BE FOCUSED ON YOUR GOALS
BUT FLEXIBLE ABOUT YOUR METHODS.
When I first started on my professional journey at seventeen, I had no idea how I was going to make it to the top – all I knew is that I was.
There was no doubt in my mind that I would be successful and would become the best at my job.
Little did I realise how many twists, set-backs, failures and hardships I would have to endure along the way. Considering all the obstacles I had, especially early in my career, I’m sometimes surprised that I kept going within the engineering industry.
Having started my career in a small drawing office as a trainee RC Detailer I have worked for a variety of Engineering companies and have been exposed to many different specialisms within Civil and Structural Engineering. Having worked in many different sectors throughout my journey I have amassed a wealth of experience and expertise. To now be VP of an RC Detailing company and be solely responsible for the UK operations, my career has gone full circle over 28 years and it is somewhat ironic that as my career now branches into other avenues it is my first experience that will lead me to new openings.
My goal was to always help run a company at the highest level and be responsible for all aspects of that business. I have always thrived on responsibility and decision making, and it has always been at the forefront of my psyche to make peoples working life better through great leadership.
I have always had a unique prospective on my professional life and always had a great understanding (if maybe sometimes a little exaggerated) of my worth to a company - and to the engineering industry in general.
My blinkered approach to how I add value to a company has always been a high-risk strategy and has needed the ‘buy-in’ of the company hierarchy I worked for. This approach takes time, as you must build trust and belief in your capabilities and what you can bring to a business.
Thankfully, most of the time I have been supported fully by my bosses and business owners and they have put their trust in me - but only to a certain level of seniority.
This has been mostly because of the institutional mindset that the engineering industry has had in the past. I won’t go into the politics of it now, and thankfully this is now changing, and more individuals are being placed into high profile, and influential positions without the obligatory degree and purely because of what they can bring to business.
After the first company I worked for went into administration I quickly realised that I would need to move away from RC Detailing to get a new position. Having been made redundant from a job I loved and a company I was completely loyal to, it took me a few months to get a new position. It was not a position as an RC Detailer, but a Civil & Structural Draughtsman within a large national multi-disciplinary consultancy. I was utilised by many different sectors within the company from the Water Department to the Structures Department, and I was also taken out on site undertaking surveys.
This position and company taught me that having multiple skills and knowledge with the engineering industry and being able to adapt to many disciplines would make me a more attractive proposition to companies. This would not only serve me well in adding value to what I could offer, but would also mean that I could apply for differing positions should I ever need to.
Understanding the importance of having multiple and interchangeable skills within an engineering discipline was only a small part on the road to succeed. The hard work was gaining this knowledge by working late, working on weekends, and even working during my annual leave to lay the foundations to become influential within organisations. Having knowledge and understanding of many differing specialisms gives you the confidence and ability to make informed and when needed difficult decisions which ultimately breeds confidence from business leaders and within the professional team.
I have always, without failure, made it my goal to add value to every company I have worked for.
During my career I have work for some brilliant companies who have added to my knowledge and given me the skills to succeed. It has always been a two-way relationship, and I have always given back more than I have taken out.
The focus on my goal has never wavered and my goal to run and be responsible for a successful business has always been what I have dreamt of.
Getting to my goal has taken many twists and turns and I have had to remain flexible in knowing that every step I have taken was needed to achieve my objective.
Having multiple skills and learning more than one skill is essential in the business world today – it adds value to your personal brand and you can be utilised by companies in many ways. Always be eager to learn new skills and constantly improve yourself every day. Stay focused but be flexible.
Be stubborn about your goals but flexible about your methods