Inside CEO Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"Reliance On Making Decisions...
I'm surprised at how much you are relied on to make very unique decisions. Most people will also be surprised at the amount of phone calls you now get every day." (CEO; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Maine, male
School: Studied Business Management at Great Bay Community College in Maine; completed Associate degree in 2010

Best & Worst Things About This Career

President/CEO: "The best parts of the job are related to developing strategic direction that in the end leads the company to successful growth. As a company we focus on celebrating these victories with all employees and communicating all of our financial/operating results several times a year. The worst part of the job is related to human resources. Over the past several years the economy has been bad and brought a downturn in revenues, especially from the products we sell to public schools. Dwindling revenues forced us to lay people off and doing so was no fun. We hope the economic climate has begun to improve and will allow us to expand and re-hire." (2010)

President Of Small Corporate Business: "Easily the best part of the job is the satisfaction I get when things are going well. Knowing that I'm making smart and successful decisions is fabulous. Whether it's finding new merchandise lines, or having a busy day of sales, it's such a good feeling to know that I'm succeeding. On the other side of the success coin is disappointment. I'm not keen on calling it failure, because it's not necessarily a fail. Sometimes making smart choices or good decisions just don't matter. The retail industry is having an incredibly hard time getting by right now. The past 6 months have by far been the slowest I've ever seen. I say thank you every day that I don't have a large staff to support and that I'm in a much better position to ride this storm out than many others." (2010)

Career Tips

"No Is Not An Answer...
To be successful in this industry you must not take no as an answer. You must continue to strive to turn that "no" into a yes every day because it will happen." (CEO; 2013)

"Have A Plan But Adapt As Necessary...
In the Strategic Management Course that I participate in at the local college I tell the students that it is important to "have a plan, but be flexible". What this means is that while you may have a feeling for what you want to do, circumstances can change. Significantly. This can mean adapting to the world around you by changing your goals. But this is not the same as failure. Very few people can honestly tell you that they ended up in the position or career they always wanted. Finally it is important that you have appropriate social and interpersonal skills for the business world. In today's world teamwork is critical to the success of a company, or for that matter a career. Remember to value the differences in people as this is what ensures that a company is constantly changing and growing, after all if everyone though the same no progress would be made. It is important that you understand the value of hard work. Many of our younger generation have a belief that as long as they graduate from high school and go on to college and receive a degree they are guaranteed a job. But this is far from the case. Yes, it is important to complete high school and college (hopefully with excellent grades). But your experience and attitude are what sways someone to hire you. Work hard, vary your experiences and develop a strong work ethic that stays with you throughout your career." (President/CEO; 2010)

"Take Business Courses...
I wish I had taken more business courses in school. Being a communications major is not the most beneficial course of study for a retail shop owner. Pay attention to what goes on around you at your part-time job. The more you learn the better off you will be. So much can be learned by simply observing and paying attention to what is happening. Listen to people when they speak to you. If it's important enough for them to say it, it's important enough for you to listen." (President Of Small Corporate Business; 2010)