How investing in oneself drives executive growth

How investing in oneself drives executive growth

The investment you make into your career is not purely financial. Time, strategy and effort are equally important, writes Gugu Khazi.

The higher up the career ladder you climb, the more limited the number of opportunities available to you. This means that, even at an executive level, you will always be competing for senior roles.

Given that most executives aim to build a track record of delivering results over a minimum of three-to-five business cycles before moving along, these roles are generally not that readily available.

How then, do you ensure that you do not stagnate in your role as an executive – and instead, grow your capabilities to place you as a frontrunner for the next available promotion? The trick is to invest in yourself.

Here’s why, and how to do that:

  1. Invest in an executive coach
    This is one of the best investments you can make in yourself. An executive coach holds you accountable for your career and professional goals, while providing objective feedback. Tuesday Consulting offers executive coaching with the overall goal of helping business leaders become more effective by maximising their strengths and overcoming personal obstacles to reach their full potential.
  2. Invest in a few credible assessments
    A strong sense of self is critical when it comes to choosing a career, and self-awareness applies equally in terms of growing your career. A mid-career, personalised assessment will highlight the skills and strengths you bring to an organisation, and further help you define your true value. It’s important to note that if you are not clear on your true worth, and how it impacts your organisation, others will define that for you.
  3. Invest in your personal brand
    What do you most want to be known and remembered for? Your leadership or communication skills, or your ability to build and grow relationships? Your skills and passions help define you – and can be effectively leveraged to promote your expertise through thought leadership articles, aligned social media posts and industry talks, for example.
  4. Build your network
    An extensive industry network is crucial to growing your organisation and meeting personal career goals, but a selected network of trusted professionals will prove even more beneficial. This should comprise peers or mentors that you can rely on to bounce ideas off, or will challenge your thinking – and need not be industry-specific, either. The wider you cast your net, the greater the insights you expose yourself to.
  5. Seek international exposure
    Where possible, participate in global conferences, industry events or assignments to boost both your career exposure and personal development.
  6. Ride the “moments that matter”
    Don’t let make-or-break opportunities pass you by. How you respond to challenging situations that demand ground-breaking decisions, tough calls and require you to perform at peak have far-reaching impact. This is because no amount of preparation or simulation can prepare you for every eventuality, and a crisis scenario offers the best opportunity to put your skills, expertise and strength to the test.
  7. Keep learning
    Lifelong and continuous learning have become corporate buzzwords, thanks to the wealth of options for anyone wanting to upskill themselves in almost any field. Investing in your personal and career development is not something that happens on its own; it requires action and commitment – and with the huge range of development opportunities available, savvy business leaders have every reason to explore and leverage these.

Tuesday Consulting offers a suite of career management and talent advisory options for executives and organisations. These include career coaching, executive coaching and executive outplacement services.

Gugu Khazi is a leading human resources practitioner, career coach, author and international speaker. She has joined Tuesday Consulting where she won’t just be a director and shareholder, but will also launch a new division within the executive search and advisory firm.