By Perminus Wainaina
Hi. My name is Beatrice. I have been working for the same organization for 8 years now, in the HR department. In the 8 years I have been in the department, I have gotten new supervisors who end up leaving, for one reason or the other. Last month, a new Chief HR Officer was hired and two weeks later, he was fired. I would like to show that I am a good candidate for the same role, especially because I know the company better. How do I go about it? As much as I know the company, how do I prepare myself to become a successful Chief Human Resource Officer?
Top executives and positions are highly coveted roles. Many people, including you, may aspire to be executive leaders, whether now or some distant day in the future.
If you are hoping to reach the top executive level, how should you prepare yourself to get there? What should you do to cultivate the qualities you possess—and show your company’s leadership team that you are up to the task of joining their ranks?
Here is what you should focus on to prepare for the role.
1. Gain industry and management experience
Not all companies hire from within for the top level. However, in many cases, high-level managers can compete for top-level management roles. To follow this path, you’ll need to work aggressively for promotions and prove your leadership skills and industry expertise by making an impact on the company in every role you land.
In addition to developing your management and leadership skills, take the time to develop your vision for corporate success. Seek out opportunities to highlight your thought leadership, from industry publications to personal blogs and social media sites. Positioning yourself as a thought leader with innovative ideas can help you stand out.
2. Take the lead during company changes
Just last year due to the economic changes caused by the global pandemic, many companies were forced to restructure. Restructuring doesn’t always lead to unemployment but can create numerous opportunities for you as an ambitious leader, to step into an executive role.
Truth is, your current role may remain only temporarily after restructuring. If you prove that you can lead effectively, however, you could position yourself as a top candidate for a future top-level job with the company.
3. Offer consultative help
Corporate consultants can gain experience at a wide range of companies in a single industry. The varied insight they gain enables them to position themselves as industry experts, which can be a stepping stone to joining top management.
If you’re considering the consultant route to the top-level, plan your path carefully. Seek out strategies for gaining experience with the biggest names in your industry so you can leverage the connections later.
4. Learn about becoming a board member
Joining a corporation’s board of directors can give you unique decision-making, management, and leadership experience. Consider becoming a board member to gain the high-level perspective you need to help lead a company.
5. Start as an entrepreneur
Startup founders can be strong candidates for top management if they also emphasize developing leadership and decision-making skills.
If you’re considering this path to the top role, make an effort to show how you will define corporate culture, navigate internal political issues and lead teams toward essential objectives.
6. Find a mentor
Asking a top-level executive that you admire to be your mentor can help you gain insights to grow in your career. Under career mentorship, you will be able to determine whether or not a top management role would be the right fit for you. You should also ask them for honest feedback about your strengths and key areas you need to improve on to be a competitive candidate.
Stay true to yourself.
The road to being at the top has become heavier and longer, but you can make a real impact and succeed.
Are you ready to take the next step?
Perminus Wainaina is the C.E.O and Managing Partner at Corporate Staffing Services, a leading HR consultancy firm based in Westlands. Through career mentorship programs, he assists mid-level and senior professionals get solutions to complex and challenging career issues that they are facing. Click here for more on career mentorship.N.B: Would you like us to consider you for a job opening? Boost your job search. Upload Your CV Here. It's FREE