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Quick Fire 10: What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career so far and how have you overcome that?

Corporate Services Takeover

​Sometimes we are faced with unexpected challenges but being resilient in times of adversity leads us to understand what keeps us driving forward and developing.

Being able to identify the challenge, communicate and push forward with the bigger goal in mind while leveraging on our widespread expertise and collaboration between functions is part of the formula in being able to overcome these challenges successfully.

In this Quick Fire 10 takeover, we shine a light on our marketing, HR and operations, learning & development, finance and talent acquisition functions.

We asked the team: What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career so far and how have you overcome that? ​

  • "Keeping up to date with many system changes due to our accounting, banking, Invoicing and timesheets. Arranging training on a one to one basis making sure I had the tools to perform my duties helped to overcome this." Arlene Cooper, credit & treasury manager, UK

  • "The COVID lockdown I think. I was in recruitment at the time of the GFC and there’s a blueprint for staffing firms in times of recession, COVID was different in that nobody had seen anything like this before, so we had to make decisions without anything like full information, which is a scary prospect at times. Working with people you trust and whose opinion you trust helped a lot, as did reaching out to peers to discuss issues." Richard Williams, director of finance & operations, UK

  • "The on-going need to stay relevant from a marketing perspective. This is especially prevalent when you move into a leadership role and you haven’t got the senior marketer above you, you have to make time and focus for keeping your skills relevant; especially with how fast digital, technology and social advances." Sarah Roebuck, head of marketing, UK

  • Managing tasks between finance, operations and IT. Brainstorming and listing possible solutions to then reach out for support has helped me overcome this." Amelia Tan, operations assistant, Singapore

  • "My biggest challenge would be shifting my career from Sales to L&D. I moved to a new business in a new city. I had never done the role before and it was their first experience of implementing L&D. Both myself and the business were figuring out what worked and what didn’t as we went along, all of this was happening in the middle of major regulation changes which meant all staff needed to be completely retrained on how they could interact with their contacts. It was a very rapid learning curve and I made plenty of mistakes to learn from along the way. The best way I found to overcome this was to accept that I wouldn’t necessarily come up with the optimal solution the first time. I needed to keep analysing the methods, the results achieved and keep all stakeholders involved to refine and improve the programs over time to get the desired outcome." Matthew Jones, head of L&D, Asia

  • "Covid – 19. Lockdown and the overnight changes in the job market meant we had to rip up our marketing plan and curate new strategies and ways of working to continue to add value in the market, position the business and support the consultants. Team work, being flexible and good communication helped to hone in on what to prioritise through a challenging time." Sheridan Muir, marketing executive, UK

  • "I think it would be when I joined Eames – I was starting on a completely different career path as well as joining a new company and wanted to make a good impression, it was a lot of pressure. Overcoming that was keeping a positive mindset and being open to learning and taking on feedback." Sophie Daniel, HR and L&D consultant, UK

  • "The biggest challenge was probably when I moved from being a recruiter to being in HR. I put myself through a course to develop my employment law knowledge, pushed myself at every stage to learn more, read more, question more to progress as quickly as I could." Ruth Foster, chief people officer, UK

  • Of course, the ever-changing Covid-19 regulations currently for the workplace. I overcome the ambiguity by staying abreast with the Ministries, having regular conversations with the Officers and my HR network. Diyana AB, operations manager, Singapore

  • "Taking on additional responsibilities and the change in the work environment brought about by COVID -19 has been very challenging but support from the team, working hard and using the flexibility of working from home to be as adaptable as possible helped to overcome that." Jake Wilkins, associate accountant, UK

  • "Leaving a role when I highly valued the company and people. I was promoted quickly through the ranks and ended up in a situation where I was the ‘go to’ man for many different tasks. Some irrelevant to the actual day job. I was also under qualified/experienced to do the job (due to the quick promotions) so a lot of tasks that I had to do at the more senior level took me double the time it perhaps needed. I was also trying to study for exams outside of work hours which created a lot of stress. An opportunity came up (at the right time) and I decided to move roles. It was a step down in job title and duties which I felt a little uneasy about. I assured myself the move was a step sideways and down to help my career long term. I had the courage to make the move and it paid off as I was able to develop my skill set to a much higher level and subsequently put them into practice at Eames!" Graham Harrison, financial controller, UK

  • "Transitioning from a very outwardly client facing sales role and biller, to my Head of People and Performance role was a major transition, that sense of ‘have I made the right decision?’ niggling away at finding it hard not be able to put a £ sign next to my name. I asked for help and talked about how challenging I was finding it, I didn’t pretend everything was ok, I looked for ways to be able to track my progress and although not a £ sign there were other ways for me to demonstrate how I was adding value. Asking for feedback was also key and being open to the responses and willing to act on it." Danielle Rainert, head of people and performance, UK