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Human Resources

C-suite career advice: Neil Everatt, Selenity

 

Name: Neil Everatt

Company: Selenity

Job Title: Chief Executive Officer

Location: Lincoln, UK

 

What was the most valuable piece of career advice that you received?
Not verbal advice as such, but I noticed during my first work placement how those that went the extra mile achieved greater things, and were given more opportunities in their chosen career.  I tried doing just that and, sure enough, within a few months I was given a full-time role and opportunities for career development.  That was, for me, the moment when there was a direct correlation between effort and reward in business.

What was the worst piece of business advice that you received?
“Never apologise, it’s a sign of weakness”. You commonly see representatives of businesses fear saying sorry to a customer if something goes wrong. There’s this thing about accepting liability, but the reality is, a sincere apology goes a long way. It’s very similar to the ‘gesture of goodwill’ offered by some companies so why not just say “we got it wrong this time, and we would like to say sorry with this”? Again, it’s the fear of accepting some kind of liability and setting precedent, but saying how it is goes a lot further.

What advice would you give to someone starting their career in the tech industry?
It has been said a million times because it’s true: do something that you love and feel passionate and excited about. Technology and its potential is incredibly exciting.
On that note, I’d also suggest that if there’s an area of tech that really excites and inspires you then head down that path.  Something that we often tell students is that just because a company is not advertising for a role, it doesn’t mean there isn’t one - for the right candidate.  Reverse recruitment I guess, choose who you want to work for and ask them for an opportunity.

What tips would you give to someone aiming for a c-level position?
Care about people, first and foremost.  It’s those soft skills, an emotional intelligence, and it probably isn’t something you can teach very easily.  Secondly, identify what kind of person you are, what is your learning style, how do you best absorb data, and ultimately what are your weaknesses.  You won’t be able to address them all, but by knowing how you ‘tick’ you can make sure you the gaps are filled when necessary. 

Are you particularly proud of any career advice that you’ve given or the career route/development of anyone you’ve mentored?
We’ve seen so many new colleagues come to Selenity and grow into a role that they never felt they themselves could achieve.  The positive encouragement and underlying ‘can do’ attitude is a testament to the culture there is within the organisation.  There are many proud moments, but seeing a colleague join as an apprentice and become part of the executive team is right up there!

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