Gone were the days where people settled for a particular job or company and stayed with it through thick and thin. In the dynamic world that we live in today, change and growth are inevitable. Having worked your way up to the executive ranks, has it ever crossed your mind on how you can continue to progress your executive career?
It could feel daunting to make that huge leap in your career. However, by leveraging the skill-sets and experience you have accumulated throughout your career, you can be in full control of wherever your profession takes you. The time has come to be truthful with yourself: what exactly do you hope to achieve in terms of your personal and professional goals? You need to be able to answer that question to ascertain what your next career destination would look like.
ability to thrive in a new environment
Think about how much has evolved in this age of disruption. Companies are constantly seeking agents of change who can influence and lead transformation agendas, particularly those who can do so with courage, ambition and foresight. Some of the key leadership skills that employers look for are ability to adapt in the workplace, a lifelong learning attitude and a knack for creativity and boldness.
It is pivotal that you constantly challenge yourself in your executive career, and demonstrate your ability to adapt, anticipate change and reinvent yourself. You can do so through upskilling and acquiring additional professional accreditation. Your investment in acquiring new skills and greater knowledge will prove to be invaluable in generating returns for your career in the long-run.
reassessing your career fulfilment
An upgrade in one’s status or title, along with a larger remuneration, is not the ultimate goal of every seasoned professional. Have you thought about what brings you fulfilment at work? If you have already claimed the top management position in your company, perhaps this would be a good time to reflect on where you would want to go from here. Many senior executives we have had conversations with are often hit with the realisation at this stage in their career that what they are doing now - differs quite significantly from what they hope to do.
Some others may also have considered stepping out of their comfort zone due to changes in their personal lives. If these situations resonate with you and what you are feeling right now, then it boils down to this one question, “What kind of leader do you want to be?”
Whether you choose to participate in a mentorship programme to help younger talent develop their skills, or widen your perspective to learn something from a different industry, it is time for you to identify your purpose and pursue a cause that would make work more meaningful for you.
three tips to prepare you for your career transition
1. re-examine your career aspirations
Self-discovery is key in carving the path to a meaningful and successful career. It is never too late to pursue your interests and do what you have always been dreaming about. Be accountable in creating opportunities for yourself, especially if there is an area in a different industry that you would like to explore.
You have the reputation, credentials and experience in opening these doors for yourself. Want to start a business of your own? Do your research, speak to successful entrepreneurs in your network, map out your strategy and come up with a timeline so that you can start working towards achieving your goals.
2. position yourself to be desirable to employers
Strive for visibility among your prospective employers and peers. Think about what you can bring to the table and how you can value-add to companies you aspire to work for. In this post-digital world, it is imperative that you brand yourself well both online and offline as this is instrumental in shaping people’s perception of your leadership competencies. Be generous with your time and knowledge, and actively share your insights and opinions on topics and issues that you have expert knowledge in with your network. If there are gaps in knowledge preventing you from reaching your ideal position, approach a mentor in the desired field of expertise. Mentors can provide you with lifelong advice on a broad range of topics, enhancing your market value in the process.
3. join boards and participate in industry activities
Be it a non-profit organisation, trade association or trade council, the senior-level peers in these groups can provide you with better perspective on the forces and trends that drive your business. These industry connections also provide you a training ground to hone your leadership, influencing and management skills - qualities that can help elevate your worth. In addition, being in the same network with these highly professional individuals helps enhance your personal visibility and opens up more opportunities for you to be recognised for your calibre and expertise.
According to Roselinde Torres, senior partner and managing director at Boston Consulting Group, great leaders are those who can build a diverse network of trusted relationships, and are not afraid of reaching out to people who think differently from them. Be proactive in connecting with people from all walks of life, different companies, functions, ideals and interests - because they are more often the ones who are willing to join you and take a leap. Torres also believed that having such trusted relationships in place “allow effective influence to achieve the aggressive goals and push through the obstacles to achieve greatness.”
It is however important to note that you do not sacrifice your personal fulfilment in the pursuit of ambitions that are not aligned with your identity or values. Reach your fullest potential by doing what you enjoy. Take this as a new beginning to seek the change that you have always wanted to experience.