Charting Your Executive Career

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Since executives spend so much of their time making management decisions and driving revenue, it can be challenging to devote time to their own career development. If executives take even a small fraction of the time they spend strategizing on behalf of their companies to strategizing about their own futures, climbing the corporate ladder can become a much more obtainable goal. Here are three strategies that executives can use to not only determine their career goals, but to develop specific steps to reach them.

Regularly self-evaluate with feedback from trusted advisors.
Many executives do not take the time to honestly self-reflect and to determine areas for improvement. Every skill-set is different, and it is important to be able to separate out areas that are strong and areas that require improvement. When an executive is forced to make use of a skill that he or she has not yet adequately developed, it can drain the executive’s energy and make him or her less productive. Asking for assistance from a trusted advisor can assist the executive with identifying areas of strength and weakness and formulating a strategic plan for improvement.

Seek additional experience that applies to long-term goals.
Even though it may be uncomfortable to work with skills in an executive’s area of weakness, this may be the only way for genuine growth to occur. If an executive is, for example, uncomfortable with public speaking, seeking out speaking opportunities may cause short-term stress but will carry long-term rewards. The extra time expended now will certainly pay off in terms of productivity in the future.

Maintain networking activities.
Networking is an activity that leads to a double benefit – not only can the executive help improve the company’s bottom line, but he or she can also build the necessary connections for future career growth. Networking may take time and effort, but it is a high-payoff activity that any executive should try to build into his or her week.