Adam Halmarick has had a rapid rise to General Manager of Finance of Downer Rail, a division of the Downer Group, and is responsible for the financial and commercial management of the major long-term maintenance contracts, worth over $3bn. We wanted to celebrate his story and share insights from his approach to professional development and career growth.
The Foundations - Mindset
Adam’s career started as an auditor with PwC, where he leveraged the environment to stretch himself as a professional and set himself up for the future. In getting to know Adam, it is his drive that underpins his approach to career, leadership and working with his business.
“During my time there, I made sure I was constantly learning and being challenged professionally and personally,” he says. “I would not be where I am today, if it wasn’t for the breadth of experience that my time at PwC gave me.”
This overriding need to be challenged on a daily basis has characterised the rest of Adam’s career.
“In the four and a half years I’ve been with Downer (in Corporate and in Rail), I’ve completed my Masters in Applied Finance, I’ve had six different roles, and have grown from an individual contributor to leading teams of over 15 people,” he says. “It has been a lot of hard work, but I’ve had a number of incredibly supportive mentors who have seen more in me than my experience might have indicated.”
A Career Weapon - Consistency
Over the years, Adam has come to believe that the best way to accelerate your career is not through one master stroke, but through consistently delivering results.
“It’s increasingly overlooked as one of the most important things we do,” he says. “My career has evolved not because I did one thing that made me famous, but because I consistently focus on doing those things that matter the most, and doing them to a high standard. It’s that consistency in delivery that has built my personal brand, and that is what has gotten me to where I am today.”
Create Value, Not Noise
Adam believes that focusing on the things that genuinely add value, is the best way to make the biggest impact on his business.
“We often hold a lot of the data that the business needs to make decisions,” he says. “But it’s how you use that data that actually matters and sets you apart as a finance professional”. “As the leader of a finance team, it is my objective to ensure that everyone in that team is seen as a trusted business advisor.”
Words of Wisdom
Adam’s go-to piece of advice to any emerging talent is to always make sure you’re being challenged both professionally and personally. “As hard as it might seem, you have to force yourself out of your comfort zone,” he advises. “Only then, can you see what you’re really capable of and most of the time, you’ll achieve things you didn’t even think were possible.”
He also believes in the importance of having a strong network. “I didn’t appreciate this early in my career,” he admits, “but now I see the many benefits it can bring. The powers of a strong network are truly endless.”
As we know, it is this network that opens opportunities, support and perspective as your career grows.
Adam’s final piece of advice is to surround yourself with top talent in your team and in an organisation you’re passionate about. “This helps you progress faster,deliver the best possible results, and most importantly, you’ll enjoy going to work everyday,” he says.
Key Points To Remember
Consistently deliver top results
Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone
Find and use the support of mentors