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Human Resources

C-suite career advice: Xavier Fernandez Peramiquel, Abiquo

We ask industry leading C-suite professionals for their expert career advice...

03-02-2015-xavier-fernandez-peramiquel-abiquo
  Name:
Xavier Fernandez Peramiquel

  Company: Abiquo

  Job Title: Founder and CTO

  Location: Barcelona/London

 

What was the most valuable piece of career advice that you received?

In both my professional and my personal life, I have always tried to listen to and learn from those around me. However, the most valuable piece of advice I have received was from one of my seniors at Everis, Jose Antonio Gonzalez, who said; “work hard, listen to your market, learn quickly, use your talent and never compromise your dreams.”

What was the worst piece of business advice that you received?

When you start your own business, people will inevitably advise you against it. I was told by many not to start my own company as I would be “going to battle in a complex sector with bigger players who have far more resources”. However, on reflection, I have learnt that this is the wrong advice to give. Little companies have made big steps in the tech world - just look at how Apple, Google and Fitbit have managed to revolutionise the world of technology from humble beginnings.

What advice would you give to someone starting their career in the tech industry?

My advice to anyone would be to ensure that you utilise any tools that you have available. That means listening to the market, listening to your customers (or potential customers) and being prepared to change your product or strategy based on the feedback you receive.

It’s also important to ensure that you’re improving your communication and business skills every day, as well as your technical skills. To be a good leader, you need to have a mix of both technical and business knowledge, so it’s important that you learn from your weaknesses and push your strengths.

What tips would you give to someone aiming for a c-level position?

For me the most important piece of advice for those aiming for a c-level position is to create, develop and protect the team that will work alongside you, as these are the people that will suffer through bad times and celebrate the good at your side.  If you create a positive and motivated team, the rest will come naturally.

To help make this happen, I’d suggest that you outline the potential limits you and your team will face and conquer them together. You have the responsibility to make your team feel involved in the company’s success, not just the success of individual tasks. It’s all about communication, communication, communication.

Are you particularly proud of any career advice that you’ve given or the career route/development of anyone you’ve mentored?

When guiding my team, I always use advice that means something to me. I encourage them to challenge themselves continuously. My favourite piece of advice would be; ‘don’t stop listening and don’t stop learning. You have to find your weaknesses and work hard to solve them’. I see this advice being put to practice everyday within my own team, they are constantly encouraged to surpass themselves and keep improving, and they do.

I would also advise not to base your professional life around a position, but instead aim for an idea or dream. It is important to find the right place and not the right position. You must remember you are the only one that can choose the correct path for your career.

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