Is It Time to Do Something New?
Yep, we’re coming to that time of year again.
Sure, it’s all forced fun, Christmas parties and bad jumpers now. But soon, we’ll all be heading into that ultra-reflective, post-Christmas blow out malaise. And we know what that means…
The dreaded question:
What do you want to achieve in 2019?
First Stop: The Career Audit
Always the first thing to be examined. Rightly or wrongly, what you ‘do’ does define a lot of us as individuals. The sense of belonging and purpose that a job gives us is important. Even more importantly, beyond the ‘job’, is how we feel we’re faring against our overall career plans. Are we where we thought we would be? Have we done more or less than expected?
Even for those that have had a good career year, the question will always be ‘what’s next?’
Flip Your Assumptions on Their Head
For most people, the immediate answers fall within the remit of promotions or a salary rise.
But what about if you thought about it differently?
Start by looking at your end goal. In order to get there, you need to tick off all the boxes required to hold a position of that seniority. And I bet there’s a few really obvious areas. Experience in different functions. Experience globally. Experience working in different organisational types…?
Forget about a salary hike. How are you ever going to get there if you don’t start ticking these boxes off?
Broaden Out: The T of Leadership
Look to your CFO, or CEO. Apart from pointing to their key strengths as a leader, I bet you can’t identify one key area of ‘expertise’. Likely, they have multiple – they are broadly experienced and know a lot about, well, a lot.
In fact, many people would say that the mark of a great leader is the ability to lead outcomes through people across functions, rather than being a leader in your own field of expertise.
If you’re seeking to reach the C-suite, you need to think seriously about generalising, and gaining non-finance expertise.
Create a Plan That Genuinely Challenges You
You can’t develop this skill set over night. You need to consciously aim your current role, and ones beyond it to give you experience and exposure to functional areas and leadership challenges you haven’t faced yet.
Key areas you could consider branching out into, or gaining project expertise in, include: MIS/IT, BI/analytics, supply chain and demand planning, commercial management (bids and contracts), risk management, corporate governance and internal audit.
Above all, don’t set yourself material goals that don’t help your bigger picture career. Really think about the opportunities for you to develop and grow as an emerging leader this year. Don’t judge your achievements on salary alone – think about what you’ve gained and can gain next year through involvements in projects, initiatives or potentially, looking at new roles.