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Human Resources

C-suite career advice: Gavin Wilson, Sociomantic Labs

16-02-2016-gavin-wilson-sociomantic-labs
 Name:
Gavin Wilson

 Company: Sociomantic Labs

 Job Title: Chief Revenue Officer

 Location: London, UK

 

What was the most valuable piece of career advice that you received?
Set the bar high from the outset both company wide and personally. It is a competitive market and one that a lot of people underestimate until they are right in the thick of it. On a personal level, I was once advised into a role that seemed beyond my years; getting out of that comfort zone is exactly what we should all do.

What was the worst piece of business advice that you received?
The worst? Being told to go along with the status quo. Don’t be afraid to change the system. The world is always changing and it is vital that everyone adapts. To become a leader in a company, you should always question the status quo and constantly look for more efficient or productive ways of doing business. If you take on different and new projects and think outside of the box, you will get noticed and be rewarded for it further down the line. Back yourself, take the risk and make decisions. They usually turn out well.

What advice would you give to someone starting their career in the tech industry?
Rise to the occasion. The tech industry is always changing so be bold and don’t hesitate to bring new ideas to the table. No idea is a bad idea, and no matter how old you are, tech thrives from new focus, thought leadership and innovation. That can come from any person, of any age and at any stage of their career.

What tips would you give to someone aiming for a c-level position?
Don’t aim for a c-level position for the sake of the title. Be yourself, be ideas-driven, focused and dedicated, and it will come to you. Never seem too busy to do more, even if you feel engulfed by the tasks ahead of you.
I have seen a lot of smart employees fail to get promoted because they have appeared to be at breaking point and are working too hard. If you look stressed, people will think you don’t have the capacity or are not prepared to take on more work, this means that you will miss opportunities to get involved in new and innovative projects. Do the additional work first before you ask for the upside in title or benefits. Good employers want trusted and dedicated employees who fight first and are rewarded second.

Are you particularly proud of any career advice that you’ve given or the career route/development of anyone you’ve mentored?
Help your fellow employees even if there is no direct benefit to yourself.
 It doesn’t take much effort to answer questions, provide referrals and open doors for people who need your help. It is worth investing time into helping your employees even if doing so offers you nothing immediate in return because your efforts will be rewarded in the future in unexpected ways. I’ve always believed that if we can keep amazing talent for two or three years, and then they move elsewhere due to a role we can’t fulfill, I’m the first to shake their hand. They’ve done the work themselves, but I hope we’ve helped them in some small way as they advance in their careers.   

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