I left the accountancy practice because I knew I had gone stale, working on the same clients in the same environment and now I wanted to get stuck in and get more involved so I decided to move into industry.
I started with Moog, an American multinational at the age of 22 taking on the role of financial accountant, reporting into the financial controller.
I didn’t have experience of working for a multi-national before but I was a bright, enthusiastic qualified accountant looking for a new challenge.
For six months I was learning, soaking up this experience with fresh eyes and a new perspective and after that initial period I really got into gear and they got the best of me. The financial controller went off on maternity leave after I was there just over a year and I was asked to take on her role and mine – not a bother, I took it in my stride. When she came back I knew I couldn’t slip back to the supporting role so I looked for a new challenge.
I then took on the role of financial controller of a drinks wholesaler and manufacturer, a subsidiary of Guinness.
I didn’t have experience of working in the drinks sector before but I had worked in practice and I had been the financial controller in a large multinational. For six months I was learning and soaking up this experience with fresh eyes and a new perspective and after that they really got the best of me.
After a few years in this role I was going stale, I was repeating myself and the job was more of the same. I had always wanted to start my own business and I loved music so I recruited a manager and opened a few music stores around the country while I still stayed working. I had never worked in the music industry before nor had I operated retail stores but I brought a fresh perspective and bucket loads of enthusiasm to this new experience.
Out of the blue I was asked if I was interested in the General Manager role, which I gladly accepted.
I didn’t have the experience of managing a large business but I was a bright, enthusiastic person with a good understanding of the company and I had a solid background in finance.
For six months I was learning, soaking up this experience with fresh eyes and a new perspective and after that period they really got the very best of me achieving the best results ever for the company.
I then moved to Guinness in Dublin taking on a number of different roles, none of which I had done before bringing fresh eyes and a new perspective to all of them.
After three years I became the general manager of a subsidiary of Heineken bringing fresh eyes and a new perspective to the role. I really drove on the performance of the company but in truth I had done a similar role for the Guinness subsidiary and after three years I was getting bored and I should have moved on. I lasted two more years and left to join Deirdre Waldron at Fuzion, which has been brilliant.
Everyday in Fuzion we are faced with new situations and fresh challenges. We often work with new clients from different sectors and we achieve great results by bringing fresh eyes, new perspectives and enthusiasm and applying all of our collective experience and learnings to their challenges.
I have learned in my 32 years of working that to get the best of anyone in a role there must be some element of a challenge in it, something new the whole time that keeps them challenged, fresh, inspired and motivated and at the top of their game.
I have also learned that after a while of doing the same thing over and over people will get stale as that sense of challenge disappears. Despite having all of the experience and knowledge a big opportunity will be lost by not handing over the mantle to someone who knows less but has a sparkle, a freshness, a hunger and a desire to learn and take on a new challenge.
The next time you are choosing someone for a role or you are putting your project out for contract try to resist the safe temptation of going with the person or the company that have “done it all before” and instead look for the fresh perspective and grab that sparkle.