A recipe for success – career tips from Robin Errico

Robin Errico is the first woman to join the Management Committee at EY Switzerland. As the Chief Risk Officer, she is responsible for risk management at the company. She has given the readers of the EY Blog some tips for career success – read on for her recipe for a successful career!

Identify what sets you apart

Knowing what I didn’t want was easy. The big challenge was finding out what I did want to do. It wasn’t until I was at university that I discovered my strengths. After studying political sciences for a year (two semesters) and realising that it wasn’t for me, I switched to finance and accounting. I found out that maths and numbers were my thing!

Acknowledge your weaknesses

The cornerstone to any kind of success is to be yourself! This also involves identifying the things you’re not good at. Have the courage to acknowledge your own weaknesses – to look in the mirror and say, “Sure, I do love singing. But for the sake of my fellow human beings, my only audience is going to be the shower curtain.”

Dare to dive in at the deep end

Before I started this job, I didn’t know exactly what the role of Chief Risk Officer would involve. But if you want to be successful and move forwards in your career, you have to step out into the unknown. That’s why I said to myself, “If you just do what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.”

Humans make mistakes

If you let the fear of making mistakes hold you back from trying something new, you’ll never learn anything new. After all, we learn best by making mistakes. But try to ensure that you don’t make the same mistake twice.

Be proactive

You have to make your own opportunities. Don’t sit back and wait for someone to take your hand and move you along in your career – it doesn’t work like that. You need to take the initiative, think about the steps that are needed and then focus on taking them. That’s the only way things will move forward in your (professional) life.

Instinct, instinct, instinct

Learn to listen to your feelings. If something doesn’t feel right – and still doesn’t feel right after I’ve slept on it – then I know it’s not right for me.

Surround yourself with good people

A good working environment is the foundation for a successful career. But it’s up to you to establish it – whether you are an employee or a manager. As a partner, I place a great deal of emphasis on mutual respect and appreciation. I aim to give every single individual in my team the best possible support. After all, we only achieve success by working together!

Other people aren’t always right

I seized every opportunity offered to me. I didn’t listen to the people who said, “You won’t be able to do that.” As a woman, I had to be thick-skinned. During my career, there were lots of men who said I wasn’t good enough. My advice is to just keep going and to stick close to the people who respect you. If you are confident that you are up to the task then you should go for it!

And here’s my final tip: never give up!