excuse to shop to inspirational quotes online, treating yourself has become something we learn to do in life.

For Amanda Payne, treating herself looks like a Pistachio Latte from Blank Street Coffee in New York City. “I am not a daily coffee drinker. When I have it, though, it's like a special occasion. That Pistachio Latte is my favorite in the world.”

Enjoying a special cup of coffee is just the beginning of learning how to treat yourself. Like our favorite social media influencers tell us, there is more to that simple little phrase.

When thinking about career moves, many people forget to keep indulgence in mind. It’s important to make that next role feel like a special treat, uniquely curated to satiate your career needs. When Amanda met Clear M&C Saatchi, a global brand growth consultancy, it wasn’t just a great match. It was a rewarding next step in her career. We sat down to chat with Amanda about her first few weeks with the Clear team. Read on to discover what a treat it’s been contributing to the impact this innovative company makes.

A Workplace Filled with Treats

The importance of treating yourself in the workplace is often overlooked. Careers are major parts of life that take up a significant amount of time. Finding a position that provides not just a paycheck, but genuine joy, passion, and excitement is the ultimate goal. 

At Clear, Amanda found a position that does it all, allowing her to dive deep into her passions every day. With her strong background in innovation, she hit the ground running with a team that specializes in understanding brand growth.

“Large companies often struggle with having and executing a universal, company-wide vision for where and how they want to grow. It’s often because they haven’t identified their “why” for doing so – they just know they need to get bigger and better. Hiring a consultancy that focuses on innovation across brand, experience, and product allows them to explore the possibilities. Our job is to outline a brand-right growth roadmap, and give them the tools to make it happen.

Ultimately, our ambition for every company that we work with is to help them grow – which looks different every time. If we can provide potent, insightful thinking, clear strategic direction, and inspire their employees, we’ve done our job well.”

This ambition is one that Amanda shares and she is already adding value to the team. “My focus has largely been using my background to help grow our innovation practice. And while I love all the other parts of what we do, developing how we do innovation at scale for the organizations we work with is what gets me out of bed every day.”

She looks forward to contributing more to the organization as she gets comfortable in her role. Equipped with a wide range of skills thanks to an extensive resume, she is well prepared to assist this team in their own brand growth.

“From an internal perspective, one of the things I wanted to bring to Clear was my passion for learning and knowledge sharing. One of the best parts of joining a new company is being able to learn from those around you, whose experience is different from your own. I’ve come to learn that we have an amazing set of tools and skills that the team executes for clients every day. Part of how we do that is by staying inspired daily, so I’ve been helping nurture an existing culture of exploration and creativity for creativity's sake – to stay sharp.”

With her background and Clear’s track record, Amanda found a role that is allowing her to build out her innovation toolbox.

“Clear has stood out in the saturated market of consultancies for their reputation of not just doing excellent work, but in building deep relationships with their clients. They're extremely human-led and orient themselves around their clients' problems so that they can customize their approach each time, making sure to meet their needs and deliver maximum value.” 

This environment is an ideal place for Amanda to not only learn something new and face exciting challenges but to contribute her wealth of knowledge as well. “They encourage all their employees to come in and bring their passions from their past lives into what we do every day. They appreciated that I have a background doing innovation and product development for beauty brands and then lived another life leading growth strategy for a FinTech. I’ve found it to be an incredibly supportive team made up of really smart people from all different backgrounds. What more could you ask for.”

Clear’s global team also provides a unique perspective for Amanda. As they craft strategies, they must consider how different consumers across the world connect with brands.

“We have an extensive global view and I think that allows us to be highly capable at future forecasting and developing growth strategies that are not limited to three to five years but can really look 10 years down the line, and give accurate and actionable ways for organizations to get there.”

This mindset, coupled with the deeply personalized experience given to each client makes the Clear team a success. “The team knows their clients so intimately, along with the challenges that they're solving, that they could basically be in-house employees, and I think that as a consultancy, that's the highest the bar could be set, right?”

Overall, Amanda didn’t just find a great next step in her career. She found a role filled with treats that indulge her passions, assist in her personal growth, and keep her inspired and excited to show up every day.

Learning How to Treat Yourself

What does it mean to treat yourself when it comes to career growth? To us, it all starts with the job search and hiring process. “I found Clear and was given an offer in about three weeks, and we didn't skip any steps in the process. There was just a lot of confidence that we had been matched really well.”

There is nothing quite like feeling valued during the hiring process. This should be the standard when searching for a role. A company with a streamlined interview process and a firm grip on who they are looking for is likely to find and keep gems like Amanda.

At Bamboo Crowd, we prioritize helping both companies and talent dig deep and get specific about what they want. This is another treat - feeling comfortable with what you can bring to the table.

“Throughout my career, every time I've made a change, regardless of whether or not I had a strong sense for where I wanted to go, I reached out to Bamboo Crowd because they’ve always given me incredible advice and direction on where I might want to go and grow.”

That confidence is what gets talent in the right role and shows companies how valuable a candidate can be. Getting to that confidence is no easy feat, even for senior-level talent. 

“I was struggling to identify where I fit. I was coming from leading a division of a company. Before that, I was senior level at a consultancy. As I worked with the team at Bamboo Crowd, I didn't know what level I should be coming in at or what I should be striving for in this next phase of my career. I didn't want to take any steps back. But I also didn't want to jump too far ahead. 

I wanted to be at a place where I was challenged but also supported. This was something that I discussed deeply with the team and we identified the right level for me.”

From her Pistachio Latte to leveling up innovation strategy at Clear, Amanda is treating herself and we couldn’t be happier for her.

Are you feeling inspired to find a new position that sparks joy? Let us co-pilot: get started here.

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