Career paths often follow one of two extremes: the traditional method of working for a single company for decades, and the job-hopping millennial approach.
Linda Rossouw has found a goldilocks career route. Staying long enough to make a meaningful difference but changing jobs and even sectors often enough to grow her professional skills.
The five-year itch
Rossouw has worked for numerous firms during her career, including Uniplate Group, Expert Mining Tools, Element Six, Galaxy Jewellers, ADT, Shoprite, M&L Distributors and LPA Distributors.
However, Rossouw tends to stay at a company for several years at a time.
“To really add value, I believe you need to stay in a firm for three to five years so that you can really make that impact and take learnings from there and then, of course, help the business grow and take it further to success,” says Rossouw.
Rossouw explained to the CFOTalks podcast that being at a company that offers you a way to progress is essential.
“I think working in different industries does really bring that advantage, as opposed to someone maybe just staying in one company.”
The experiences that define careers
Thanks to Rossouw’s scenic career path, her experiences have been diverse. She recalls joining Shoprite in 2000, and assisting with Y2K preparation. “Then, with Whitey Basson acquiring OK Bazaars for R1 and all the work we had to do to convert those shops into the Shoprite culture. It has been an amazing, amazing journey.”
Rossouw also fondly recalled her time in the manufacturing industry with Element Six. “ We were doing manufacturing for the mining industry, specifically for the coal mining industry. That was a phenomenal journey and I learnt so much about manufacturing.”
Leaving a legacy
Rossouw recently started LaRoss Consulting, and explained her long term thinking to the podcast. “I want to leave a legacy, showing my sons how to do things. I’ve got four sons, two of them have their own businesses, so I think it was just a natural progression of this is, now is the time and just make that decision.
CFOClub members can access the full episode here.