Planning Your Career Journey with Rutherford Cross – November 2017

Rutherford Cross’ Stephanie Livingston shares her thoughts following our most recent ‘Planning Your Career Journey’ series aimed at newly and recently qualified finance professionals.

On 9th November, Rutherford Cross hosted the 10th event in its ‘Planning Your Career Journey’ series, welcoming speakers from Baillie Gifford, EY, and Skyscanner. Whilst all three of our speakers began their careers in the Big 4, each has subsequently pursued different paths, resulting in a variety of useful tips and pointers for the recently qualified audience in attendance.

Alan Sievewright, Deputy Head of Finance at Baillie Gifford, has had an impressive career that spans across EY, Baker Tilly, Blackrock, and Baillie Gifford. Paul Copland began his training with Deloitte in Audit and made use of their international presence by moving to Canada before returning to Scotland with the firm and eventually joining EY as an Audit Partner. Colin MacLellan, CFO at Skyscanner, began his career in the Tax department of KPMG before moving to Scottish Power, Worldmark, and most recently Skyscanner where his career his progression has mirrored the recent and impressive growth of the tech business.

Below is a summary of some of the key points Alan, Paul and Colin made throughout the night:

  • Work hard – be accountable for your own success
  • Build and impress your network – your network will present you with career opportunities, technical advice, professional guidance, introductions, and a wealth of experience that you are yet to encounter
  • Choose your network wisely – being around the right people will offer you the opportunity to learn, develop and progress. The culture within an organisation and a team is incredibly important too
  • Consistently assess your circumstances – keep an open mind both regarding your current situation as well as additional opportunities
  • Do something you are passionate about – enjoying what you do can significantly improve how you feel about your career
  • Invest in people. If you have a good team working for you it will make your working life a lot easier
  • Different stages of your life require different levels of work-life balance – look to plan your career accordingly
  • Challenge the status quo, be an innovator –there is always room for innovation in business

Whilst our speakers talked about very different experiences, they all agreed that it is OK not to know what your final destination is. In fact, it is almost impossible to follow anything more than a five year plan as certain elements are beyond your control – whether that is to do with your personal circumstances, the strategy of the company you work for, industry changes or technological advancements. What you can control is your work ethic, your reputation and network, and maintaining an open mind-set to consistently assess your circumstances and opportunities.

This evening concluded our event calendar for 2017 so please keep in touch for details of the next ‘Planning Your Career Journey’ event in 2018.