In our new series, we ask our key thought leaders to share a more personal perspective on their career journey and current position.

Stephen is our Sales Director for Australia. He works with a small but effective and passionate team of healthcare enthusiasts and leverages resources from around the globe to ensure our collective customers across Australia maximise their value from our partnerships.

Can you share with us five things you wish you knew before you started out?

Don’t judge a book by its cover

You know, people would say “dress for the job you want, not the job you have” and I fell for that too in my early career. These days, I try to dress in a way that is respectful to the audience but also reflects who I am. I’m pretty laid back these days, no vest or tie for me.

Similarly, when we meet someone for the first time, let’s not judge them by what they wear, rather by how they present themselves in the business world. Some of the best ideas come from outside your working bubble. Remember, we all started out as juniors at some point, so let’s give them the respect they deserve.

Is this conversation better over the phone or via an email?

Having started my career when deskphones were still in vogue yet emails were easier, I often wondered why people would send long emails. The trouble with emails, even today, is that you can’t manage the timeframe in which they are read or responded to. Also, you are at risk for someone misinterpreting the message you are trying to convey.

So I created a rule for myself which I’ve now adapted to smartphones: if it can’t be read in two scrolls of a smartphone screen then it’s too long. Pick up the phone and have a conversation.

Invest time in building a valuable business social network

LinkedIn is a great way to grow your career and seek new roles and opportunities. Invest in your network and make it work for you. Be brave and reach out to people you want to meet or those you admire.

I’m a big fan of LinkedIn and use it daily. It’s great for developing your personal brand and network.

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason

One of my biggest frustrations is people who talk at you. I’m sure most of us can recall a situation like this. If they only paused to ask a question, or allowed others to contribute to the conversation, then who knows what outcome could be achieved or where the conversation would go.

Make sure you ‘actively listen’ and unpack what it is your colleague is saying. If we never scratch the surface and go deep, we will never understand the root cause of the problem. We should listen twice as much as we speak!

Find out what is truly important to you

For many years I thought salary defined who you are in the corporate world. So I would be looking at ways to fast track my career, typically changing companies every two years or so, chasing the dollars.

However, the higher you climb the corporate ladder the more politix you are exposed to, the more stress and the greater the expectation. I quickly realised that my career currency was no longer financial, but rather people and culture. I therefore sought out organisations that had like-minded people and also offered a unique view of the world.

Interested in learning more about what we do?