Top tips to take control of your career

Interview with Alison McGregor, CEO of HSBC at WIBF Edinburgh Event, August 2017

Interview with Alison McGregor, CEO of HSBC at WIBF Edinburgh Event, August 2017

⭐️ Take Control of your Career

This week I saw an inspiring interview with Alison McGregor talking about her career at the Women in Banking and Finance event at RBS Gogarburn, Edinburgh.  Although she sees herself as a non-risk taker, Alison’s career can be summed up as a series of bold decisions from leaving school at 15 to her current role as CEO of HSBC Scotland.  Her insights include:

  • Change is good because it brings opportunities.
  • You grow when you are taken out of your comfort zone. Challenges teach you much more than easy situations do.
  • Get an ‘interfering mentor’ who will push and challenge you, help you to know what makes you stand out and help you make good decisions.
  • Look the part and behave the part of the role or person you want to be, and people will treat you accordingly.
  • Be strategic (for senior roles, it can be detrimental to your progression / time if you are constantly helping people with the details).
  • Recognise and respect your life stages – integrate your career and life plans so you don’t feel compromised.Eg when being a mum is your no. 1 priority, it is ok to resist suggestions from work for promotion that would compromise your ability to be a mum. Or negotiate the promotion to fit around your priorities or to increase your salary to enable your partner to reduce work hours to share parenting.
  • Once a year do a “Wheel of life” so you can see why your life feels bumpy and set goals to even it out. It makes you reflect and think about what you want.  Click here to get a wheel of life tool.
  • When you feel unable to take a risk, think “What’s the worst that can happen? This isn’t brain surgery. Nobody died – at least not at my hands.”
  • Prepare for the next role you want to do so that when you apply for it, you are the best person for the job.
  • To progress to more senior roles, develop your ability to influence outside your sphere of influence.You won’t have direct influence yet you need to be able to shape direction and activities without telling people what to do.
  • If someone wants you in a job and the job description doesn’t suit you, change the job description. You can add value to the new team or organisation this way before you even start.


Do you want to raise your game; choose your career direction and progress; feel more fulfilled; reduce stress and compromise; or improve your ‘work / life balance’?  Send me an email to be sent advance notice to register for my new open programme on Take control of your career.  After excellent feedback from the in-house staff sessions, the online programme is nearly ready for launch.  As it includes live sessions and Q&A conversations, numbers in the group must be kept low.  Anyone on the priority advance notice list will have first chance to register and grab a place before they’re all gone.

Email or call me to arrange a time for a free chat about whether 1:1 coaching or some of our training programmes will give you the impetus you are looking for.

Sue Mitchell    email:  telephone +44 1875 830708  or  use the contact form below – please make sure you spell your email address correctly for me to be able to reply to you.

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