Planning Your Career Journey with Rutherford Cross – September 2017

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

On Thursday 14th of September we hosted speakers from Spirit Aerosystems, Chiene & Tait, and Aggreko for the latest in our ‘Planning Your Career Journey’ series.  Our three speakers have had very different career paths, and each offered their own unique tips and advice for our audience, which made for an insightful and inspiring event.

Tommy Cowan, who is now Senior Director of Airbus Programs with Spirit Aerosystems, has actively sought to broaden his exposure beyond finance throughout his career.  Paul Mason is a Cambridge graduate who gained substantial experience in investment banking before moving into Corporate Finance, and is now Partner at Chiene & Tait.  David White, Group Financial Controller of Aggreko, trained with a small firm in London, worked with a big 4 firm in Barbados before switching to industry when moving back to the Glasgow area.

Although coming from different backgrounds and each having arrived at their present positions via their own unique career journey, our speakers all agreed on the importance of thinking strategically when making decisions about your career.  Each agreed that it is essential that any change should add to your professional skillset, ensuring that you have greater career options as you progress.

Below we have captured some of the key pointers from our experienced panel that make great reading for those considering the next move, or looking to map out their own professional journey.

  • Move quickly to achieve your goals – this can mean ensuring you achieve your professional qualifications as quickly as possible to put you ahead of the game, or taking on additional responsibility for projects before peers
  • Work hard to earn the right to succeed
  • Seek advice from peers and mentors but take responsibility for your own career – remember this is your career so take ownership of the decisions you make and goals you set
  • Set your own career goals in line with your values – we are all motivated by different things so there is no right and wrong answer when it comes to setting career goals
  • Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses – evaluate your strengths and skills and think strategically about how they can help you achieve your goals
  • Be strategic about your career moves – how will the next move you make bring you closer to achieving your career goals?
  • Take controlled risks – you may find yourself presented with a great opportunity at what feels like the ‘wrong’ time, or with the ‘wrong’ company. Consider taking the risk if it advances you along your career path
  • Consider working abroad – making a move abroad for work can be daunting, but can open you up to new experiences, both personally and professionally, and put you ahead of your peers
  • Always seek new experiences, regardless of where you are in your career – you don’t need to move role or company in order to continue your professional development
  • Work hard to earn the right to succeed

All our speakers have enjoyed great success in their career journeys thus far.  Given most of us will be working for a significant part of our lives it is important to invest in putting yourself in a position where having fun whilst achieving your career goals is possible.  This may not come easy, but knowing what you want exposure to next and how to make this happen is certainly not to be underestimated.

Our next Planning Your Career Journey event will take place on the 9th of November in Edinburgh and will feature; Paul Copland – Audit Partner, EY, Alan Sievewright – Deputy Head of Finance, Baillie Gifford, and Colin McLellan – CFO, Skyscanner.

For more information about our events, or to find out about how to attend, please contact [email protected]