1.0   PILLARS OF AN EFFECTIVE
CAREER DEVELOPMENT PLAN

 

In a report written by Morgan (2011), the
author suggested that four distinct pillars support an effective career
management plan: Self-awareness, skills excellence, personal branding and
networking. The intention is to outline my career progression with these 4
pillars as a framework.

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2.1 Self-Awareness

 

Self-awareness is the foundation of
emotional intelligence (Goleman, 1995 as cited by Caldwell and Hayes, 2016).

Individuals who frequently engage in self-audits have a better understanding of
their strengths and weaknesses (Avolio and Gardners, 2005 as cited by Caldwell
and Hayes, 2016), allowing them to leverage on what they are good at while
addressing what they lack. It allows one to track progress and empowers better
future planning to meet career objectives (Morgan, 2011).  It is also said that individuals who have
more self-awareness command greater value than those who do not (Caldwell and
Hayes, 2016). With this understanding, I must first conduct a self-audit using
SWOT Analysis to achieve a higher level of self-awareness, allowing a more
accurate prognosis of skill set and discovery of opportunities to achieve my
career goals.

2.2 Skills Excellence

 

In order to be viewed competitively,
one of the areas to be addressed is my knowledge on digital. Whie I am
considerably well-informed in this category, the evolving digital landscape
means the learning has to be continuously pursued.  Digitalisation is spurring the workplace to
change at a rapid pace. Most correspondences between clients and business partners
and even communication to consumers rely heavily on social media platforms and
on digital and mobile (OECD, 2016). Technological advancement is changing the
way business is operated and the skill set required to meet that change.

Employees need to embrace digital knowledge to remain employable or risk being
irrelevant (OECD, 2017). Upgrading of skills is therefore, an absolute
necessity to scale the corporate ladder and to stay competitive (Sulphey,
2015).

 

2.3 Personal Branding

 

Companies build and maintain strong brand
equities to maximise performance. Likewise, individuals should brand themselves
strategically to create differentiation and a more valuable proposition for
themselves (Homburg, Klarmann
& Schmitt, 2010 as cited by Amoaka and Adjaison, 2014). It is stated that
organisations often award career opportunities and assignments to individuals
whom they are familiar with, those who are likeable and promotes a sense a
trust (Morgan, 2011). Personal branding also helps in boosting motivation and
productivity levels (O’Brien, 2003 as cited by Amoaka and Adjaison, 2014),
which are necessary for career success (Saleem et al., 2012 as cited by Amoaka
and Adjaison, 2014).

           

There is no better investment than to invest
in one’s self. Apart from spending time and resources to increase or improve
skill set, creating a distinct personal brand will go a long way to establish
memorability with internal and external audiences.

 

“Ability,
Creativity and Diversity” –
these are the key values that encompasses my personal brand.  “Ability” will be validated via my work
ethics, experience and skill set. “Creativity” will be showcased through the
many innovative campaigns I have spearheaded while “Diversity” is a movement I
intend to champion. I am a firm believer that diversity is the key to success. Diversity
in thinking, in the workplace, in the boardroom and in networking, all lead to
one conclusion – diversity drives innovation. It is about looking at the world
through different lenses, and marrying two different concepts or thoughts from
unrelated industries to deliver something truly unique. A good example of
innovation is Airbnb. The integration of technology and the simple concept of providing
accommodation just about anywhere in the world have made Airbnb the
quintessential poster child of the sharing economy – one that effectively
disrupted incumbent businesses.

 

With the rise of social media platforms,
the lines between professional and personal are blurring (O’Reilly, 2012 as cited by Wetsch, 2012). Kruse (2013) suggest
that authenticity is a key characteristic of an effective leader, along with
consistency (Shedd, 2011). Hence, statements and opinions expressed on various
social media sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook and at the office should not be
out of place with how an individual behaves on a day-to-day basis. To ensure visibility, my brand centered
around the values of “Ability,
Creativity, and Diversity” will be managed consistently across various
channels from social media profiles, speaking engagements to articles published
to further reinforce my personal brand.

 

 

 

 

 

2.4 Networking

 

Success is not always attributed to hard
work and talent. Sometimes, it is about the people you know and how well
connected you are. Having the right circle of network and connection go a long
way in establishing a strong footing in the professional world. While mingling
with the right crowd is beneficial to career growth, it is also important to be
around individuals outside of your norm.

 

Diversity matters and has the ability to
spark alchemy of ideas that was never thought of before. The new buzzword
FinTech is a merge of the term ‘financial’ and ‘tech’. Wearable tech is a
fusion of fashion and technology. The marriage of knowledge between two worlds
creates excitement, innovation and generates profitability. It probably happened
when two different individuals met and exchanged ideas. Arruda (2016) advises
that diversity in network is important because it provides the opportunity to
converse and understand the mindsets of different generations. Lindsey Pollak, author of Becoming the Boss: New Rules for the Next Generation of
Leaders, stated that successful
professionals usually have networks that are generationally diverse. The
ability to communicate with Gen Zs, Millennnials, Boomers and hear their
viewpoints often sparks leaders to strategise differently.

 

 

2.0  PERSONAL
CAREER STRATEGY AND PLANNING

 

To get a clearer picture of my career
potential, a brief summary of my professional role is necessary.

 

Industry:

Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) in the
beverage sector

 

Role & Responsibilities

Marketing Manager with a portfolio of nine
brands helming a team of six brand managers. I am responsible for the
conceptualisation, strategising and effective implementation of strategic
marketing plans to achieve sales revenue and profit, grow market share and
deliver healthy inbound marketing return of investments.

 

2.1           
Mission Statement

 

The best brands in the world are guided by
intent and purpose. A meaningful mission statement helps communicate corporate
values and brings to focus why companies do what they do (May, 2016). Are
mission statements applicable to individuals as well? The answer is yes. There
is no argument that branding is an effective way to distinct one product from another.

This is no different for leaders. A strong leadership brand has the power to
influence, and is known to command a higher premium. Leadership brand also adds
value to organisations, creating a halo effect that has far-reaching impacts,
including driving profitability. A good example of personal branding is Oprah
Winfrey, a global household name reputed to be worth USD2.8 billion today.

 

My Mission Statement

“To inspire others to seek creativity
through diversity.

Differences create friction and friction
creates spark.”

 

2.2  Career
Goal and Time Frame

To rise to the position of CEO in a multinational corporation within 7
years.

 

Studies have shown that women
make up roughly 60 percent of the global workforce and are academically
qualified than their male counterparts. In fact, they outperform their male
colleagues (Treasurer et al., 2013 as cited by Baker, 2014). However, women
dominate a mere six percent in CEOs and high level positions across industry
(Matsa and Miller, 2011 as cited by Baker, 2014). This obvious lack of women
helming high-level leadership positions across industries (Alimo-Metcalfe,
2010a as cited by Baker, 2014) represents a global concern and an opportunity
for me to break this glass ceiling.

2.3           
SWOT Analysis

 

To gain a clearer understanding of myself,
a SWOT Analysis is required. Using SWOT, managers can match strengths with
opportunities to amplify their assets, while weaknesses should be matched with
threats in order to overcome barriers (Dess, McNamara, & Eisner, 2016 as
cited by Shin and Dess, 2017), in order for them to attain their career goals (DePree,
2004 as cited by Caldwell and Hayes, 2016).

 

 

Figure 3.1: SWOT Analysis

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.4           
Identification of gaps and areas of
opportunities

 

With the continuous advancement of
technology, change in consumer behavior and a changing economy, the skills
needed to excel today are not the same required for tomorrow. While the
self-assessment is necessary to address ‘deficiencies’, the more pertinent
aspect of it is to identify areas of opportunities in which I can fulfill to
anticipate the demands of the future. This analysis serves to assess my multiple
skills while focuses me to set development priorities for future career growth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.0  CREATING
A DISTINCT LEADERSHIP BRAND

 

A good leader should not only possess the
acumen and competencies for problem-solving but also the desire for lifelong knowledge
(Schmidt and Hunter, 2000 as cited by Caldwell and Hayes, 2016). This is
because a significant distinction between successful and unsuccessful leaders
is highly dependable on an individual’s commitment to increasing his or her
self-efficacy through continuous learning and knowledge application (Rynes et
al., 2007 as cited by Caldwell and Hayes, 2016). As stated earlier, evolutions
are taking place in the business world at a rapid pace. This means there is no
room for mediocrity or stagnancy. It is clear that I need to continue to pursue
knowledge in related and complimentary fields to secure career growth and
remain competitively relevant.

In organisations, an innovative culture is dependent
on having the right climate. It is often said that leaders play a crucial role
in orchestrating creativity (Mumford et al., 2002; Amabile et al., 2004 as
cited by Kesting et. al., 2015) and helps propel the growth of innovative
assignments (Stoker et al., 2001; Bossink, 2007 as cited by Kesting et. al.,
2015). My aim is to create a distinct leadership style that promotes and
encourages diversity in thoughts, ideas and opinions, which will hopefully
culminate into a greater level of creativity and innovation to grow
profitability. Building a leadership brand may take time, but the rewards can
be gratifying when planned and executed right.

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