At the launch event of the New Professionals Forum (NPF) we asked you to share thoughts on what you had identified as best practise, lessons learned, and ideas for the NPF in the future. This information has been distilled and some key topics have been identified. The topics will form the basis for regular blogs with the aim of prompting discussion and supporting people across our industry.

Our first blog in the series will share some of the data with you and will also cover a theme that was prevalent in a large proportion of the thoughts. We collectively acknowledged that the world in which we live and work in is changing and we can have a positive impact on it; a key strand to this was how we can collaborate across our industry.

When looking at all the anecdotes placed on the ‘Career Experiences’ walls, we noticed a number of trends. The overarching trend was about us challenging the status quo with 25% of all comments talking about us challenging ourselves or others.

As New Professionals, we are keen to progress and develop so we’ve listed some of the most voted for pieces of advice from our start up event:

  1. Do at least one international or cross-country placement or secondment
  2. Opportunities do not fall on your lap; you need to seek them out
  3. Don’t be afraid to challenge your peers, you are the fresh eyes in the organisation
  4. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself, it may refresh your enthusiasm

The sentiment is very clearly captured by a couple of quotes from participants, ‘Do something that scares you’ and ‘Don’t be scared to stick your head above the parapet’.  But, as New Professionals, we would do well to heed the advice of another one of the notes; ‘Don’t bite off more than you can chew’.

The ‘Ideas Wall’ for future developments of the NPF, had many fantastic ideas which will all be considered; however, there were three clear top choices:

  1. Hosting events at the different companies
  2. More on a variety of professional development areas (e.g. Project Management, Sales, Commercial)
  3. A cross company mentoring/support programme

These votes show a clear hunger for the industry to transition to be more collaborative in their way of working and sharing ideas. Additionally, it also demonstrates that we are all keen to develop outside our own areas of expertise and to use the NPF to aid growth in our respective fields.

In this post we thought we would give you a snapshot of the raw data that was produced during the NPF launch event. Over the coming months we will continue to look at this data in more depth and will ask you for some insight into how the NPF can improve your development and increase your professional network.


This post was written by Kyle van de Merwe