What do music and marketing have in common? They both require creativity and careful planning — a fact our senior project manager Sara Payne is well aware of. 

For some, working at a marketing agency was a straightforward job choice. For others, it was a segue into a different career path. At least that’s how it was for Sara. She took her love of music and creativity and mixed it with her knack for organization and management, creating a cadence that sings. And what she learned during her journey prepped her to excel at Brafton. 

But, how did she get here, exactly? Let’s look at her journey from studying media and music production to becoming a project management maestro. 

Getting Her Start

Sara got her undergraduate degree in media and music production at American Intercontinental University in London, focusing on the music side of the industry. After graduating, she went to the University of Westminster to pursue a master’s degree in audio production. 

As she looked for her first job out of college, she knew the music industry was where she wanted to be. She broke into this sector by working in Artist Relations, then in release planning in the central marketing department — her first taste of advertising. After that, she took on several different roles, like editing video content, managing larger creative teams, producing visual content for brands and heading the marketing and PR department of a communications firm.

She learned to juggle multiple projects at once, manage timelines, handle partnerships, build campaigns and work closely with creatives — all of which set her up for success where she is today.

Like a song that you just can’t quite get out of your head, Sara never got rid of the marketing earworm.  She desired a creative role where she could use her learned skills. Although she’d never done project management before, everything she’d done up until then pointed her toward that role. 

Finding Brafton

Sara’s journey to Brafton started like many others: on LinkedIn. While looking within the platform, there were two main aspects Sara considered a priority in her search for her next big gig.

“I wanted to have a little more control and to be happy in my new role,” she said. “So I asked myself what needs to be included [in the job] so that I’m happier.” 

Her desire for physical freedom made remote work appealing, a work style she’d never really considered before. When Brafton came up in her search, it instantly piqued her interest. At the time, she was also looking at a British company for the same type of job. 

“Even though the British choice seemed more comfortable, I decided to go to the place that was different and might challenge me more,” said Sara. 

She was hired in February 2022 as a project manager and has since been promoted to senior project manager. She excitedly commented she “got exactly what she was looking for” by choosing to work at Brafton. 

“I wanted a place that had a positive work environment and where I could measure success,” she added. “I feel like I manifested what I wanted.”

Harmonizing Work and Well-Being

Before Brafton, Sara was quick to rush from project to project, hardly slowing down to congratulate herself on her successes. Now, she’s in an environment where she feels supported and able to feel truly great at what she does.

“It was important to have skills, use them and feel like I’m actually making a difference, where the other environment was running like a chicken without a head,” she said, chuckling.

For example, she loves that Brafton is big on organization, especially through our project management system, something her previous roles didn’t have. 

As for work-life balance, she believes nothing’s more important than taking care of herself. One of her favorite parts about working at Brafton — besides her coworkers, of course — is how flexible the job is. 

“I have to be disciplined about making decisions for my mental health and physical health,” she said. “Even though I might be tired or working late, the gym is super important [to keep a healthy work-life balance].”

Off the Clock

While Sara excels during her 9 to 5, she has a ton of fun with her 5 to 9, as well. Because she loves focusing on her mental and physical health, exercise is always a part of her daily schedule. Outside of work, you can find her at the gym doing yoga, meditation and pilates.

She’s also big on travel, often bouncing between her home base in London and Washington D.C. — where she’s originally from and where her family still lives. While she rarely uses these skills anymore, she casually mentioned she has an advanced brown belt in American karate and is classically trained in piano — two points that any other person would’ve made a much bigger deal about. 

Even though she doesn’t know what Sara 30 years from now will be up to, she’s focused on enjoying the journey and seeing where it takes her. But one thing is for certain: Her concentration on her well-being and creative skills isn’t going anywhere. A reality that Brafton — and everyone else — gets to benefit from.