I recently attended an event at the University of the West of England as a guest speaker to showcase the fantastic opportunities for those about to embark on one of the most important decisions they need to make………their future career.
As you may imagine, I spent my time promoting the excellent opportunities that working in the crisis and risk management fields present. I was very pleased a few days later to receive an email from one of the student delegates
“…You attended one of my workshops and spoke highly about your career and the opportunities to work in the crisis and risk management industry. It has inspired me to follow up whether you employ placement year students, as I would be extremely interested in working for you.”
I have therefore put a few hints and tips together to help others about to embark on the first few steps of the career ladder:
- Enjoy what you do – To be the very best at in your chosen field you need to enjoy what you do. I am not saying you will enjoy every minute, but you do need to have a passion for what you do and strive to continually improve.
- Feedback is a gift – You will get things wrong and if you don’t, you are not trying hard enough. Embrace the feedback you are given when things don’t go quite as well as planned and learn from it.
- Build your experience – you may have the qualifications, but that is not the same as experience. Take every opportunity to test yourself, whether during exercises or during live incidents, the more you experience the better you will be prepared for the next difficult decision.
- Network – Yes I know it is not at the top of your list of favourite things to do, but get out and attend relevant events and speak to colleagues within the field. There are so many different opportunities to explore you really do need to take the time to build your network and identify your niche. What you start with will very rarely be the sole focus for your entire career.
- Consultant or actively engaged in the doing? – Unless you have spent a good number of years out doing the role, it is difficult to be in a position to advise clients on how they should be working. If I am honest being at the heart of an incident and working to resolve it is the best bit of my work, so before you look solely at consultancy find your niche and get involved in operations.
- You are only as good as your last event – we are all constantly learning and each and every time you manage a live incident, run an exercise or advise a client in whatever field, you will learn something, never forget this. Immerse yourself in your chosen field and keep learning, there is always room for improvement.
In conclusion, if you are considering a career in the crisis and risk management industry I highly recommend it. Whether you choose to work in a public service, in IT or in a large corporate organisation you will be challenged, no two days will be the same and you will develop a great many skills that will benefit you wherever you choose to go in the future.
About the author – Chris Regan is the Director of Blue Rock Risk Limited a specialist crisis and risk management consultancy. Chris works with both private and public sector clients to help them plan, prepare and respond effectively to a wide range of crisis and risk issues. Chris can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone 0117 244 0154.