How to manage your career as an executive in times of digital transformation? Our 5 tips:
In almost any newspaper or business magazine you can read about how companies are dealing with digital transformation, and how they are - at the same time - confronted with the shortage on leadership skills and competences in this matter.
And yet, despite the sheer amount of opportunities and business needs, it may be quite difficult, even for experienced managers or executives in this domain, to select the right possibilities and engage for the right priorities.
Is it not true that we all have busy jobs today? More than ever, each and every executive is sucked up by a multitude of projects and programs, leaving only very little time or energy to handle one's own career in a proactive manner.
In our business, we have numerous contacts with executives and decision makers who excel in defining business or team goals, analyzing complex issues, aligning with stakeholders and taking business decisions.
But, when it comes to taking care of their own career, this often proves to be a tougher task to complete.
Hence, from our experience as a specialized Executive Search office, we like to provide some tips for managers and executives who proactively want to take their careers into their own rightful hands.
1. Know your strengths
As a manager, it is important to know your strengths and imperfections. For a thorough analysis of these elements, you should make use of the knowledge and insights of the people around you, people you trust. Those confidants can give an additional perspective on your role as a supervisor, as a colleague, as a direct report. Consciously look for that kind of feedback. And positively encourage people to provide feedback. Tell them that their opinion matters to you.
In addition, external expertise of professionals in leadership management can prove to be very useful. Based upon specific assessments, personal interviews or exercises, those experts can also advise you and assist in the search for your personal USPs and / or your own professional SWOT.
2. Align your professional ambitions with your private commitments
No executive will be successful if he does not align his professional ambitions with the private commitments taken. Whatever the engagements are, clarity is important. For yourself as a person, but also for your environment and the people around you. As a matter of fact, those are the people that will provide you with the necessary support and confidence in making important decisions. And they will be there to support you when things do not turn out as expected.
3. Select the correct networks and foster your relations
At times, one cannot see the wood for the trees. That's why it's also important to make the right choices in selecting the right networks and to maintain contacts with those people who can actually contribute. Those who can effectively help you achieve your goals.
There are of course numerous executive clubs and networking opportunities. If you wish, you can scratch a reception every evening. But what does this network actually contribute to your growth and career? Our advice: limit your choice, and if you engage, make sure that you can fully commit.
A pro-active contact management with your specialized executive search partner can also provide you with new or unexpected opportunities. Indeed, an experienced executive search consultant has a broad professional network, a good empathetic insight, and has the ability to make the right connections. In all discretion he can get you in touch with the right people. This is after all his professional goal as well. So, help him as much as possible in doing the work for you.
4. Learn from others
The relatively large openness of social media platforms such as Linkedin gives you an insight into the careers of others. Use this to your own benefit. It's not hard to find out more about the professional track record of the CxO at company X, Y or Z. This may be helpful information when thinking about your own career path, considering new opportunities and planning ahead.
And who knows, you can also gain extra insights on how to better propose yourself on those online networks. What do you stand for? What are the profiles that you yourself would like to read more about? How come? And why haven’t you updated since last year?
Take a critical look at all the information you find about yourself online and make sure that this is consistent and in line with your ambitions.
To do this in a proper way, take all the time necessary. Working on your own career also includes putting a lot of personal effort in this deal.
By planning a weekly hour to think about your strengths, to talk to others about your challenges, to foster contacts with executive search specialists, or just to follow social media and to see what lives, you can be more pro-active, at your own pace. And so you see, you already have taken the first step, thinking ahead and giving direction to your own career.
More info: contact Steven De Poortere - firstname.lastname@example.org