How Important Is It to Have a Guide? A Little Inspiration for Future Graduates.

4 min.


for many years, I have been in an environment where people around me are searching for and finding new job opportunities. Recently, my colleague and I conducted a training session as part of AIESEC Career Days, and one of the students asked what was important for me to transition from a graduate to an experienced top manager of an international company and eventually to the owner of an executive search firm.

This question surprised and caught me off guard, and I think it deserves a bit of reflection. What was it for me? And what from that can be generalized as inspiration for recent graduates?

Take on Responsibility

In most of the professions I have been through, I was never afraid to seize opportunities. I believe every boss appreciated when I first showed what I could do, even if it meant risking my own benefit or comfort, and only after completing the work, did I ask what I would get in return. This approach generally paid off for me.

Choose Your Bosses Carefully

And here we come to the idea of a guide... my guides were Milan and Honza.

Milan Přibyl was and still is a huge inspiration for me. Long ago, as a young guy, I had the opportunity to work in his company. Although I was one (and perhaps the youngest) of his approximately 100 colleagues, I always felt that he treated me as an equal partner. During my more than three years in his company, I was "infected" by this way of thinking, and I still draw from it today. Without knowing it, he laid the foundations for my current thinking about freedom and responsibility in the work environment.

The second "guide" was Honza Kozina, an amazing co-owner of what was then the largest Czech TEMP agency, KAPPA People, which he later sold two-thirds of to the Austrian Trenkwalder. I had the opportunity to be part of this merger. Honza was and hopefully still is one of those managers who can support and offer opportunities. Thanks to his inspiration, I went from being a salesperson for Brno to a branch manager, head of several regional branches, and experienced projects in Slovakia and Scotland... and all this was mainly due to his openness, partnership approach, and willingness to trust in my abilities.

(thanks to both of them once again)

Don't Be Afraid of Discomfort

Many times in my professional career, I found myself in situations that were not comfortable or pleasant... don't be afraid of them, choose them and face them. Short-term discomfort will almost always help you move forward... but you probably already know that.

I wish you many crazy ideas, the courage to realize them, and bosses who will support you!


Pavel Plachý is the founder of Flow-r Executive Search. He began his career in business intelligence, working for both Czech and multinational companies in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and the United Kingdom. He has also held international top management roles, leading teams in three countries with a total of more than 700 employees.

In 2008, he founded his own company focused on finding strategic candidates and, since then, he and his colleagues have been dedicated to executive search. They find top managers and strategic experts for their clients.

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