Having now almost qualified, I was invited by our firm along with Lucy, Nick and Will to ‘Unleashing Your Potential 2013′. A two-day event, which aims to make us aware of all the opportunities available to us within Grant Thornton once we qualify and teaches us how to manage our careers.
The event involved many workshops as well as talks from Scott Barnes (our CEO) and other members from the National Leadership Board. It also involved listening to a guest speaker Steve McDermott, a motivational and inspirational coach considered by many in his industry to be Europe’s number one motivational speaker.
So what did we learn with regards to future opportunities in our firm? We continued to learn more about the many service lines within our firm as well as the many secondment opportunities available to us both within the UK and globally within Grant Thornton International. That said, as Nick has written a blog on the event, I thought I would focus on the tips to managing your career.
The first and most valuable tip is learn how to make the right impression. Many believe, like Steve McDermott, that the first four minutes are vital. What is key here is even if something may go wrong when you first enter the room, so you may arrive late or arrive wet having been caught out by the weather, don’t give up. Let your enthusiasm and passion for the interview shine through. When asked questions think rationally, logically and clearly. This will guide you well when in an interview, at business meetings or even with your collogues. Never forget this, it is key to managing your internal and external network.
Secondly, plan ahead and set goals, don’t allow yourself to be three, five or even ten years down the line stuck in a rut having not reached any of your goals. Take time to see where you want to be in the next five maybe ten years and plan accordingly. Reflect every three months to see whether in one form or another you are making progress. If you are not, why are you not progressing and what must you do to get back on track. Be proactive.
Thirdly, embrace learning. This means take courses, listen to other peoples’ advice and get feedback. All of these allow you to develop and grow as a person. Whilst it is important to make your own mistakes in life and learn from them, it is equally valuable to learn from those more experienced than you. They will have gone through what you might be going through, and if you take their advice you may develop quicker.
Fourth, be persistent but don’t rush. Things may not always go your way, if they don’t, do not give up and try to blame someone or something. I know at times I haven’t always been as persistent as I could have been, but you are the only one that can drive your careers so if you are not driving it no one else will. That said, one should not be forceful with their career. The skill is knowing when to make the most out of your current opportunity and when to move on.
One of the partners shared an experience he had, when he had just qualified in audit. He was advised by his then line manager to hold back a year before taking on a secondment. Although first dismayed by the idea, he later said that this was one of the best things he did. It allowed him to gain another year as an in-charge, leading younger trainees before he moved on.
I hope the tips above prove to be helpful and aid you during your application process and beyond.
If you have any questions feel free to raise a question on the forum or ask me on twitter; @GT_Victor.