Leadership Track - Jonathon Sharkey

Jonathon Sharkey

Jonathon Sharkey has scaled some great heights in and outside of his impressive career.

At the age of 27, he has summited Mt Kilimanjaro, several mountains in the Himalayas and been to basecamp of Mount Everest. On top of that he has also been promoted to a senior management position at Fosroc International in Hong Kong.

“My view has always been that if I focus on my team and my own performance, then the results will usually take care of themselves,” says Jonathon.

“If you are only interested in getting into a senior position it never usually pays off, nor will you be successful if you get into that position.”

Jonathon, who grew up in Scotland, knew early on that he wanted to work in business. So he went on to study a Bachelor of Science (Hons) Management at the London School of Economics in London.

“The course was exactly what I wanted in terms of that rounded exposure and really helped me to prepare for the start of my career.”

Shortly after graduating, Jonathon successfully applied for a graduate program position in the management consultancy division of technology company, CSC.

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“The aim here was always to spend a few years seeing as many different industries and roles as I could and then get a view on the next step that I wanted to take.”

He then started his climb up the corporate ladder at CSC before moving to his current employer, Fosroc International.

Jonathon says the chance to work in Hong Kong has been a great opportunity.

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“The benefits of having experience working oversees are priceless and I don’t think it does my resume any harm either!”

“I never took time out from school to university or university to work, so being based abroad allows me to do the travelling that I may have missed out on.”

Jonathon has recently started the CPA Program and says one of the main reasons behind the decision was due to its flexibility.

“I put the flexibility of study to the test in the extreme, as I was studying for my Ethics and Governance exam from Base Camp of Mount Everest almost 20000 feet above sea level.”

“It was incredibly easy to simply download the textbook onto an iPhone and read it from there. Carrying a textbook was not an appealing option!”

So what is the next career move for Jonathon?

“Whilst I am not focusing directly on it, my end goal is to become a CEO at a large company, or run my own company in an industry that I am interested in, so I’m interested in anything that moves me towards that goal!”

“That being said, I am still in the early stages of my career and there are a few other options such as a doing a MBA or getting exposure to new and different roles and industries.”

Jonathon Sharkey’s tips for young professionals who are staring their careers:

1. Don’t focus too much on getting onto the next step on the career ladder. Instead learn as much as you can and perform to the best of your ability in your current role - then the results will come

2. Be selective on who your boss is. In the early part of your career, having a boss who takes the time to invest in your growth and development and having someone you know will stand up and fight for your career progression is really important

3. Having a plan for your career is important, but don’t be afraid to depart a little from the plan if new and exciting opportunities come up. There is often more than one route to your final goal

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