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Plan Your Executive Career

The key in career development success is in acquiring the right blend of skills. To achieve a coveted "C" level position, successful executives recommend the following plan of action:

  • Formal business acumen is important. Acquire excellent financial management skills, as your backbone. Take classes in accounting and finance.
  • Critical thinking is essential. Get your MBA earlier rather than later.
  • Learn to lead by observing and absorbing the professional skill that aren't taught in college.
  • Develop a network of professionals in all fields.
  • Never Stop Learning - seek out conferences and continuing education opportunities among other opportunities. Not only do you continue to learn, but you it enables you to continue to build your valuable professional network of leaders.
  • Seek out high level executive mentors who can help you gain exposure and perspective.

Building Your Career on the Move up the Corporate Ladder

Find a position that will enable you to be an expert in a specific area. As an expert, your skills become indispensable and you create your own "brand." By having a brand, you can create your own opportunities. Be known for something such as "the transportation expert" or "the project management guru".

Nearly every position in an organization can have benefit to building your career. The key is to be flexible. For example, volunteer for leadership opportunities and head up teams that will allow you to gain valuable management experience.

You need to constantly broaden your horizons and skills. Be the best that you can be in every position and become knowledgeable about how your role contributes to the bottom line. If you want to succeed, you have to look for opportunities; they won't just fall in your lap.

Job Change vs. Job Hopper?

There is no magic number about changing jobs. If you are managing your way through a corporation, job change can be constant and ongoing. If you are changing companies, avoid the perception of being a "job hopper" by changing companies every year.

Change positions to increase opportunity for growth and learning, not just for compensation.

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