Right now you’re looking for a job. You have your job-hunting fangs bared, looking to sink them into something that looks juicy and promising. And if you persevere you’ll find your dream job. You’ll get hired. You’ll move up the ranks. And one day you’ll be up there, four levels high, reminiscing about your early nervous days.
But let’s worry about TODAY. Now that you’re a young high flyer, do you know the kind of scrutiny you’re under? Big Older Brother is watching you. Very keenly. Here’s some insight into the kind of scrutiny young executives face…
For starters, succession planning is an incredibly important aspect of any successful organisation. There is fierce competition for young professionals, and a company with a youthful culture is more likely to inspire business trends or realise profit from emerging ones.
Here are 3 things the top dogs are going to be thinking and doing as you rise in the ranks:
• “Give her more responsibility.” Never assume your current workload will remain as is. Slowly but surely – and perhaps in one swoop – your responsibilities will be increased to test how much you can take. Structure your workload at any given time so that you are not thrown when more is asked of you. Older executives sometimes don’t trust young decision-makers – step forward boldly and make it known you have the guts and the chutzpah to bring value to executive-level processes.
• “Make her mentor someone.” The folk running the joint want to know how you connect to more junior staff. You don’t have leadership potential if you can’t get on with people. You’re not a CEO-in-the-making if you don’t know how to guide people. Make time for those on the rungs beneath you, and show the top execs you’re not one to neglect a company’s most crucial asset – its people.
• “Measure his hunger.” All young executives need to be hungry. You should pounce on opportunities and have a generally predatory nature. The board members want to hear where you want the company to go, how you think the bottom line can grow, where you think new business can be found. They want to measure your hustle. Stand up and make it known you’re looking for your next big kill and are determined to hunt it down.
It is important you have the courage to behave like a board member before you get there. Show your willingness to learn – and willingness to lead. Have an undiluted interest in every facet of the company. Because acting like an exec only when you become one is too little too late.