I’m a big believer in utilising the people around you to help you learn. Because the real bulk of our learning comes from other people, not expensive books or training courses.
This is one of the reasons why I’m a big supporter of apprenticeships; there’s obviously a place for training courses and books, but combining this with on-the-job experience and learning from others with more experience is a brilliant way to develop.
It’s no secret that myself and Pendragon’s Chief Operating Officer both started out as apprentices ourselves, and we’re not the only ones who have progressed thanks to a great start, but to get far in your career you have to grasp hold of opportunities with two hands.
I was recently invited to judge a business exercise at a local secondary school, and a group of pupils asked if I’d speak to them after the session. One asked how I got to where I am now, and I told them by doing exactly what they’re doing in asking me to speak to them – by putting a bit of personal investment into my future. While their friends left for lunch, they invested in their futures and took advantage of the situation to tap into my knowledge. For people like this who want to learn, we should make sure there are opportunities available.
This is exactly why we offer a range of training routes and schemes at Pendragon. We’re recruiting for more apprentices at the moment – for me, anyone that’s given a shot needs to make sure they maximise that opportunity. We have to take the chance to tap into other people’s knowledge whenever we can. There will always be opportunities at Pendragon for those who are willing to learn, and plenty of people to learn from.