One of our school leavers, Honeybea Youngman, won School Leaver of the Year at the Top Employers for School & College Leavers awards last week. Here are three simple bits of advice to help her and others to progress their careers:
1. Be direct and give feedback. Young people are usually shy about giving direct opinions, particularly to their seniors. This is borne out of a desire to avoid conflict, but it holds people back. The CEO’s first job is to define reality and he or she craves the truth. When I left university, I never dared contradict my seniors and it took a five year assignment in Australia for me to learn to give direct feedback to my teams. It’s important to give your views and to keep the organisation as close to the truth as you can. There’s a wonderful introduction that never fails, even with a boss: “can I be direct with you?”
2. Get yourself profit and loss responsibility as soon as you can. One of the reasons being a Pret shop manager is satisfying is that you have complete control over a profit and loss account, often from a remarkably early age. Working without a profit and loss account is like a warm up – the action starts when the match begins. I wasn’t responsible for a profit and loss until I was 27 and when it happened, my commitment quadrupled. Not everyone can have profit and loss accountability, but try to get some version of it and watch what it does to you.