Treat Your Executive Career the Way You Run Your Company
Recently, I read on several social media outlets a meme that reads, roughly:
Executive #1: “What if we invest in our workforce and they choose to leave?”
Executive #2: “What if we don’t, and they stay?”
Of course this meme was designed to incite executives to invest in their company’s talent. I don’t believe that there is an executive out there who thinks that ignoring the needs of his or her workforce is wise.
Despite the axiomatic value of investing in the talent and expertise of their company, so many executives refuse to do the same for themselves. These executives adamantly refuse to treat their own career growth with the same care and insightfulness.
Examples of this lack of preparation and investment appear in a number of ways. These executives:
- Lose their former passion for their work but keep trudging along the same paths on which they have been successful in the past.
- Fail to create a thoughtful business plan for the success of their careers.
- Neglect to build a career plan “inventory” in the form of a compelling current resume, recognizable branding, engaging social media presence, and so on.
- Abandon their warm contacts when they secured the position that was right at the time, treating networking as a goal-specific strategy whose value dropped the moment the ink dried on their contracts.
- Decline to budget to hire the right consultants to guide them in making complex career decisions.
These executives are smart and insightful, so, probably, they didn’t forget these key steps on purpose. What started as benign neglect quickly turned to outright apathy. The pattern disintegrates into painful lack of motivation and career subsistence. In other words, they are unhappy in their roles, know they can do better, but choose to do nothing, simply because change is too daunting. Fortunately, mastering the enterprise known as your career is not as complicated as running your company–although the personal stakes are infinitely greater.
The broad plan is simple. The expert consultant you need to engage knows the way your career is supposed to work. And the sooner you start, the less time you lose to indifference or fear, and the sooner you can tackle each step of the process, with support, one piece at a time. You simply need to choose to master your career.
image courtesy of freeimages.com / svilen001