1. Communication is the most important career tool: The most important skill is to be able to describe in clear and simple terms what the choices are, and what represents the best way forward. Good managers talk in terms that people outside their department will understand.
2. Walk in the other person’s shoes: Above all you need to listen and see the issues from their perspective. Most people think that everyone is like them, but in reality, people are much more different. Think about things from their perspective to see how best to meet a need and add value.
3. Culture is more important than cash: Culture clashes can cause significant problems, so it is essential to join a company where you will fit in. You can always retrain but you must fit into the culture to thrive
4. Work with technology, but be a military/business professional: Being a technical expert is relatively easy, but relating that technology to the business can be much harder. You have to mix with the people as well as the technology.
5. Take your meetings seriously: Always research the meeting and have a pro-active approach. Being prepared allows you engage in the meeting more actively and appear more effective.
6. Make friends with people who matter: You need to ask who are the decision makes in the organisation and think how to guide them to get what you want. Decision makers need advice and you can become their advisor if you first become their friend.
7. Project management skills are evergreen: Managing projects will be the core of your success, and without that ability your career will stall. The best way to learn these skills is by doing.
8. Deep technical knowledge is only useful in the early stages of a career: Learn about technologies that are a benefit, and generate a broad knowledge to help generate solutions. Then find people who have that knowledge and manage them in ways that provide a valuable output for the organisation.
9. He who doesn’t ask doesn’t get: Exceed your targets and ask for more; more challenge, more money, more responsibility. Make achievement you brand name.
10. If you’re not having fun then go home now: Making your way to the top relies upon having a passion for what you are doing. You can spend 40 hours plus a week on your work role, if you don’t enjoy it, then it is an awful waste of your life!
Dare to Aspire