Name: Rudi de Sousa
Job Title: CTO
Location: London, UK
What was the most valuable piece of career advice that you received?
To take my hands off the keyboard. I remember this piece of advice from when I was making the jump to management. For anyone at this point in their career, the best advice is to move away from the implementation side of things and focus on nurturing your team. Rather than tackling every problem yourself, you have to step back and let them find the answer themselves.
What was the worst piece of business advice that you received?
Implementing a solution that a customer didn’t need or want and being told it would all work out. It never does and often you’re left worse off for it.
What advice would you give to someone starting their career in the tech industry?
Don’t be overwhelmed by what you don’t know. There’s always the temptation to keep up with your peers, but this only leads to burnout. Avoid any unnecessary disappointment by focusing solely on yourself and discovering what you’re honestly passionate about.
What tips would you give to someone aiming for a c-level position?
Don’t do it! Well, don’t aim for it at least. It sounds good in movies to chase after things, but in reality, c-level roles aren’t for everyone and never taking one isn’t a failure. You have to be someone who enjoys taking their hands off the keyboard and spending the time empowering others. If that’s you, you’ll pick up the position naturally when the time’s right.
Are you particularly proud of any career advice that you’ve given or the career route/development of anyone you’ve mentored?
In a previous role, I co-founded a graduate academy and put about 15 people into the programme. It was well structured with a good curriculum that got them working with different teams, learning a breadth of skills. Since completion, every one of that class has gone on to take really quite senior positions in the industry, even notable by name.
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