Tessa Page is the Wealth Leader Manchester at Mercer. Here she shares her career journey, tips and advice with WeAreTheCity.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
Not at all. I made early decisions with a relatively minimal amount of thought. As my career progressed my mantra has been to volunteer/go for everything which has meant some about-turns within the company I work for!
Have you faced any challenges along the way and if so, how did you deal with them?
Taking on new roles when I was perhaps not the “obvious contender” was tricky. To be honest, I just grit my teeth and get on with it as there is no going back!
What advice would you give someone who wishes to move in to a leadership position for the first time?
Just do it. You’ll get things wrong, and you’ll worry about it far more than you need to, but it’s a fantastic experience and a way to make a real impact. Don’t forget to give up some of the stuff you’re already doing though to make proper room for the leadership position.
When faced with two equally-qualified candidates, how would you decide who should have the role?
Cultural style/fit (which might be “offering something different” rather than “fitting in”) and work ethic.
How do you manage your own boss?
Talk to them and be honest. That simple.
On a typical workday, how do you start your day and how does it end?
Start with the gym to wake me up. At work I build in time for “people stuff” in the morning as I found if I planned to do other work I got panicked when it had to be sidelined for people stuff. It ends with me jotting down on my list key tasks for tomorrow.
What advice can you give to our members about raising their profiles within their own organisations
Volunteer for everything and never say no to an opportunity.
How have you benefited from coaching or mentoring?
I saw a professional coach when I moved into a leadership role (a friend of a friend). It was so luxurious to spend an hour every few weeks talking about myself! She helped me find my own ways through. I also have reverse mentors who I learn a lot from.
Do you think networking is important and if so, what 3 tips would you give to a newbee networker
Kind of important but don’t do it for the sake of it. You’ll network “naturally” in the course of your life. I believe strongly in making connections on social media too.
What does the future hold for you?
I try not to think about it! Just put one foot in front of the other, work hard and hope it turns out OK. Sorry, not very strategic I know.