There is plenty of career guidance out there, but what about once you’ve already made it to the C-suite? You’ve risen through the ranks, proven yourself, and earned a corner office.
But what’s next?
To get some direction for those in senior management looking for their next career steps, I spoke to corporate governance and boardroom expert Mark Rogers, founder and CEO of BoardProspects.com, the board recruitment network.
He offered these tips on how to advance a successful senior management career:
Expand your network
Networking sites like LinkedIn enable you to connect with like-minded professionals, uncover business partnership opportunities, and develop relationships outside of your existing network that can further career advancement. Step out of your comfort zone. Meet new professionals in new industries.
In addition, staying in touch with current and former colleagues is an ideal way to expand your own circle and cultivate relationships that will benefit your professional career. That second- or third-degree connection could hold the key to an exciting new opportunity.
Market yourself (in a targeted way)
As senior executives know all too well, marketing oneself appropriately is key to career advancement. However, once professionals reach the upper echelons of senior management, marketing oneself can fall by the wayside due to grueling work schedules.
Ask yourself the critical question: Who am I trying to reach? Becoming active in new professional groups, engaging with peers (within and outside your industry), and participating in relevant discussions on social media and other online channels will provide exposure.
Attending industry events, pursuing industry awards, speaking as a panelist, and developing a thought leadership public platform are a few ways to increase your visibility and market yourself to new audiences.
Become a board member
More than ever, boards are serving a critical role in corporate leadership. Boards hold more corporate governance responsibility than ever before, and in turn, board members get to share the spotlight, for good or for bad.
And many executives find serving on the board of a non-profit organization a fulfilling way to lend their years of corporate experience to a cause they are passionate about. Whether on the for- or non-profit side, becoming a board member should be a top consideration for those looking to highlight strategic and ethical leadership skills within their industry and to the public.
In the past, the process for being appointed to a board of directors or advisory board has been dominated by a very insular “who do you know?” conversation. More recently, however, executives and boards are leveraging the power of technology to assist with the board recruitment process.
Online board recruitment platforms are now playing a pivotal role in allowing board candidates to effectively and discreetly set forth their value while at the same time providing intuitive resources for corporations to identify and connect with these high-quality board candidates.
Gender diversity in the boardroom, or rather the lack thereof, is a significant factor in compelling boards to assess their composition. In fact, since 2008, the number of women nominated for boards at large U.S. companies has doubled, according to a recent report from proxy advisory group Institutional Shareholder Services.
The process of advancing your career can be daunting, especially when you’re already at the top. By taking these steps to build a personal brand, senior leaders can continue to rise in the ranks and potentially affect real change, while gaining satisfaction in the process.