Career Advice Career Doctor

Standing out from your fellow management trainees


I’m young, but very ambitious. I just joined a new company as part of their management training track. But there’s a catch. There’s actually a lot of us in the programme, but the company will only keep a selection at the end of the programme. They were also pretty up-front that they would only keep people who are an ideal fit, and that they’d happily keep none of us if no-one was up to standard. So, lots of pressure. And lots of competition.

I’ve worked in competitive environments before, but this new job is actually part of a career shift for me, so I’m a little intimidated by being fresh in a new industry. The work is also quite different to what I did before, so I’m having uncomfortable flashbacks to my very first job and the feelings of inadequacy and fear that crippled me back then. I’m actually pretty nervous I’ll mess up somehow and waste this opportunity.

But perhaps the most terrifying thing of all is that while my last career was in-company support and technically specialised, my new industry is very client-facing and will require a lot of networking and relationship-building. This is actually one of the reasons I decided to switch careers, so I could work on those skills that I didn’t have, and improve my market competitiveness.

I’m surprised the company even let me into the programme despite having a different background to the rest of the intake, but now I’m wondering what I’ve gotten myself into and how I’ll survive…