In August, 2009 I was asked by Murdoch University in Perth to give a presentation to undergraduates and alumni as part of a series to ‘help them connect to new insights about a working life, how to get there in tough times, and understand the dynamics of career development’.
This presented a challenge, as it was a far cry from my usual material of résumés, selection criteria and interview skills which I had delivered before.
Over the years, though I stress that I have no regrets at all about the way my working life has evolved, I have often reflected on some of the decisions I’ve made, the things that have happened to me, and the people I’ve met along the way.
So I thought it would be a good idea to come up with a series of headings along these lines, to talk about my experiences and to introduce others to the possibility that the same things could happen to them, particularly people just embarking on their careers.
Some might say that they couldn’t match the diversity I have experienced, but that’s not true. My life has been interesting but, when I started my first job as a junior international banker in London with the exotically named The Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation, I envisaged a career as a banker. How wrong I was!
I could not possibly have anticipated the twists and turns that lay ahead, the changes in career, location, and fortune.
I have learnt a lot, especially about people and about myself, but that’s what life is all about.
Anyone who reads this book will experience some, if not all, of
the topics I raise. Whether you benefit from the ‘wisdom’ of my
reflections is impossible to predict, because we are all unique and we
approach things differently according to our circumstances.
Click here to download Reflections on a working life
However, I like to think that there is something here for everyone and, looking back, I sometimes wish that I had had a compendium such as this on which to call.
If that had been the case who knows where I would have been by now?
But one thing I have learnt is that ‘tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift’, and living by this doctrine enables me to accept each day as it comes, to face the challenges that are presented, and to enjoy life as much as possible.
Each of us has a story to tell and one day you too might be writing a book such as this. I look forward to adding new chapters. This is only a beginning and, as I progress through life, I know that I will have many more things on which to reflect and many more stories to tell.