My first job was a trainee accountant in 1991 with the Dublin office of Arthur Andersen. I thought accountants were nerdy, and I never really wanted to be one. However, the job market was weak and opportunities were limited, so I was thrilled to have a job and threw myself into it with gusto. A trainee accountant is pretty low on the totem pole in any accounting firm, and my duties included running errands for senior staff, packing audit suitcases, making tea on demand and learning to “suck it up”along the way. I went on to become a manager in 1994 and had the new trainees make my tea—what comes around, goes around!
My biggest learning, however, was not on the audit or accounting side but on the importance of employee performance management. The worst-ever performance review I received was also the most valuable. My manager was ruthless and told me all the things I needed to improve, the mistakes I made, the behaviors I needed to change and the skills I needed to learn. I ripped up the review in front of her, threw it in the bin and stormed out. I went for a few pints of Guinness that night and realized she was right. The next day, I apologized for my reaction and thanked her for her candor. She then produced the performance review and said, “I thought you might not react well, so I made a copy beforehand.” To this day, I still have that performance review.
Hermès is launching a Laundromat pop-up shop in NYC - dubbed Hermèsmatic - where customers can bring their old scarves to be dip-dyed by an expert. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews (📷: @donstahl)