Many people use consulting to develop the foundational skills needed to progress into senior roles outside of consulting. The most sought after end destination is the ultimate owner on the Exec team – i.e, CEO / COO / MD etc.
This even brought together CEOs who had either started their careers or spent a spell of their career in consulting. Here movemeon brings you the best advice from the wisdom they shared on post-consulting career paths. We’ve split their guidance into the themes we pulled out of the general conversation.
CVS & PREPARING YOURSELF FOR A JOB MOVE
- Market yourself: use your CV to present your experience in a way that suits the job you want – but remember not to cross the fine line between tailoring what you’ve done and simply lying.
- Show that you are interested in the job you want by preparing for it outside work. This will take time and effort, but it is the best way to gain skills above and beyond those required for and presented by your current role.
- Prove yourself to those involved in the decision to hire or promote you. If you want to work four days a week, show that you can do five days’ worth of work in that time. And if you want your boss to take a chance on you, ask them what it would take to get that promotion, then show that you’ve got it – or can learn it.
- It’s fine to take breaks. Sometimes longer breaks are better because they give you the time and distance you need to re-evaluate your priorities. This will help you decide where to go next, and how to get there.
PERSONALITY & ATTITUDE
- Don’t try to be the smartest person in the room – very few people are generous enough to like the smartest person most, and no one likes to be patronised. Be a decent person, try to get on with your colleagues, and, if you must show your insight somehow, ask the best questions.
- Always focus on learning, in your job and outside it – you are more likely to be promoted if you have a hunger for learning and want to grow; it’s not enough to be the best performer.
- Within limits you set yourself, take any opportunity that presents itself at work – be remembered as the person who is always willing to lead, help and be involved.
- Directly following from the above, learn to say no, and learn to say it without ruining your chances of being offered opportunities in the future.
- Have the courage to stick to your ‘Plan A’. Most people know what they really want to do, but don’t even try . They think there is a magic one-step formula that some people know and others – those who don’t reach their goals – don’t. There isn’t. Figure out your aim, then take small steps towards it with every new career move.
- Don’t rush, and don’t worry about making the wrong career move. As long as you learn and grow in every new job, it is fine to have a lot of different jobs – but have a clear idea about the way they all fit when you apply for a new job.
- When you arrive in a new industry or company, remember to be tactful and humble. Don’t just tell others how to do a better job – chances are, your new colleagues have been in their jobs for a long time, built their lives around them, and will not take it well if you try to tell them that you know better.
- In the end, you’ll remember the people, not the salaries, bonuses and other monetary achievements. So invest in the people around you as you get ahead.
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