Theory and Practise
Play • 1 hr 26 min

In this episode, I am joined by Hanlie Smuts who is an associate professor at the University of Pretoria. Like many professionals, Hanlie completed her undergraduate degree before entering the corporate environment as a software developer. For many of us, this would have been the end of our academic career but Hanlie went on to complete both her Master's degree and her PhD whilst working fulltime jobs as a senior executive. Hanlie shares her story about how she didn't choose between the academic and corporate worlds, but instead, wove the two closely together. She shares how she applied learnings and skills gained in academia to her corporate career and vice-versa.

Key Takeaways

  • Don't underestimate the importance of learning and never stop learning
  • Even if your career is very technically focused, don't neglect engaging with people and building relationships and people skills
  • Always consider the human factor when completing projects, building products, or just completing business as usual activities
  • Try and immerse yourself into your surrounding working environment so that you can truly understand how the business you are in, works
  • Always be professional and deliver quality work
  • Delegation is an important transferable skill to develop. Start by trusting your team
  • Always be open to opportunities
  • Given the opportunity, try and understand all aspects and functional areas of the business that you work in
  • Always build your network
  • A skills bubble chart is a great tool to identify the skills you need to be successful in a role, highlight any gaps, and track your progress in developing those skills
  • The ability to analyse data is an important transferable skill
  • Building resilience will help see you through tough times
  • Build your personal brand to ensure that your name is always top of mind when opportunities are being considered
  • Frameworks are a great tool to help you get things done
  • Don't forget about your family and other support structures. These are what allow and support you in achieving great things
  • You can work smart by finding your work cadence. Understand what works for you, segment your time, and stick to the rules you set yourself

Connecting With Hanlie
Listeners can find out more about Hanlie and connect with her by visiting her:

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