Put Your Hand Up

Hi everyone, I’m Nick and I’m a former member of the Spilling the Beans team. Having spent a little while away from the team now, it’s been great to see how my successors have continued to move from strength to strength.

Being a part of this team was really enjoyable and great for my professional development. As a member I got involved in such varied work and, in the three months since I left the team, the little motor inside me (that won’t let me just make do with the nine-to-five) has seen me get involved in a new range of different and exciting projects…

In the last week alone, I’ve been to Loughborough University for a Pizza Night, I’ve been guest speaker at the Futures in Finance Conference in Southampton, I’ve spoken about our firm’s use of twitter at a networking event and have become a committee member of London’s Executive Network. With all this activity, I’ve started to ask myself why am I getting so heavily involved in activities outside the day job.

If you follow my twitter feed, you’ll notice that I’ve moved on from my role in Southampton Tax and taken a leap into the unknown of Operational Deal Services, an exciting a new team within our London Corporate Finance business. If you don’t follow my twitter feed, here’s a follower push from me: @GT_NickB.

Rather than get involved in talking about the nitty-gritty of what this means, I’d rather share my insight into why I think things have worked out as they have. This is emotive for me as this blog comes off the back of the afore mentioned guest speaker post at the Futures in Finance Conference – particularly relevant because I was directly contacted by the committee to speak, and I’m still not sure how they discovered me.

Writing a blog and sharing my experiences is something I really enjoy, but nothing beats getting my feet on the ground and talking to aspiring finance professionals. While I shared my experiences as a trainee at Grant Thornton, I came to realise a few points which start to answer the question as to why I always seem to get involved in so many extra-curricular projects.

I put the question to the attendees of the conference of what do you want to be doing in the next three, five and 10 years? What will you do today, tomorrow and next week to make that happen?

It’s a fairly standard question for people looking at career opportunities but I think the way we choose to look at it is what is most important. That is, in order to answer these questions we need to think about ‘the what’ and ‘the why’. In short, what do you need to do to get the role you want and why do you want it?

My advice, start with that hard question first: ‘the why’.

As a student, I was guilty of spending too much time thinking about ‘the what’; working out what my next step needed to be to get to wherever I was going, without ever really giving enough thought to where I was going, or why I was going there. As a student I rarely looked beyond the training contract, and have had to rapidly catch up on my life goals over the last year.

If you can figure out where you want to be in 10 years’ time, both personally and professionally, you can work back to today on what you need to do to achieve that. Being able to answer ‘the why’ comes with understanding what it means and this site is able to provide you with that wealth of knowledge and genuine insight. If you can figure it out now, you’re in a good position to get ‘the what’ bits done better and sooner than anyone else.

In the meantime, if ‘the why’ is a little bit blurred, put your hand up; try things out and discover what interests you. This is how you’ll figure it out best. I think for me, this is why I’ve always been first in the queue to try something different and why now these opportunities seem to follow me around.

If you have any questions that you’d like to ask, please feel free to comment below or catch me on twitter.

Leave a Reply