In the age of pandemic disruption, what do managers have to focus on to manage their professionalism at their best?
Organizational skills and personal reputation are at the forefront.
We are in the age of pandemic disruption.
Globalization and re-localization are changing their paradigm; the managerial talent pool continues to increase due to diversity and new generations, but skills shortage and war for talents are a matter of fact.
Moreover, businesses are becoming increasingly less pyramidal and less top-down.
So today Managers should focus on self-value, growing professionally and working on self-development, rather than just building a career.
The notion of executive career is therefore based more on organizational skills and networking than on preconceived knowledges.
Growing professionally means being aware of one’s own organizational skills and managerial actions, as well as asking superiors, partners and coaches for feedback.
It is important to pay attention to your soft skills, to have your own action plan and to be aware of your personal brand. In short, self-career management.
Continuous learning is necessary to keep up with the market and to be aware of your own managerial wellbeing.
It begins with defining your goals, identifying the skills to achieve them and analyzing at what stage of this path you are.
“If I leave this specific company with my current background, will I be able to reposition myself in the market adequately?”
If yes, it is best to “stay on the market” because the business and professional worlds are constantly evolving.
If the answer is negative, managers shouldn’t feel discouraged, but rather continue to improve themselves according to specific guidelines.
HOW TO TRAIN
These days managers are asked to fulfill different targets simultaneously: from large-scale goals and singular functions, to one’s own professional growth.
It is necessary to have a comprehensive approach which includes acquiring technical and managerial capabilities for internal organization, as well as external relational skills.
The support of an executive coach can be decisive in this way.
It is important to prepare strategies to strengthen skills, keeping in mind coaching techniques for building relationships and networking.
If managers are particularly eager, they can start acting on their own, following a few guidelines.
WHICH BUSINESS TO TARGET?
The choice of “target companies” depends on one’s background and specific goals.
Managers with experience in foreign multinational corporations or in entrepreneurial businesses may have different paths and opportunities to choose from.
New businesses and startups are good opportunities, but of course not for everyone.
INTERNATIONAL RELOCATION: IS A MUST.
At high managerial levels, internationals experiences are a must.
They indicate an open-minded and risk-taking attitude, as well as the development of distinctive skills (i.e. ability to engage with different cultures, to negotiate at several levels with various rules etc.)
NETWORKING & REPUTATION
Networking with the sole goal of taking advantage of opportunities, thus for repositioning, is a practice that does not pay off much in the long term, and, in recent times, neither in the short period. The receiver (head hunters in primis) is usually aware of this instrumental goal and will be skeptical, though perhaps subconsciously.
Not only is networking for “learning and sharing” more noble, but also decidedly more useful.
The key combination is networking and collaboration.
“Build your professional brand” is an even more relevant slogan, both on professional large social networking and in vertical communities. Reputation is important because managers have to build confidence in themselves and in their resources. This is fundamental to develop a critical thinking and to respond proactively to challenges, without letting themselves get buried by other’s expectations.
Digital is another key word that some people confuse with a mere technological skill.
Today, people managers are asked to navigate the new, while appreciating (and taking advantage of) younger generations, who can bring a new approach to business (reverse mentoring), thus helping challenge the status quo. In short, to connect the dots in a different way.
Overall, the axis of current career self-management consists of overseeing your hard skills and business command, as well as soft skills like organizational and people management, as they let you be perceived as a real decision maker, enabler of change and value carrier.
Businesses need highly reliable players whose moral strength, fitting with the specific company’s culture, is clear even in the worst situations.
Article written by Fabio Ciarapica, CFR Global Executive Search Italy
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