Wendy Hirsh

Wendy is a researcher and consultant working on employment issues, especially those which have career planning and career development at their heart. Working for many leading organisations in both private and public sectors in the UK and internationally, she helps relate changing business priorities and challenges to the kinds of people and skills organisations will need. This in turn helps individuals see how their careers may develop and where interesting opportunities may lie. It is this ‘win win’ – a good outcome for both the individual and the employing organisation – which Wendy considers the fascinating challenge of career development.

She has worked a good deal on how line managers and HR specialists can best support individuals in planning and developing their careers and have run many career workshops for employees and students. Wendy works independently as well as with several centres of research and consulting in employment matters, including the Institute for Employment Studies (IES), the National Institute for Career Education and Counselling (NICEC), the Corporate Research Forum, Roffey Park Management Institute and Kingston University Business School, where she is a visiting professor.


Q: What do you wish someone had told you when you were starting out?
A: It has taken me a long time to realise that asking for help when you are stuck, and asking for feedback on your own performance is the best way to improve

Q: What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
A: To get ready for the next day before you go to bed at night

Q: What is the most underrated skill in business?
A: We talk glibly these days about ‘talent spotting’ but the ability to know what someone might be capable of and to understand what brings out the best in them is the skill that changes people’s lives

Books by Wendy Hirsh in this series

Planning Your Career in a Week: Teach Yourself