What to do if you are planning for a career growth in 2020

2020-02-01T14:13:53+00:00 January 3rd, 2020|Categories: EMPLOYMENT & SIDE HUSTLE|Tags: , , |


There are some great things about working in the corporate world. Paid holiday and time off sick, a steady paycheck, employer bonuses and pensions, free training….. and if you work for a global company you are likely to enjoy other perks of the job particularly as you move up the management chain.

If you plan on moving on up in 2020 by all means pursue the best salary and compensation you can get in the market but there is one thing you should also really pay attention to if you are indeed looking to grow your career.

Your career should give you room to grow your skills, exposure and experience in the business world. Skills that you can use run a business as a manager or a founder.

Most big corporates have large teams behind every work activity needed to service a customer. The product team focuses on product development, the marketing team focuses on marketing, the sales team focuses on sales and it goes on and on to the ordering team, client relationships team, project teams, billing, support……

As an employee you are likely to pick a job in one of these teams. Depending on what you spend your time doing you could be doing the same activity over and over again and not necessarily expanding your business skills or improving your career.

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If for instance you joined the support team you could become really good at solving client issues and customer service over time but if you have no awareness of how other functions of the business run then you are only good enough to work in a support role and would never understand the bigger dynamics of how a business works. This limits your ability to move on up into management roles or run a business if you decide to venture out as an entrepreneur.

Interestingly startup businesses today are more likely to provide opportunities for learning on the job. Smaller numbers of staffs makes it possible for employees in startups to wear multiple hats compared to their corporate counterparts where there are tighter policies and controls on employee access to various parts of the business. 

The downside of working for a startup though is you may not necessarily get the huge compensation packages and bonuses that large corporates provide. You could also find yourself out of a job as a startup is more likely to let you go if the business starts to face difficulty as opposed to the more established large corporate.

I had a conversation with a recent graduate who works for a startup. She was employed to work with their procurement and supply management team. In her three years with the company she has not only been exposed to working with suppliers but also the business’s investors and clients. Though she has no budgetary responsibilities for the business yet, she understands the dynamics of running the business and can think outside the box of the procurement role she was hired to do.

Now think of someone hired in the same role in a large corporate. Are they likely to have the same level of exposure? Given another five years of working this way at the startup and large corporate which employee is likely to have developed their career into skills that makes them more marketable and better positioned for senior role?

Is there a trade off between the two? Work for a startup, get some good business experience but earn less? Or work for a large corporate, get a sizeable package, the perks and bonuses but work in a silo and not learn much till you retire or are made redundant?

The good thing is you can get the best of both as you plan to grow your career in 2020. 

If you work for a startup, stay close to the people that make the decisions. That’s the great thing about being in a startup. Only a few people make up the team of “executives” and employees so regular communication from bottom of the chain up is easier.

As an employee at a startup, aim to stand out with your work performance. Startups can’t afford to lose their top talent. Your performance and relationship to the decision makers puts you in a better position to negotiate your salary and compensation. 

If you work for a large corporate, hopefully you are already getting a competitive salary and compensation for the role you are. Look to expand your skills by requesting a job rotation or shadowing people in other roles. Most times if you do not ask you do not get.

As an employee in a large corporate, look to expand your business knowledge and experience by understanding what goes on in other departments. You will find this invaluable as you move into senior management or start to run your own business.

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