Ted Lasso’s Keeley Jones can do no wrong in the worlds of fashion, beauty, relationships, friendships, and career, so obviously, I consider her an icon. She’s a loyal friend and loving girlfriend who has nailed her personal style, prioritizes her self-care (I would kill for a bubble bath like hers), and now, is working her way to the top of her self-started career in public relations. IMO, she has everything going for her, and that’s only going to continue in season three as she takes on her very own PR firm with the help of Bantr, the dating app she successfully promoted while she was the Head of Marketing at AFC Richmond.
At the end of season two, her career storyline really picks up, but if you think that Keeley’s career growth from influencer and model to CEO happened quickly, you weren’t watching close enough. The slow and steady build of Keeley’s success is directly related to the unwavering determination she’s had since the pilot. There is a lot we can learn from her—aside from her ability to rock a pink power suit and heels and make it look easy. From Keeley’s humble beginning to how she leveraged her connections to become a CEO, here is everything we can learn from Keeley Jones’ career growth:
1. Doing what you’re passionate about leads to success
As an influencer and a model, Keeley is naturally savvy when it comes to brand deals, social media, and public relations. She managed her own, helped her ex-boyfriend Jamie with his when they were still together, and even was able to help Ted manage negativity from the media when he first became the football coach. When Keeley was offered the job as Head of Marketing at AFC Richmond, she was able to take a step back from modeling jobs (remember when she was dressed as a lion for a vodka commercial?) and focus her efforts on marketing and public relations, which she is not only naturally good at but that excites her too.
Finding out what you’re passionate about doesn’t always come easy, but it should happen naturally as it did for Keeley. Think about the things in your job now (or even something you do on the side!) that you are good at or that excite you. Then, ask your manager if you can take on more responsibility in that area or start doing more work on the side to gain more exposure and experience. Little by little, you’ll be in a position where you’re doing more of what you love, and TBH, that’s the key to success.
2. Small steps yield big results
When Keeley started at AFC Richmond, there was not a single brand deal in sight for most of the players, so she had to start from scratch. She set up times to talk to each player so she could figure out what would be a good fit for them before reaching out to the companies for deals. With a unicorn notebook in hand, Keeley started small and created opportunities for the club and herself one step at a time. By the end of season two, one of those brands (Bantr) noticed the effect of her efforts and was impressed with her enough to offer to fund a PR firm for her. This is all to say that success doesn’t happen overnight; It’s a slow build. It takes showing up each and every day and chipping away at your goals—even if some of those days turn into late nights (which we saw Keeley working in many episodes). Each step builds off of the next, so even if it doesn’t always feel like you’re making leaps and bounds of progress, your momentum will pick up, and you’ll start to see that the small things add up to be something bigger.
3. Networking is crucial for career growth
When Keeley met Rebecca, the owner of AFC Richmond, Keeley was instantly in awe of Rebecca’s success and badass attitude. She learned from Rebecca how to be a strong and accomplished woman in a place of leadership and their mentor-like relationship has significantly contributed to Keeley’s confidence in herself and in her role. And if it weren’t for Rebecca seeing Keeley’s potential, Keeley wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity to work with Bantr. Keeley has surrounded herself with people that build her up and create opportunities for her, which is something we should all be doing in our lives and careers. This is the perfect example of how networking and nurturing relationships can change the trajectory of your entire career. After all, she was featured in Vanity Fair as a powerful woman on the rise.
4. Short-term sacrifices are necessary for long-term gain
Arguably the biggest cliffhanger at the end of the second season is where Roy and Keeley’s relationship stands. She turns down an opportunity to go on vacation with him in Marbella so she can start her new company and hit the ground running. I don’t know about you, but I don’t consider turning down a vacation with a partner an easy thing to do. But for Keeley, it’s what she has to do to become the kind of CEO she wants to be. Making sacrifices is common and often necessary in these situations, and they can come in all forms. When we are going after something we want, we have to recognize what sacrifices are worth making for our end goal. Maybe that looks like skipping a vacation or working late nights like Keeley, or maybe it means letting go of people in your life that don’t support your goals. Whatever it looks like for you and your career, stand firm in what you want, and don’t let anyone or anything get in the way of following your dreams. It will pay off in the end.