You might feel that getting to the next level in your executive career is going to be a daunting task. There is however a good chance that you have already put in the work and therefore you just need to take it up another notch. Getting to the next level may not be as hard as you think if you are already working at building a good reputation.
Being a recognized leader within your industry is a great starting point. This is then about building up your reputation and showing the world that you have something great to share. This will help to take your executive career to a level that you likely never dreamed was possible.
Become a subject matter expert in a key area: You more than likely bring a certain depth of experience with you if you are in an executive career. Become the subject matter expert that others turn to when they need this knowledge. This may not be a hard thing to do if you are already a “go to” person. Write a white paper or an article to draw attention to yourself and the knowledge that you bring.
Take the time to share your knowledge with others who can benefit from it. Be aware of what you bring to the table and how this can evolve into a subject matter expert opportunity. Any time that you can share this information with the world, it helps to take your career to a whole new level.
Search out opportunities for growth and leadership: Always be on the lookout because opportunities are out there. You may find new ways of getting involved within your community or your industry. You can take on key projects or get involved in issues that matter greatly.
There is always a new leadership opportunity and the more involved you are, the more visibility you have. These opportunities for growth may come in the way of workshops, speaking opportunities, networking, or projects that you can take on. If you do a good job with any of these initiatives, it can help to launch you to the next level.
Teach others, take on speaking opportunities, or become a key part of organisations: This is where networking comes into play and why it’s so very important. Anytime that you have the ability to educate or speak to others, it shows your dedication and knowledge. It shows that you have a great depth of experience and that you can help others to gain something.
Being a part of organisations within your industry or profession is truly a must. This allows you to shine within your role, but also helps with the networking factor. You can be up close and personal with people that can help you. It’s also a wonderful way to launch your next step and get people to know your name—visibility and networking go hand in hand and complement each other!
Consider a board position or something that gives you visibility: Do be sure that you do this for the right reasons though. Taking on a board position can be a wonderful way to take your executive career to a whole new level. An opportunity such as this can be a wonderful one, but it does come with its fair share of work. Go into this with your eyes wide open and recognize that it must be the right opportunity. You want visibility but for the right reasons—and that means that it must be with a good board and company as well.
Be sure that you are ready to commit to this role and put in the work that it requires. If you take this lightly and you fail at this or take on the wrong opportunity it can backfire. You may end up with bad publicity or actually hurt your potential career growth. A board position or something similar is a wonderful way to progress, but just do your homework and be sure that you choose wisely.
You are going to find that launching your executive career is a journey. It takes a lot of time and effort, and it requires a certain strategy. You must always remember why you are doing this and what you want out of it. This is a very personal journey and therefore your reasons or methods may vary from others. Keep on track, stay focused, and consider what will be right to get you to the next level—and there will be no stopping you!
Kylie Hammond is the CEO & Founder of Director Institute Next Generation Directors, the fastest-growing network of director talent. An experienced board director, serial entrepreneur, angel investor and a leading Executive Search & Talent Management Consultant. Kylie represents executive candidates via her exclusive Talent Management Programs, manages a number of client Executive Search engagements, and coaches a range of clients across executive, leadership, sales, business, women’s issues and career development areas. As specialists in the career coaching field we have helped executives at all levels change careers, achieve promotions, negotiate improved salary packages and implement work life balance strategies, which make a significant difference.