Creating a personal 'Board of Directors' for your career
Publish Date:Posted 21 days ago
We live in a world full of information, decisions, and unlimited choices. With all this noise, it can often be hard to navigate through everything alone. With specific people dedicated to making decisions about our health, relationships, and home life, often our careers are pushed to the wayside. What if we had a group of individuals you have specifically assembled in your mind, for the purpose of navigating your career and life in general?
It’s time to place your career at the forefront and select our own personal board of directors.
Picking your very own c-suite
Often, we can’t see the gaps in our own career path and we keep trying the same things expecting different results. From finding the right career path to landing the all-important promotions, putting together a group of people who can provide the best advice, ideas and guidance can make all the difference for your employment journey. You need insight from people with differing perspectives to help guide your career. This dedicated group of guides who you can turn to with questions, concerns or just general advice are there to help (like a parent or emotional support pet or even like a giant bar of chocolate on a bad day), but instead, they can bring a whole range of insight and beneficial knowledge that can enhance your career path in a rewarding way.
Who would you choose?
How do we decide who best to guide us and provide esteemed knowledge specifically tailored for us?
You’re not searching for people to take control of your life, simply people you can occasionally go to for advice and some input about a specific area of expertise. First and foremost, you will be the CEO of your own life. It is still important to ensure you understand, you are the driving factor and leader of your own life. The decisions ultimately rest with you. You need to build up that courage to act and take charge of the life you want to lead. But who else can assist?
It is most ideal to vary the people you look for, with differing perspectives, skills and approaches:
A senior trusted advisor who can guide you, listen to you and provide emotional and motivational support for your career. Someone who is your biggest cheerleader and can spur you on when in doubt. This person supports your growth and development and provides advice, feedback and guidance.
These are reliable colleagues who have you covered and are dependable when you need advice or assistance most. Ideally, someone in your field, profession or industry who can relate to you and give advice on a similar level. They are the sounding board for career-related decisions and can help you navigate challenging situations at work.
An influential individual who endorses you and your skills to powerful people in important conversations, this can lead to those all-important connections and advance you into new and different career paths. Someone who can introduce you to others in your profession or community. They are the ‘people person’ and thrive in social networking.
Thought leaders from external industries can show you new ways to approach things and introduce you to new concepts. This is someone who is a leader in the area in which you aspire to grow in or succeed, perhaps even from another generation (younger or older), so you can learn from their different perspectives. This person can provide intel surrounding new trends, ideas, projects and opportunities.
These are models who hold you accountable for your actions that impact your professional performance. No more putting things off and making excuses, they can help you address the issues you have been sweeping under the carpet and advance you to the next steps. Someone who has and is ready to critique you and your work can help you spot areas of improvement.
Now you’re probably thinking, this sounds ideal, and I could really do with a selected group or ‘board of directors’, but how do I build one and who am I looking for?
Just as companies search for a diverse workforce for their board of directors to represent everyone across their business, you also need varying people to help guide you to see other perspectives.
Now you aren’t looking for the next Oprah or Elon Musk (although I imagine a day filled with advice from Beyonce would compare to no other), they will be people already in your life such as a valued and colleague, a friend or professor. Do you have a colleague, acquaintance or adviser who has provided you with support and guidance perhaps with obvious things like opportunities and job offers? Maybe just a positive influence when you need it or emotional support. The people you mentally select don’t need to be formally invited into this role, it’s just how you visualise them and how you can learn from them and get a better grasp upon your career path. They are your support team, with different levels of skills, expertise, and availability. They can provide you with different perspectives, different career paths and different values you haven’t yet seen in yourself.
It’s always useful to have a second opinion; someone to look over your CV, someone to go through practice interviews with and someone who maybe have a different set of connections that can help progress you in other areas you didn’t previously have access to. Seeking out these diverse viewpoints is vital for career growth; they may even be able to help you evaluate your goals and make them achievable. It’s all personal to you and what you want to achieve!
These people may be assisting in similar ways already, you just haven’t yet identified them as a board member. They may grow and change throughout your career; they are personal to you and evolve as you do.
You may even find yourself in a reciprocated partnership and find that not only can an individual help you, but that you are valuable and have knowledge and advice that can help further someone else in their career. It’s all about how we as people can help each other. Whilst you are seeking advice from others, have a think about what you can do for them, who you could introduce them to, what skills you can help provide or just things that seem small that can go a long way, like taking their dog for a walk if they need to travel for work.
We all could benefit from a unique set of people in our lives who you can consult regularly for advice and feedback. These are the board of directors for your career and life. Whether your goal is to advance your career, lead a huge project or join a new course, having an influential group of people around you can only advance you further and make your journey easier.