Career progression for those in your 20's

Ryan Clifford
Aug 9, 2019 · 4 min read

I recently attended a breakfast 🥞 session for people in their 20’s within fintech, run by DiversiTech Hub, focusing on career progression. In the spirit of sharing knowledge, here is a summary of the talks and key inspirations I’ve taken away from it:

Matt Cockayne, Chief Revenue Officer at Yapily, spoke about his personal career journey. Matt studied Earth Sciences and eventually made his way into fintech.

#1 key inspiration: you can apply yourself to anything, regardless of what you’ve studied. It’s all about those transferable skills!

Nadia Dashti-Edwards, Co-Founder and CEO of Harrington Starr, presented a succinct framework called “Empowered” to develop the right mindset for progression:

  • Exceed expectations
  • Make mistakes
  • Passion
  • Obsess over Emotional Intelligence
  • Work hard on your can-do attitude
  • Engage in a stretch mindset
  • Remember the basics
  • Everyday is a chance to get better
  • Demonstrate your personal brand

#2 key inspiration: one core personal trait to develop is a growth/stretch mindset. This means embracing challenges, persisting despite obstacles, actively listening, learning from criticism, seeking help/advice and most importantly being inspired by the success of others.

Victor Woode, Creative Director at Athlon, shared his steps to further your design abilities:

  1. Start every job with high expectations no matter what the budget, timescales or client.
  2. Create beautiful design. Every element should work in harmony, have purpose and be effortless to use.
  3. Take inspiration from all manner of sources around you.
  4. Design should hold their own merit — visually and conceptually, plus have longevity.
  5. Time efficiencies are valuable. Get to know a design process that works for you.
  6. Focus on the details and keep an eye on the big picture.
  7. Take ownership and make decision to move the project forward. But share with the right people regularly to keep the work on track.
  8. Share your ideas — you’ll learn more and people will naturally share with you in return.
  9. Design with courage, continuously pushing the design. Move out of your comfort zone.
  10. Understand what’s literally being asked for but learn to read between the lines to know what’s best for the client
  11. Explore variations after doing what’s asked for.
  12. Everything you create is for a brand. Designs needs to be the very best of that brand. Clients need to feel secure and proud of your creations.
  13. Learn the tools of the trade…but work harder on your approach to problem solving.
  14. Think beyond the UI design. Go further to make supporting parts of you design work hard.
  15. Play, have fun, explore, make mistakes. Creating your own projects is a great way to learn and show your personality.

#3 key inspiration: share your ideas (point 8). Someone once told me ideas need air to breathe otherwise they will suffocate ☠️, so talk about them and get people’s opinions!

Gemma Young, Founder of DiversiTech Hub, gave us her top tips on harnessing social media:

  • Comments — LinkedIn and Facebook value comments more than likes
  • Reply to comments — engage and ask questions
  • See more… — break paragraphs into short sentences and encourage user to click “see more…”
  • Share something not to do with business at least once a week for engagement
  • Insta stories — add lots and encourage activity like SWIPE UP
  • Cross pollination — share social media pages to gain exposure
  • Video content — 5 times more likely to start a conversation

#4 key inspiration: comment more on social media! Sharing your thoughts and opinions is how a conversation starts. Conversations can lead to great ideas and innovations 🧪

About the author

I’m Ryan, Developer Evangelist Lead at Finastra and Founder of the Tech Allies Network. My previous experience in Financial Services has been in a variety of roles including: product, strategy, technology and advisory.

I’m a techie interested in APIs, Ecosystems, Platform Thinking, Product & Human-Computer Interaction (aka most buzzwords 😂)!


TechieCPD® — Continued Professional Development for tech enthusiasts #TechAllies

Ryan Clifford

Written by

Developer Evangelist Lead at Finastra | Brummell’s 30 Ones to Watch 2019. A techie interested in APIs, Ecosystems, Product & Human-Computer Interaction.



TechieCPD® — Continued Professional Development for tech enthusiasts #TechAllies

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