Tuesday 6 December 2016

Look to develop broad skills and a wide knowledge base, and avoid becoming pigeonholed

What I wish I’d known before I started

Tony O'Malley Chief Executive Fujitsu Ireland

Published 17/01/2016 | 02:30

FIGHTING FIT: Tony O’Malley’s time in the Army served him well, and even today he finds physical fitness benefits him in his work
FIGHTING FIT: Tony O’Malley’s time in the Army served him well, and even today he finds physical fitness benefits him in his work

I have been fortunate to enjoy a varied career, beginning with the Irish Army and moving on to the ICT sector, working at a national and international level in a variety of roles spanning delivery, consulting, sales and programme management. As I have progressed, I have found myself becoming more self-aware and continuously learning so rather than finding there are things I wish I had done or known, I have pushed myself to be open to new experiences and perspectives.

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As such I believe everyone, whether they are a business leader or a graduate starting out, should be brave and not be risk adverse. Risk is something I became aware of during my military career and particularly how you can mitigate it, lessons I have carried with me. No one will always get it right the first time, so in order to ultimately achieve our goals we need to fine tune as we go along. Learn from previous experience to inform future risks.

I would recommend anyone starting out to look to develop broad skills and a wide knowledge base, and avoid becoming pigeonholed. People typically find that their roles will evolve over time in line with the organisations they work for. As such, employers should ideally look to build teams with a broad range of expertise so they can meet the ever changing needs of existing and prospective clients.

I think it is important to have interests outside of work that utilise your skills and expertise. The experience you will gain from collaborating with people outside of your usual working environment will serve to benefit you in the office day-to-day, and provide opportunities to grow your network which is invaluable for anyone running a business, large or small. Fujitsu has a global network of 160,000 people and we work just as hard to forge partnerships with these internal audiences as we do externally.

I am a keen runner and general sports enthusiast so I try to keep myself in reasonable shape. Physical fitness was an important component of the day job when I was in the Army and I have to admit that I struggled when I made the transition to industry.

Constant travelling, living out of hotels and eating on the move all took their toll until I took control a few years ago. It was only when I took action did I realise just how much physical wellness benefits you day-to-day in the office. It doesn't matter what your exercise preference is, as long as you consistently do something.

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