What’s The One Thing You Wish You Had Learned Earlier In Your Career?
We asked six women leaders...
Early Career Lessons

L-R (clockwise): Alex Tullio, Fiona Macaulay, Michelle Bowditch, Amelia Hodge, Michelle Mennillo and Lucy Bloom.


Alex Tullio, Growth & Transformation Specialist

“One of the things I wish I had learned earlier in my career is how to confidently articulate my ‘zone of genius’. For years I undermined my confidence by not being able to do this. I was running big businesses and getting amazing results, and yet I would still say things like ‘I don’t know what I do, I just do it’. This was a ridiculous statement to make, borne of a lack of confidence and awareness of my own abilities. It wasn’t until well into my first executive portfolio that the lightbulb moment came, and I finally understood what my transferable skills were. The minute I recognised that my superpower was creating great teams, articulating a vision they could buy into, and then removing any blockers so they could work their magic, that’s when I really came into my own.”


Fiona Macaulay, Founder & CEO, WILD Network

“I wish I had learned that you don’t need anyone else’s permission to get started. If you can see where change is needed, what steps need to be taken, then go for it. Be the change. Why shouldn’t it be you? One thing that can hold you back is waiting around for someone with more resources, more influence, to take the action you know is needed, or ‘give you permission’.

Don’t wait! When you’re clear on your vision, and when you put that vision out there, other people with similar visions start to find you. Spend time with others who have a bold vision, see what they do, inspire one another. You might not see big wins right away, but celebrate the small wins as a taste of what’s to come.”


Amelia Hodge, CEO, Australian Property Institute

“It would have been useful to have learned earlier in my career, the power of great questions and curiosity, and the importance of nurturing relationships that create an aligned ‘tribe’. Be strategic and plan who you allow into your close network over time. Choose to spend time with people who always have your back, and are generous with advice, mentoring, support and experience when you need it. Listen to and back yourself earlier, as only you know what you are truly capable of. Ignore those who do not align with your energy.”


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Michelle Bowditch, Founder, Door20a

“One of the most significant prejudices I had to steel myself against early in my career was when I was transitioning out of the corporate world and into being a businesswoman who owned her own company. I was told I couldn’t possibly do it. ‘You can’t do that; you’re a single mum.’ ‘You can’t do that; you need a regular income.’ ‘You can’t do that; you need security.’ As women, we experience inequity daily in so many facets of our lives and varying degrees throughout the world, but there is power in that. Being a woman is one of my greatest superpowers; getting to a point where I can say that with confidence is a result of my cheerleaders and champions supporting me along the way.”


Michelle Mennillo, CEO, OFTC Group

“The one thing I wish I had more of early in my career was self-belief. Deeply knowing who you are is the foundation for everything else. I read an excerpt from one of Seneca’s essays about tranquillity where he uses the Greek word euthymia, which he defines as ‘believing in yourself and trusting that you are on the right path, and not being in doubt’. This leads to tranquillity of your heart and mind and when you are at peace with who you are and what you are doing, everything becomes lighter, achievable and an opportunity.”


Lucy Bloom , Speaker, Author & Presenter

“I’m on my third career, so this is an interesting question. I think I wish I had known how important it is to have an accountant who understands you. It’s one of the most important business relationships you will ever have.”


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