What They Don’t Teach You At Business School

With over 400,000 fresh UK graduates every year, the competition for jobs is at an all-time high (with on average 70 candidates applying for every role advertised).

The success of TV shows such as The Apprentice, provides for many, their first real insight into how the world of business operates.This blog will look at 5 simple strategies that you won’t learn at business school and is based on my own personal experiences of working as a marketer in retail, fmcg, electronics, technology, professional services and market research.

Be yourself…
What makes us all different is our unique personality, attitude and character – therefore always be true to yourself and be comfortable about who you are. The success of your career will not just hinge on your ability and experience, but will be strongly influenced by your personal uniqueness. People tend to warm more to those that they can trust and feel comfortable around and dislike those who come across as false and insincere – so always be yourself, and be approachable.

Get Enthused…
No matter what you do in life, you will never succeed unless you have bags of enthusiasm. Too many people do a job, but fail to inspire those around them. The best career advice that I was given was: “Do something you love and something that you are good at”. If you generate natural enthusiasm for what you are doing – you will not just benefit from doing something you love, it will also spread around your team.

Develop Thick Skin…

Going into a career in business/marketing is not for the faint hearted. What they don’t prepare you for at business school is how to deal with the many different personalities that we will meet. Never let the opinions, feelings, attitudes and actions of those around you, deter you from achieving your personal career plan. You will not be everyone’s cup of tea (all of the time), and whilst it is important to be friendly – stay focused on the task/challenge at hand and do your best (that’s all you can do)!

Embrace Criticism…
No-one likes to be told they are doing something wrong – however, my advice is always embrace criticism as an opportunity to improve (don’t take it as a personal insult). We learn from mistakes, not always from success. It is ok to make mistakes, just don’t keep making the same ones.

Operate With Integrity/Humility…
The most impressive people I have ever come across in my own marketing career have been those individuals who have great integrity and humility. Remember that today’s marketing exec, could be tomorrow’s director – so always stay grounded and treat people with respect (trying to do the right thing).

Summary…
If we look at the last 6 winners of the Apprentice, they all clearly displayed a set of simple virtues that were applied with successful results. Working hard, being smart and having the ability to be decisive is simply not enough!

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