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May 2024

20 lessons over twenty years

Tsholofelo Nketane and Wendy Spalding, Directors at Tuesday Consulting

After twenty years as a proudly South African executive search firm, we have much to be grateful for. But we’ve also learnt a great deal on this journey - both from journeying with clients and from running a business with a 20-year track record. So, we thought we would share some lessons we’ve learnt - one for each year we’ve been in business.

Career Lessons

  1. When choosing a career, choose one that aligns with your purpose and values, where there’s a good culture fit, as far as possible.
  2. It’s okay to take risks sometimes – try something new so that you can learn and grow. A career path is often not linear, there is value in every experience that you can take forward with you.
  3. It’s a career journey, not a destination, so adopting an approach of continuous learning can help you to find fulfilment in your chosen career.
  4. Upskilling and learning need to be ongoing if you want to remain relevant. It can be a certificate, a diploma, an executive short course – it is important to understand the future trends in your industry and keep abreast of them.
  5. Travel if the opportunity presents itself – nothing will broaden your perspective more.
  6. Sustainability is vital – when planning your career path, consider whether you will still be able to do the same thing in 10 years’ time. Plan for ensuring that sustainability, taking note of trends in your industry and adapting accordingly.
  7. When things go wrong, find the lesson, and recalibrate. Mistakes and challenges have much to teach us.
  8. Build networks and relationships, as these will add value when you are changing careers or exploring whatever is next.
  9. Constantly do your best to position yourself for getting to the next level. Make the most of where you are, even if you aren’t yet where you want to be.
  10. Treat every person as someone who could influence your career one way or another.

Business Lessons

  1. You can’t do everything on your own – invest in the right team to help you achieve your objectives.
  2. Once you have that team in place, invest in them, journey with them, so you can all succeed and grow together.
  3. Running a business can be a lonely place – there’s great value in having a mentor or confidante, a safe space where you can learn from someone else and work on your own growth and development.
  4. Ensuring psychological safety in your teams is essential. Keep open lines of communication and cultivate a sense of safety among employees so that they can bring their whole selves to work.
  5. Build trustworthy relationships with your business partners and leaders so that you can help to develop each other.
  6. The sustainability of your organisation or brand is a huge responsibility – treat it as such and be constantly mindful of the impact your actions have on employees, clients, and your reputation.
  7. It’s critical to choose clients that are the right fit. Be selective of who you work with.
  8. You are only as good as your last assignment – even if you have longstanding clients as we do. Don’t become complacent; deliver excellence always.
  9. South Africa is incredibly unique – it’s a frontier market; it’s agile, constantly changing, and a leader on the continent, so it’s never boring. Our labour market is diverse – it’s an exciting place in which to operate.
  10. It requires hard work, commitment, and dedication. An ability to hold your nerve when times are tough but also remind yourself to pause and celebrate all the victories big or small.



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