Tips from the Top: The advice British business leaders would give their younger self… [Guest Post from JOB TODAY]

The study* of senior managers, MDs and CEOs, carried out by the UK’s number one hiring app, JOB TODAY, reveals self-confidence (29%), problem-solving (23%) and time management (21%) are among the key traits to master early in your career, with a number of senior stakeholders suggesting that grasping office politics is what could benefit young professionals the most.


When asked what advice they would give new starters, senior professionals emphasised the importance of working hard, being confident in your skills and continuously learning – but above all, ensuring you’re passionate about what you do. However, sound advice comes from the top with many suggesting your first steps on the job ladder are all about learning new skills and gaining valuable experience. Therefore, a role that isn’t quite right for you in the long term, isn’t always a bad idea.


According to those studied, there are a number of barriers for students and graduates entering the job market; 40% believe the lack of opportunities is one of the biggest challenges facing young professionals; something which many believe could become even more challenging in the midst of Brexit.


Polina Montano, co-founder at JOB TODAY disagrees: “There has been a lot of concern about the job market amongst Brexit negotiations, but with 86,000 fewer EU nationals in jobs in the UK last year, we’re actually seeing that at this crucial time people have an abundance of jobs to apply to, and are taking advantage of applying for more jobs than ever.” Lack of experience is also identified by over a third of those surveyed as another challenge holding many young job seekers back. “Getting a foot in the door at the start of your career can be a challenge but learning vital skills through work experience and training courses can really help your personal development and secure that job you want,” explains Montano.


As part of the research, JOB TODAY also analysed the first jobs of some of the UK’s most successful self-made young entrepreneurs, and found that a number of them started a business in a completely new sector to which they started their career in.











Richest young self-made entrepreneurs under 30:

1.    Alex Loven, Networld Sports – Builder’s Assistant

2.    Jack Cator, HideMyAss – Self-taught Web Developer

3.    Joshua Stevens, One Retail Group – Bond and Equities Trader

4.    Akshay Ruparelia, Doorsteps –  Spanish Cinema Attendant

5.    Jamal Edwards, MBE and SBTV Founder – Worked in Topman while starting SBTV


Among the richest young self-made entrepreneurs, there are very few similarities in first jobs although it is clear that their early experience clearly impacted their careers. Alex Loven, who worked for a year as a builder to fund his new business and Joshua Stevens, who started his career as an equity trader, both imported goods online which they sold on for profit as teenagers; skills that helped them develop the businesses they run today. MBE, Jamal Edwards’ interest in fashion meant working in Topman was the perfect first role while he created the Youtube videos that began his media empire, SBTV.











Commenting on the research, Polina Montano said: 
“Looking for your first job after university can be difficult, but many job seekers can definitely take inspiration from the entrepreneurs we have analysed and realise that your first job doesn’t necessarily need to define your whole career … The job market is evolving; young professionals understand that the first steps in their career are all about learning those essential skills such as communication and problem solving while gaining experience that will continue to carve their career.”


For tips from some of Britain’s most successful entrepreneurs on starting your career, visit

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