Grovelands’ co-founder, Mark Davies, reflects on what advice he would give to his younger self based on his experiences of the workplace.
I recently read a letter from a Chief Executive to himself as a young graduate. It left me wondering what advice I would have given myself at age 21.
Despite completing my BSC, in 1986 I realised chemistry was not the profession for me. Although I was a decent chemist, I was unfortunately a clumsy one. Clumsiness meant that the laboratory was not my friend; this led directly to me needing to find a new profession.
At 21, I knew nothing of working life, as such my first choice was to find a profession where I could learn as I went – in my case management accountancy. I feel this was a tremendous decision and one that has shaped the rest of my life so far. Accountancy set me up for life with a profession, a knowledge of finance, and a discipline that I could fall back on.
Other pieces of advice come from more recent experience, although I wish I had known them at the time.
Do work that fascinates you and excites you. Don’t worry about whether exciting and fascinating things are well paid or not. If you do something that you genuinely love, the money will follow.
Grasp every opportunity that comes your way and enjoy the ride. Jump whole heartedly into things and see what happens, taking every opportunity will lead to progression and personal growth – even if it takes you down a different path than the one you envisioned.
Enjoy and learn from the people you meet, the situations you find yourself in, and the business you work within. These early experiences will shape a lot of your future career, and it is these early experiences that you will come to rely on as a Senior Manager or Director.
Finally, and saving the most important advice for last, enjoy the work you do and don’t give up when the going gets tough.