What I Wish I Knew: Career advice from Teresa Basile

Teresa Basile, is a Marketing Manager, mother and team leader. She is an advocate for educational learning, her biggest inspiration is the New Zealand Prime Minister and she’s not afraid of huge volumes of work. Find out what her secrets are to a successful and positive career!

What does success mean to you and who inspires you when you hear, “success”?

This question makes me think of key leaders I’ve previously worked with who inspired confidence amongst their team and really delivered on a vision. They engaged with people and had a fantastic ability to get people on-board to follow their direction. Holistically, that’s how I view success.

When I think of a person that’s inspired me, Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand Prime Minister, comes to mind. She has one of the most important positions which bears huge responsibility. Now that I’m a mother, I am seriously impressed at how she holds that position and at the same time be a fantastic mother too!

How important is it to continually be learning and developing and what steps do you take to ensure you’re staying relevant?

Having a curious mind and always learning and developing is so important. It doesn’t matter if you’re a graduate, just starting out in your career, or progressing up through leadership roles, I believe there should always be time for further education.

My current focus is learning more about digital growth and the impact of artificial intelligence on different industries. To really learn about these topics, I’m talking to people who know more than myself and of course reading different articles for further learning.

Also, I in a more formal sense, I was offered a scholarship to complete a  Certificate in Executive Development and it has significantly helped my professional and personal development. I believe every opportunity to learn is worth taking. Evolve your thinking and never stand still.

How important is mentorship to you?

I really love the concept of mentorship for various reasons. You can either have a formal relationship with a mentor or you can informally align yourself with someone who inspires you and with whom you can have an informal mentor relationship with. Throughout my career, I have come across a few people who I really look up to. All have been previous senior leaders I’ve worked with and I keep in touch with them and they now act as a mentors.

Mentors are great for offering an ear when you can’t say something to your manager. They can also offer you a different perspective based on their experience, help you weigh up options when you need to make important decisions and help you with career transitions. Having those relationships is so important and helpful.

Are you a goal setter?

Absolutely, and I believe that goal setting is vital if you want to define a path for yourself. But I would also say don’t let it blind you to other opportunities. A couple of years ago I made the decision that I wanted to move from the automotive industry to the sports industry, so I really had to figure out the right path to take. By mapping out where I wanted to go and assessing how each role would add value to my end goal,  I could decipher the right steps to take. I recommend everyone to have a personal roadmap, but remember to be adaptable and don’t let goals blind you from other opportunities.

Do you think failure can set you up for success?

No one will say they enjoy failing but at the same time, people should appreciate the value that failure brings. If everything was smooth sailing, how would you ever learn? I do think failure sets you up for success later and it personally makes me more determined. It can help provide an understanding of future development and improvement.

It’s also important in my leadership position, that I can help others be aware of what could go wrong. I learn from all my failures and if I don’t learn, then I’ve failed. And if you make a mistake, remember, it’s not the end of the world. It’s a natural part of life and progression and it needs to be viewed as positive, even though it may not seem that way at the time.

On that note, when you do fail or feel overwhelmed, what do you do to overcome that?

Whether it’s a complex project on my hands or just a huge volume of work, I always start with breaking the task load down into chunks that I can dissect. Then, I work through them in a modular fashion and bring it all together. Similarly, when I’m briefing my team on a new project, I like to break it up into steps so that they’re not too overwhelmed. It’s important to have a vision in your mind but also be aware of the steps and stages it will take to achieve that vision.

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