Human on the Inside with Unbeatable You’s Tina Wyer
We’re big believers in the power of human skills. But don’t just take our word for it – the evidence for excellence powered by human (‘soft’) skills is everywhere! In this engaging, ever-enlightening series, we speak with industry leaders, innovators and game-changers to learn a little about their personal career journeys, and how human-led strategies, philosophies and cultures are proving a force for good in their working worlds …
Welcome Tina, and thanks for stepping into the #SuccessIsHuman Spotlight!
You’re the Founder of Unbeatable You – a new consultancy focused on providing career inspiration, guidance and advice to senior high schoolers to new corporate graduates alike. Following an exceptional 25+ years working in financial services across the globe for leading brands like KPMG and JPMorgan Chase & Co., this sounds like a wonderful new chapter full of opportunity. In 1 sentence (ok, we’ll give you 3), describe what your current role/work looks like?
Unbeatable You is in startup mode, so we are meeting with 15-25 year olds (across a variety of career paths) to understand the pain points and challenges they face when transitioning from institutionalised education to the workforce.
As part of our research, we are also analysing existing offerings that support this age group from an employability and career progression standpoint, Maxme being a great example, and how Unbeatable You can complement these offerings.
While this analysis phase is critical to long term success of startups, I am known to be an executor and (somewhat impatient;-) so am also spending my time building out our Instagram channel, LinkedIn Leaders Series and developing “How to Guides” (all of which I wish I had access to 25+ years ago!).
Your impressive career has involved varied executive finance, data and technology roles heading up teams in Asia, NYC and Australia. How does all this work speak to your personal purpose and what drives you as an individual?
My personal purpose is to help others in whatever capacity I can, so after some soul searching, I decided to leverage my experience, knowledge, network and success in the corporate world to establish Unbeatable You. Our mission is to provide career inspiration, guidance, motivation and advice to teenagers and young adults.
Through my career, change was constant, so developing skills on agility, fortitude, resilience, communication etc. was critical. I am driven to help others learn these skills so they can reach their full potential and have a sustainable and rewarding career.
Tell us a little about your personal education pathway/s – what led you to where you are now? How closely do your formal qualifications match your current career?
From an early age I appreciated the connections between business and technology, so doing a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Information Systems is where my journey started. From there, at both KPMG and JPMC I built on these foundational skills and benefited from their ongoing internal training and development programs, both from a technical and soft skills perspective.
While on paper it may seem that my formal qualifications don’t match my current career in motivational coaching and mentoring, I do believe my life and career lessons have provided me with real-life experiences I can share with the next generation in order to positively impact their lives, careers and leadership journeys.
If you could share one piece of career advice to your 21 year old self it would be …
Be kind to yourself and remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint. While there are some short-term benefits of traits like perfectionism, impatience and winning at all costs, in my experience these can be exhausting and not sustainable over the long term. The trick is to find balance in achieving results and progressing your career, while being realistic and not putting yourself under undue pressure, compromising your mental and physical health.
Maximising the potential of individuals, communities and businesses through the power of human skills is the reason Maxme exists. Can you tell us a little about the role and / or value of human skills in your workplace right now?
The role of human skills in my workplace are foundational to Unbeatable You. As part of my research into the pain points of teenage and young adult careers, I need to leverage human skills like empathy, communication, and time management, to conduct effective interviews. As a coach/mentor, human skills like problem solving, critical thinking and persuasion are important so I can provide insights and support to the individuals I am helping.
Self Awareness sets the critical foundation for all Maxme learning experiences. With that said … what’s your strongest trait / personal super power?
Using Maxme’s human skills app Hodie, I completed the VIA character survey, and my top 5 strengths came up as leadership, honesty, fairness, teamwork and zest. Of these, I would say my superpower is zest as I think my energetic and enthusiastic approach to opportunities, challenges and life in general is contagious to others. It’s incredible what you can achieve as a team when you have this underlying power!
And on the flip side, what’s one human / ‘soft’ skill you’ve had to really work on improving over the course of your career
Communicating with impact! While you can often have all the information (and sometimes answers) in your head, your ability to craft a written or verbal message, depending on your audience (executives, managers, team members, etc) was a critical human skill I needed to learn and develop over the course of my corporate life. For me, the most effective way to improve my communication skills was to review content / messaging with someone I thought did it well, and remain open to constructive feedback to my presentations, meetings or emails. Remember – feedback is a gift, what you do with it is up to you.
If you could share one piece of career advice with recent Uni graduates or candidates keen to work at some of the big global firms you spent many years with, what would it be?
Surround yourself with amazing role models, be high performing (vs high maintenance), and be continuously curious to learn and ask questions – that shouldn’t stop just because you have finished ‘school’.
You’ve been granted approval to add one University graduate to your team, but have 100 applicants, all with outstanding academic results. How do you find your perfect candidate – what are you looking for?
Unbeatable You’s 10 C’s of Success – Compassion, Courage, Curiosity, Competence, Commitment, Character, Collaboration, Communication, Cooperation and Confidence. These are the “what” characteristics I look for in the perfect candidate! Answering the “how” I would find them, I would leverage multiple channels including graduate & intern recruiting initiatives, work experience references and my network.
In the words of John Dewey, “education is not preparation for life, education is life itself.”
What’s next on your #learning agenda?
I am currently learning to cook and play the piano (which this time a year ago I would have thought would never happen, but my family is loving it!). I am also very interested in learning more about teenage mental health and counselling, so they are on my ‘to learn’ list.