Put your purpose at the heart of what you do
Finding your ideal career fit can be a challenge. Claudia Stapleton, Principal Business Consultant at BSG, recently celebrated 10 years with the company. She shares her journey, highlighting that the key to achieving a long tenure is to put your purpose at the centre of what you do.
Could you share some insight into what initially attracted you to BSG and your journey thus far?
I am passionate about consulting. I love the variety of experiences and the range of different clients you get to collaborate with. After graduating, I worked at a consulting company for six years and later moved into working in the financial services industry in a permanent position. After a couple of years, I realised that I am passionate about change and not only business as usual. In 2008, BSG approached me to join the team.
What attracted me to BSG was the opportunity to come back into consulting and work with amazing people. The BSG culture is unique. BSG has a purpose that it is committed to, being a proactive force for positive change, making a difference in everything it does. BSG cares about its people and adding value through the projects it works on. BSG truly cares about my career and growth. This resonated deeply with me. At BSG, I found a place where I belong.
As a woman in a traditionally male dominated industry, what advice would you give to women starting out in the field?
Don't work harder, that isn't the game-changer. Credibility and trust are the game-changers. You build these with courageous, honest, open conversations. As much as we all have to work hard, it is not the qualifying criteria for whether you make it or not. It comes back to the credibility you build and what you know.
Challenge as much as anyone else would. Don't hold back because you're a woman. Men are traditionally perceived as stronger, makers of hard decisions and less emotional. Remember this is only a perception. You, as much as anyone else, have the ability to make difficult decisions and make your opinions heard. Don't shy away from conflict or conversations that require courage.
What has been your biggest learning as a consultant in the project environment?
Over the years, I have learnt to clarify expectations upfront before starting on any work. Ensure that you are clear on what the client wants and that their expectations are aligned to what you will deliver. If you deliver on something the client didn't want, you won't realise benefits from the work you are doing, no matter how much effort you put in.
What is your personal motivation for success?
I am a mom and that is a huge part of my life. I love that I can still do the work I am passionate about, while having a family. BSG gives me the opportunity to focus on my children while having a career that supports it. I am fortunate that my career has not had to take a back seat because I want a family.
What have you learnt from being a mom and having a career?
I'm a proud mom who has been blessed with the ability to also have a fantastic career. One of the biggest advantages of being a woman is empathy. We, as women, often feel a need to fix things, and this is not a bad thing. As much as you may at times find yourself pushing your team to deliver, it's important to understand the circumstance that affect your colleagues' lives and their ability to be happy and productive at work. Be open to having conversations with your team, listen to them and work together to find solutions.
Similarly, speaking to your peers and practising openness with your colleagues will help you through difficult times. BSG has allowed me to reach out for help when I need it. We support each other as a community of peers, mentors and mentees.
I made a personal decision to work in consulting, because I love the project environment, different experiences and variety of clients that drive me to excel. It is key that you understand what drives you in order to feel passionate about what you do. Is what you are doing making you happy? Are you actively living your purpose? Continue to question that to find your ideal career fit.