There are plenty of challenges for job seekers to get the job you want and work in the organisation you aspire to.  Making sure you get these first steps right will make a big difference to setting up your fabulous career.

As a leadership coach, I have three pieces of advice for you if you aspire to leadership roles as part of your career journey.

They are:

  • You need to leverage from the best of (what we know about) AI
  • You need to develop the skills that are going to help fast-track your leadership career
  • You need a (flexible) career map.

First, let’s get AI out of the way.

Don’t let the hype about AI throw you.  Use AI to help you craft your resume, and also look out for advice about how AI is affecting the way organisations make their recruitment decisions.

You can use what we know about AI and careers to your advantage.  Use it to focus on the skills that AI won’t replace, like emotional intelligence, particularly self-awareness and the ability to connect and work well with others.  Curiosity, having a growth mindset and being able to adapt well to change aren’t replicable.  Humility dovetails nicely into these and most usefully helps you stay open to feedback.

These are keeper capabilities, so focus on continuing to develop them across your career.

I highly recommend you read Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic’s book ‘I, Human’ to get some great insight into the human advantage over AI, then clearly articulate what yours is.

And/or read his briefer article in  the Harvard Business Review.

Second, focus on honing leadership capability from the get-go.

  • Leadership foundations to master early in your career are getting along with others, being able to think broadly and following the processes. These are largely ‘good organisation citizen’ skills, and are a baseline from which to move ahead.
  • Standing out from others (with humility!), building connections with others and being able to influence others are the capabilities that allow you to emerge as a leader. People will start to notice you, understand what you can do and will like being associated with you.  You can speak to these capabilities in job applications and interviews, as well as continue honing them on the job.
  • Leading people, business and resources are the capabilities that you need to have to be successful in leadership roles. You may not have experience in these areas yet you can begin refining your understanding of them, notice when you do have experiences in these areas (it doesn’t have to be at work), and start to craft your storyline.

Read more about the foundations for leadership career success here.

Third, a quick outline of a career map.

Any career map should start with your purpose. It should guide everything.  Add your key values and be able to articulate your sense of identity.  Then, draft your 6-12 month aspiration, which might be the role you’d like to secure, or it might be the kind work of work you’d like to be doing, or people you’d like to be working with.

Identify longer term career goals, such as 1-2 years and 2-5 years.  Get yourself a career ‘board of advisors’, a handful of people who can give you good advice about careers, and who care about you.

As Chamorro-Premuzic says:

Your challenge is to be proactive in investing in yourself. If you stay curious, practice humility and focus on others, you will be well positioned to thrive in these exciting times.

All the best!

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