Notes on talk given to students in mentoring session - added by Glynn Nash

WBGS points

On leaving school, have some possible career paths in your mind. Think about each. Decisions made at this point are not commitments. Review your career from time to time and adjust it if needed.

When employed, your job should allow you to feel satisfaction. It should pay a salary you feel to be fair. It should lead to progress in satisfaction, responsibility and pay. If it fails any of these criteria, change it.


Present yourself smartly dressed. This is always an assessment criterion.

Research the company before the interview.

Find out what the position for which you are applying entails and career prospects.

Have your ambitions clear and have a realistic career path in mind.

Be keen to get the job and let your enthusiasm be seen.

Prepare answers for the questions most likely to be asked (Why do you want to work for us? Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

In later interviews you may be asked, ‘why did you leave your last job?’ Negative answers are not good). Diplomacy is expected.

Display a range of leisure activities and be prepared to discuss them.

At more senior interviews, showing some knowledge of the arts and literature can be an advantage.

Open questions. These do not have one single correct and complete answer. They are put in order to examine your thought processes and your versatility in deployment of knowledge. Check brain is engaged before putting mouth in gear. Cultivate clear analytical thought.

If you do not know the answer to a question, say so; don’t wing it. Nobody knows everything.

Put some questions of your own. Have a list and only ask those questions not already answered.


From most junior to most senior employees, the following apply.

Show keenness to learn. Be interested in everything.

Say ‘yes’ (a request is an opportunity).

Be helpful. Don’t refuse menial tasks; use them to learn and to impress.

Cultivate a, ‘go anywhere, do anything’ mentality.

Work hard and carefully. Ask when unsure. Skill and speed are both valued.

When you are wrong (we all are at times) say so. Only the weak cannot speak the truth.

Don’t think your education finished when you left school.

When you have achieved your degree, that fact alone does not make you God’s gift to an employer. (A big-head is a pain to work with).


Be polite and suitably deferential. Don’t grovel like Uriah Heap.

You want respect; give it and you will get it.

Crawling will always be recognised for what it is. The crawler will be despised.

If you think the boss is wrong, get him to explain his reasons. He may know of factors unknown to you. OR when asked to explain he may find his reasoning was faulty. Be ready if he asks you for your analysis/help.

If action is needed, say so. Have your own ideas clear first so that you can help with the solution. You are building a career – remember?

Be loyal. Be positive, even with criticism. Get a reputation for honesty.


Advise, show, don’t order. Ask their views. Let them help with decisions.

Always be willing to share knowledge and skills. To keep such things to yourself is a sign of weakness and insecurity.

Ideally, you should know how to perform all the tasks done by members of your team. BUT let them do their job their own way.


Do not give less than two years’ service.

Make sure that you have another job before giving notice.

Leave in such a manner that your employer will welcome you back.


Ignorance and even stupidity can be corrected. Laziness is incurable. Nobody wants a lazy person on their team, however bright.

Throughout your career be flexible and grasp opportunities.

Be clear about what you want: Money, intellectual rewards, job satisfaction, power etc.

Do not flatter. If he is that good, to hear you say it will make him cringe.

If you pick up someone else’s idea and use it, always give credit to the originator.

When you have made an error in work or have offended anyone apologise as soon as you realise you have done it. This shows you as a gracious and secure person.

In a nutshell, treat others as you would wish to be treated.