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Your Most Valuable Career Lesson

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Our past Business Awards winners let us in on their secrets…

Everyone has an idea brewing at the back of their mind, one that if they gave it enough sunlight and care could possibly turn into a real passion project. Every year we honour the women who follow such passions with the IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards taking place on Monday November 24th in the Doubletree by Hilton in Dublin 4.

Our Autumn was spent going through reams of applications, realising what a wealth of talent this country is breeding. However, as Thomas Edison famously opined, “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration.” We decided to catch up with our past winners to ask them what was the most valuable career lesson they ever learned.

Read on for some motivation…

Marissa Carter, Founder of Cocoa Brown and winner of last year’s Start-up of the Year 2013
“My most valuable career lesson has been not to take rejection personally and not to give up hope when the first answer is no. I’ve also learned that achieving realistic goals isn’t any fun so I like aiming high. If I’m honest though, the most important lesson I’ve learned over the years has been that you can’t get very much done on your own. You need a team of people around you with the same values. The Cocoa Brown team values are passion, persistence and pink. It’s working for us thus far.”

Margot Slattery, Managing Director of Sodexo Ireland and IMAGE Management Professional of the Year 2013
“It’s all about and comes down to people in the end, all situations come about in regard to good or bad people decisions. Investing in and nurturing the right people always pays off.”

Clodagh McKenna, Chef and IMAGE Entrepreneur of the Year 2011
“I feel every month I learn something new to improve myself and my business, and so I guess my biggest advice would be to always be open to listening to others and learning new skills and advice. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be where I am right now.”

Maeve McMahon, Commercial Marketing Director at GE Capital and IMAGE Overseas Businesswoman of the Year 2013
“There are always opportunities around every corner… So if you’ve applied for a job and didn’t get it, there will always be something better around the corner which is right for you – personally I’ve experienced this a few times already in my career! And indeed if you do take a job and you realize it wasn’t maybe what you thought, you will learn something from that experience anyway, so learn and move on! No one cares as much about your career as you do so take responsibility for it!”


Katie Jane Goldin

Katie Jane Goldin, Managing Director of Great Lengths Ireland and IMAGE Young Businesswoman of the Year 2013
“The most valuable career lesson that I have learned is to always be flexible in your approach, the environment in which we operate is always changing, so it is important to give yourself the best opportunity to be one step ahead by being as versatile as possible in order to help create a dynamic and successful business.”

Lisa Domican, Founder of Grace App and IMAGE Social Entrepreneurship Businesswoman of the Year 2013
“Ask. Ask for help. There are always people who want to help you, they just don’t know how. Don’t wait for an ‘Angel’ – constantly tell your story and when you find someone with the skills you need, ask them to help.”

Linda Kiely, Co-founder of Voxpro and IMAGE Entrepreneur of the Year 2013
“There have been a couple of valuable lessons I have learned along the way. The first lesson is realizing that there is nothing simple about staying in the game; deciding to start your own business is one thing but having the tenacity to drive it forward, in spite of major challenges, is another. The second, is that your first impression of people is usually the correct one, so don’t be afraid to rely on your own intuition, even if your gut feeling is at odds with other peoples’ opinions.”

Niamh Sharkey, Laureate na n’Óg and IMAGE Creative Businesswoman of the Year 2013
“Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started. You will discover your potential by doing good work and sharing it with people.”


Caroline Keeling

Caroline Keeling, CEO of Keelings and Image Businesswoman of the Year 2013
“Make sure you have a very clear vision of the business plan you want to deliver and that you believe in it. Make sure you can flex it for when thing go better or worse than planned. Ask for advice from all you think can help you, I have been amazed at how helpful people have been to me”.

Sophie Morris, Director Kooky Dough and IMAGE Young Businesswoman of The Year 2012
“Talk to and get advice from as many people in your industry as you can – it’s much cheaper to learn from other people’s mistakes than to make them yourself! – And we’re lucky in Ireland as business people are so willing to share experiences and help each other without looking for anything in return, we need to take advantage of that because I believe it is unique to Ireland.”

Joan Freeman, Founder and CEO of Pieta House and IMAGE Social Entrepreneurship Businesswoman of the Year 2012
“Don’t react to situations – just respond.”

The Awards are held in association with Electric Ireland, Brown Thomas, Samsung and Boodles and supported by Enterprise Ireland, Marks & Spencer, independent.ie, Newstalk and the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel.

 

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