By: Navin Dookeran, Progamme Director, Executive MBA and UWI-ALJGSB Lecturer
Is it time to do more with your life? Do you feel like you can contribute in a bigger way to your organisation? Is it time for that long awaited promotion? If you feel this way, then it is probably a good idea for you to take concrete actions to make it happen!
The title of this piece “Promotions, commotions and emotions!” is actually a 3-step road map to get you there, let’s spend a few minutes to explore this some more.
Identify your goals and make a plan. One goal could be getting a promotion! But will that job be a final destination? Probably not, instead of focusing only on your next promotion, figure out what position or responsibility you would like to have or be doing at the pinnacle of your career. Then work backwards and create some interim actions that you can take that will help you get there. Of course this plan will need to be flexible and adaptable, but at least you will have a plan and know where you want to go. Step 2 below will focus on some of the actions that you can take!
Before we continue, you will need to accept that there will be more commotion in your life. Likely you will become busier, but hopefully doing the things that you like, challenge and engage you! Also you will be in a constant state of change, as you will be continuing your march up the corporate ranks, after all you already know where you are going. So in order to break any “glass ceilings” and position yourself for the top spots, you should get the right education for you! Select a programme that will still be valued when you are in or being sought for the pinnacle position. To determine what programme is right for you, consider looking at what qualifications the existing people in the senior positions (like the job you want to get) already hold. Also, you should pick a programme that lies solidly within your interest and also will afford you as many career options as possible in the future.
Another part of the professional infrastructure that you should build is your networks. While it does happen that some people work their way up and spend their entire career at one company, sometimes for many, it is necessary to consider lateral or upward moves at other organisations in order for you to get closer to your final career objective. In this case, your networks, within your company, the industry and various social groups will help you become aware of more opportunities as they arise and also make the contacts with the individuals who have influence over the hiring decisions. With these 2 infrastructural pieces in place, you will be ready to shine as you continue to chart your way forward as described in step 3.
In this section, now that you have your competitive advantages in place, we examine some intrinsic qualities that will help you achieve your professional objectives. The key here, is that in order to shine, you will need to differentiate yourself from the rest and earn the respect of your colleagues and superiors (and others in your network) by exhibiting a constant commitment to high performance! So one way to do this is by having a “bias to action, rather than just talk!” People respect those that are able to get things done! Also, attitudes like “I will do whatever it takes to get the job done” aka accountability, combined with a strong work ethic and taking initiative, will increase the probability that you will be basking in the success of many achievements during your career. Now, while there will be ups and downs, if you also focus on helping people (like your co-workers) and being a team player, you will gain influence and become an even stronger candidate for the most senior positions in organisations.
There are many pieces to the puzzle to achieve success in the business world. But once you know where you are going, you put the right infrastructure in place and then execute, you will be on your way! Our Executive MBA programme at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business is designed for professionals that have the capacity to achieve great success, it focuses on cultivating the relevant mind-sets required for business leaders to drive organisations to meet and exceed business objectives! However after all, it is still only 1 (LARGE) piece of the puzzle! Action-orientation is another! Good luck and all the best!
Mr. Navin Dookeran is the Programme Director, Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business.