Our genYOU story No. 9 comes from our good friend Andrew Quinn. Andrew has been a long time supporter of generationYOU – in fact, he was one of the speakers at our very first event!
Name: Andrew Quinn
Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your career journey?
When I look back on my career journey to date it has really been a roller coaster of turns, break downs and thrills. It has been so diverse in both work and organisation which I think reflects my love of action, challenge and getting my hands dirty!
Leaving school I did a business degree in management/marketing and have since studied post graduate degrees in accounting and applied finance. It took me quite a while to get confident in the direction I wanted to go and I tried a lot of different roles in a really broad range of industries trying to work it out. ‘Trying it out” really developed my ability to think big and interact effectively with a broad range of people.
Often people get worried about changing jobs, in that it will be too hard to change industries or that my resume will look like I’ve had too many different roles. Good diversity has allowed to be really comfortable with change, able to speak ‘business’ language with many people and has given me confidence to take on new challenges.
Now that you have reflected on your career journey, what’s your one piece of advice you would give to our young(er) audience?
The one thing I wished I had of told myself 15 years ago…. Go after what you’re passionate about, stick with what inspires you and don’t let people or circumstances alter your direction.
Just because you don’t agree with someone or today wasn’t a great day, isn’t a good reason to change the journey.
Leaving school and studying my business degree, I originally intended to major in accounting as it was an area I was interested in and enjoyed. I can still remember my first accounting lecture and the way I saw the lecturer interact and speak at students and that was not the person I wanted to be. I let that experience and individual, change my career direction and view on what was best for me.
I have had great people that have given me a lot of invaluable advice but you have to build skill in knowing when to take advice from others and when to leave others the advice at the door.
Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
I don’t really have that one person that I would say is my biggest inspiration, I get inspiration from a lot of people and places.
I have been on the board of a homelessness organisation for a number of years and whilst seeing people in such pain and crisis can be distressing, it is also incredibly inspiring to see how people can adapt and appreciate the simple things in life.
It’s really easy to get caught up in ‘I’m busy’ and ‘I have no time’ but seeing how much of a difference a smile, a hello and taking an interest in someone else can make, brings you back to the reality that we are all human and that compassion and connection makes a big difference.