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Froilan de Dios: Discover Where Your Passion Lies and Where Your True North Points

03/14/2015 01:38 am ET | Updated May 13, 2015

This is part of the #CareerAdvice series - featuring successful professionals who share their advice to people who would want to take their career to the next level.

Having started his career in accountancy and law, Froilan de Dios, shares his professional journey that allowed him to work in Philippines' neigboring countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam.

After over a decade outside his home country, he eventually back to the Philippines as VP for Finance Business Partnering at Rustan's Supercenters, Inc. When asked what's the best career advice he's ever gotten, he highlights the importance of learning from our mistakes and turn those into assets to becoming successful.

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Froilan de Dios, Vice President for Finance Business Partnering at Rustans Supercenters, Inc (now part of Dairy Farm / Jardine Matheson Group

Can you tell us a bit about how you started your career? What are some of your best moments in your professional life?

By education, I am an accountant and a lawyer. In order to practice both professional disciplines I started with an auditing firm with a specialization in taxation. After a while I decided that I liked doing finance more than law and I eventually moved on to a corporate employment. This is where I got the chance to go on a second (expatriate) assignment. My tour of duty included Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. Almost 10 years later, I returned to the Philippines and have been privileged to work with my current employer.

If you could advise your 20-year-old-self today, what would tell him?

At 20, you really do not know what do in life. That's okay, and you will never know unless you try everything that interests you.

It is a period to discover where your real passions lie and where your true north points. This is important so that when you do embark on your career of choice, there are no regrets about the road not taken (as you know what lies in there). The grass will be evergreen on your side of picket fence.

What has been the most valuable advice you've ever gotten when you were facing challenges in your career?

You will not get everything right as even the best laid plans can be foiled. The only thing for certain is that you will make a mistake. The greatest men (and women) on earth have made their share of mistakes. In fact they make more mistakes than most.

But a mistake only remains as such, if you do not learn from it. Then it becomes a failure. But if you pick yourself up and learn from it, then it becomes a valuable lesson. The ability to learn from mistakes is what separates those who succeed from those who fail.

What would you advise the millennial just starting with their career or aiming to take their careers to the next level?

Several things:

  • Develop your personal brand, it is how you relate to your colleagues, it is how you efficiently you turn out your work and it is the quality of output that comes out. Your personal brand is what will insulate you from the nasty grape vine

  • Understand that absolutely no one is indispensable. Get rid of the sense of entitlement, unlike your parents, your employer has no obligation to give in to your every whim
  • Keep learning, the moment you believe there is nothing more to learn, is the moment have started to stagnate
  • Be a team player. You will be surprised with the kind of things a truly motivated team can come up with. Also, nobody likes to work with a diva.
  • Never give up
  • You have in fact learned everything you needed to be successful when you finished high school. No one can really stop you from being the best of what you can be.
  • Do not burn bridges. If you have to leave, do realize that the world is now a very small place and that your next employer can easily figure out if you left in good standing or if you left a mess to clean up.
  • Learn more from Froilan by connecting with him on LinkedIn.

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