By | Bernard Marr
Many of us have inbuilt boundaries telling us that we can’t do this or can’t ever achieve that. For me, the best career advice I have ever received is that there is nothing I can’t achieve. I guess my mother has been the first to always tell me that I could do anything I wanted. She never set any expectations, just wanted me to be happy, and believed in me to achieve as much as I wanted. That laid the foundations.
But this message was reinforced by my first boss. I was on a 3-month placement with a trading company in Hong Kong when I was still at university. I was completing a course back in Germany that brought together business and management with information systems and engineering. And I had some choices to make – did I want to focus on the IT side, the business side, or engineering? When I arrived in Hong Kong, my boss told gave me choices and then said I could try different things. I ended up writing the first computer program for the company, then worked in the trading organization where I had to negotiate with suppliers and customers, and at the end managed a small project team. In my 1-2-1s with my boss, he always made it clear that I should try anything, and as long as I enjoy it and do a good job, I could rise up in the business and maybe one day even do his job.
This gave me a lot of confidence to try different things and is reflected in what I do today. I write books and articles, advice companies and governments, deliver training seminars and keynote presentations, and work with brands as a social media influencer. None of this I would have ever imagined when I was sitting in my office in Hong Kong. But out of my office, I could see the amazing skyline of this bustling and fast emerging city. I could see the opportunities.