Gemma Hudson Top 5 Pearls of Wisdom

This month we have an amazing Top 5 Pearls of Wisdom from Gemma Hudson. Go and grab a coffee, kick back and enjoy!

Gemma Hudson is the Director, Customer Success at Salesforce in Singapore. Over the years she has been heavily involved in talent development. Gemma has also spent time on industry group boards, once fulfilling the Director role for the AAGE (Australian Association of Graduate Employers).

I really enjoyed Gemma’s contribution. Here are her Top 5 Pearls of Wisdom:

1. Build career capital.  Very few of us find what we are passionate about in the first five years of our careers.  In fact, careers are ever-evolving and the core function of your role is likely to change multiple times in your career.  One of the most helpful concepts I have adopted and that I find resonates with many is that of ‘career capital’.  In the first few years of your career, it’s unreasonable to expect to be in your dream job – as long as you are building skills and capabilities that are universally valued, in-demand and that you are learning and experiencing as much as you can, you are building career capital. Skills and capabilities that make you valuable regardless of the role, industry or function you are working in. If you are interested in this topic, read Cal Newport’s ‘So Good They Can’t Ignore You’.

2. There’s value and opportunity in every role.  Just because it doesn’t have your dream title doesn’t mean it’s not valuable to spend time within a role.  If you find yourself in a role you don’t love or isn’t exactly what you hoped for, look at what career capital you can build in that role.  Are there projects you can own? Opportunity to take on extra duties?  Training and education that will build universally valued skills? A great Manager to learn from?  Even chances to find out what you don’t like in a role, versus what you do like? Don’t be quick to move onto the next thing until you have explored the value and opportunity within every role.

3. Don’t lose sight of finding your passion.  Just because you are focused on building career capital doesn’t mean you need to be in a role you dislike or lose sight of finding something you are passionate about.  It just means that you need to shift your expectations of what your primary focus is in your first few years (or even at various points throughout your career). Explore, experience, learn, have patience, network, build your profile, read, ask questions, have an open mind, have relentless drive – the rest will fall into place.

4. Don’t lose sight of what’s important. When milestone decisions about your career arise, return to what is fundamentally important to you.  This piece of advice may become clearer the further you get into your career.  But the earlier you build your self-awareness and understanding of the key drivers and values within your life, the sooner you will make sustainable, more informed career decisions.  Earlier in your career it may be about adventure, travel and making a difference.  Later in your career, your values may shift to be weighted more strongly towards family, wellness and aligning to your purpose.  Whatever your values are, regularly check-in with yourself to get clear on what’s important to you at that point in time.

5. Have patience, expect to work hard and above all else, have fun.  You may be wondering how having patience and working hard can lead to fun?  Well, often, we aren’t doing all three at the same time and they definitely aren’t mutually inclusive or exclusive.  Each of them, however, are inter-related and are as important as the other.  Successful careers are marathons, built over years of hard work.  Sometimes you get lucky and things go your way without trying much.  But in most cases, we have to embrace being patient and working hard to get to our end goal.  Fun and relationships are critical on the journey – the smiles and laughs along the way are often what gets us through.


If you would like to reach out and connect with Gemma, you can find her on LinkedIn here: