Many question the importance of investing in executive education and development with the belief that every company builds sufficient training into each position. Contrary to that belief, companies often hire executives who have been developed elsewhere and come in with the experience and perspective needed to elevate the company to the next level. Those skills don’t come by accident: they are developed. Therein lies the benefit of executive education. If you find yourself working with a company that provides additional training or some sort of tuition reimbursement program, TAKE IT! If you’re working full time, can invest financially in furthering your education, but can only take a class at night, DO IT! No matter what your situation, the following four tips will certainly give you a head start on maximizing your opportunities for professional improvement:
1. MAKE the time for self-assessment– Why invest a quarter of a million of your life’s hours into a career without knowing if it is truly the right fit for you. Make sure that you are passionately committed to the total investment for your climb ahead. Acknowledge any personal desires (family, travel, etc.) and evaluate whether or not they realistically pair with your career plans. If they don’t pair smoothly, re-evaluate and determine your priorities and compromises. Companies look for candidates who are qualified and well-rounded. Hiring managers’ ideal employees are happy when they’re not at work and focused when they are.
2. Develop & build your brand- Determine your personal and professional brand i.e., what your name will stand for in your industry and what it will not. Acknowledge your values from the start! Corporations take the time to build a company deck so that when offers are made to them, they are able to compare the offer to their company’s values and mission and decide whether or not the offer is a great fit. You should do the same. Opportunities will come; the question to be determined is whether or not they are a good fit for your brand.
3. Draw out your plans- Create a flow chart to stay on track and map out your plans as they continue to develop. It will eventually grow before your eyes and you can ultimately create a personal enterprise based on your interests and investments.
4. Seek direction and the tools NEEDED to build a strong, stable career– Make a plan to find resources that will build your professional interests, stay on top of current and future trends, and enable you to network with your peers and the executives in your field.
BeNeca Griffin is an instructor for the Rady School’s Center For Executive Development (CED) as well as an Author, Speaker, Branding Specialist & Instructor who was recognized by the White House for her work. Visit the Rady School’s Center for Executive Education Development calendar for information on BeNeca’s upcoming Elevate courses.