Chart your own pathway to success is Sean Jacobs’s advice for young people.

The Griffith University alumnus and security and policy specialist has worked in many high-profile positions since he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2008.

He was the lead security planner for the athletes’ village at the GC2018 Commonwealth Games, and a security specialist at the Brisbane G20 Leaders’ Summit. He has also been a former Brisbane City Council election candidate, an adviser to all three levels of government, United Nations worker and international youth volunteer.

Sean has distilled the lessons he has learned from his working life into a new book aimed at helping young Australians find their own success in life.

In Winners Don’t Cheat: Advice for young Australians from a young Australian he offers ideas and strategies required to confront adversity, achieve meaning and lay the foundations for success in the early years out of secondary school and into a professional career.

His series of short essays cover topics such as becoming a better writer, education versus employability, the benefits of hard work and simple goal setting.

‘Studying at Griffith was the stepping stone to achieving success in the professional working world’

“I really focussed hard and my lecturers and tutors were fantastic.

“In my final year, I obtained a grant to assist me to the global young leaders’ summit in China which was a big boost. Being able to see what other students were doing globally and the professional opportunities available really helped kick-start my career.”

Despite his busy workload Sean also manages to find time to guide Griffith students and help them achieve their goals. Now in his fifth year as a mentor with the Griffith Industry Mentoring Program, Sean works with one or two students every six months to mentor them in their careers.

“The program is amazing,’’ he says. “I wish I had a mentor when I was studying to tell me what pathways were available in current affairs or politics, so now this is my opportunity to give back.

“I love working with the students and of course, they help me as much as I help them.”

Sean’s top three tips for finding success:

  • Work out what success means to you as it will be different for everyone
  • Don’t look for role models who look only like you — you may be surprised at how many stories of persistence and determination you can find from people who don’t fit the image of ‘success’ you have in your mind
  • Think ‘responsibilities’ and not ‘rights’ — self-responsibility means laying the foundations to chart your own success.

After the Commonwealth Games gig and publishing his book, Sean is taking a breather to concentrate on the next big thing. Whether security for another major event, focussing on his podcasts or writing a second book, one thing’s for certain, the future is bright.

Winners Don’t Cheat will be launched at Connor Court Bookroom on July 9. The book is available here.