Five Career Lessons from World Record Holder and Adventurer, Mark Beaumont

Rutherford Cross recently hosted an event bringing together 80 high potential future business leaders to listen to World Record holder and adventurer, Mark Beaumont, share his thoughts on achieving career potential.

The event, run in partnership with Santander and hosted at their offices in Glasgow, was a huge success thanks to Mark’s inspirational stories and career and life lessons.   You can read some of Mark’s career lessons and top tips for planning for success below.

  1. Define Your Goal    

Work out what you are capable of based on your strengths and interests, rather than assimilating other people’s career goals. Get into a habit of pushing your comfort zone and regularly building new routines into your work.  This will allow you to be very ambitious in the eyes of others without undue pressure.

Understand that you will have to work hard to achieve your goals.  Mark knows there will be a lot of pain during his challenges, but has the experience to know that the toughest parts become the proudest and fondest memories.  Envision where you want to go, know what your aspirations are, identify what you want to achieve, and what you are willing to sacrifice in order to do so.

  1. Know Yourself

Reflect and work to your experience and values, but also be open to change.  Focus on what you enjoy and excel at, and think about how you can use these skills to benefit yourself, your team and the wider business.  Everyone can perform well when the going is good and at the start of projects – real performance is tested by knowing your weaknesses and resilience to setbacks.  Momentum is a key concept with work flow, and you need to develop an awareness of your intensity and focus.  Pay attention to which skills are sought in your profession and aim to acquire practical experience in these areas.

  1. Make A Plan

Decide which route you want to take. Will it be the fastest route to the top of the career ladder; the scenic route offering full experience and learning; or the alternative route to give a different perspective and experience?

No goal within a business plan or within a career plan goes in a straight line with 100% intensity.  You need to know the big picture and goal, then get obsessed with the inputs and what you can actually affect each day.  Being effective at this micro level means the ultimate goal will take care of itself.   Know that there will be setbacks and periods of slower than optimal performance, but with the same intensity of work and openness to adapt, trust that the plan will stay on-track.  Your plan should be your personal roadmap, giving a sense of direction, focus and determination to reach your goals. You should include details of training, career missions and personal branding.

  1. Create Your Team

Surround yourself with a capable and committed team that can support you and help to develop your skill gaps.  Be open to mentoring, regardless of your age and experience.  Communication is one of the keys to your success and this means a peer group who will challenge and question you, as much as they agree and support you.  We need timelines and pressure from those around us to work with intensity.

Managers and peers can give guidance, while a mentor can often help to provide a valuable external perspective on your situation.   A recruitment consultant who you trust and who understands your aspirations can advise you on the skills your desired employer may be looking for and expose you to opportunities you may not otherwise encounter.

  1. Embrace Unexpected Opportunities

Mark constantly faces the unknown during his World Record attempts, some very positive and some extremely detrimental.  But these unforeseen setbacks can be the greatest lessons in the long run.  Being open to the opportunities each challenge can offer is important, however large or small.  Get used to ‘scaring’ yourself regularly with tasks and ambitions so you don’t end up working just to meet others expectations.

Before committing to a course of action, determine whether or not the opportunity is taking you towards your end goal, and whether or not you have time to fully commit to it. Such opportunities, alongside your own changing perceptions may combine to alter your goal as you progress in your career. Building in ‘pause points’ in your day, week and year is essential to reflect on achievements, consider opportunities and ensure success.


Rutherford Cross host regular networking and career building event in Glasgow and Edinburgh with the leaders of some of Scotland’s top businesses.  For more information contact [email protected] or call 0141 611 7770/0131 603 8111 to speak to one of our consultants.

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