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The first step is to step back
There are several ways to go about upgrading your professional journey. One is, of course, finding a new job. It could be in a different organization or you might be interested in a new role with your current employer. Or perhaps you’re enthusiastic about realizing your own entrepreneurial project.
Whichever option seems most appealing at the moment, it might be a good idea to take a step back and think of the best course of action. Could an MBA programme work to your advantage before jumping into a new job role?
Here’s how to make your decision easier.
Consider the booming industries
Although some industries have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, others are experiencing an upsurge. Fast Company analysed three main types of jobs that will be integral to getting us out of the crisis:
- Jobs that transform business: cybersecurity, app developers, specialist sales, marketing, and change management
- Jobs related to moving things: logistics and e-commerce
- Jobs that help people: healthcare specialists, pharma and R&D
Could there be potential for you there? This might be a smart opportunity to tap into the thriving sectors of the economy. Career experts agree.
“Be open to new industries and opportunities,” Debora Roland, the vice president of human resources at CareerArc, advises for Business Insider. “Do your research to explore how your background can add value. This is an opportunity for candidates to grow in their careers and add new skill sets and knowledge to their current backgrounds.”
If you are interested in a managerial role in any of those industries, consider doing an MBA first. A general management MBA is a key step that will put you in the spotlight of recruiters as a high-potential professional with ambition and skill set to lead business across industries. However, if you would like to gain more confidence in a new industry, you can consider an MBA with a specialisation in your chosen field. Think of the renowned business and management programme as the bridge to the most exciting professional challenges ahead of you. It will help you make the transition and will take you to the trending business sectors faster.
Invest in soft skills and new expertise
Employers are increasingly looking for talent that can demonstrate empathy, adaptability, and a depth of emotional intelligence. If you already boast these qualities, some lack of experience or technical skills may not hurt your chances of landing a great new job. A new professional environment might be just what you need to develop these skills even further.
Experienced leaders such as Janelle Bieler, the senior vice president at Adecco USA, recognise the importance of soft skills first-hand: “As more employers are looking for transferable skills that can be applied to the position at hand, candidates are afforded more liberties in applying for roles and industries that pique their interest, rather than those that solely align with their past experience,” Ms Bieler shared for Business Insider.
However, if you have the experience and career trajectory, but feel like you are lacking in business leadership confidence to take the next big step, think MBA. Growing your leadership potential in a transformative environment is a major perk of MBA studies alongside specialised knowledge and business theory. Whether you choose the full-time or part-time format, this unique learning experience will turn your soft skills into one of your greatest strengths. You will handle teamwork gracefully, communicate clearly, and manage challenges with a peace of mind.
Assess the competition
In uncertain times, people tend to be reluctant to take risks or abandon their safe space. It could be the case that fewer professionals would opt for changing jobs at the moment and they would rather wait until the market is steadier. At the same time, thriving industries and companies that are experiencing rapid growth will be in need of fresh talent. So if you know where to look, you may be able to benefit from less competition for these new job opportunities.
If, however, you assess the current competition on the job market as harsh, you might have to create a strategic advantage for yourself. Getting an MBA degree will give you the upper hand for the most sought-after positions in business and leadership.
Insiders know this much to be true. Scott Kennedy completed his MBA from Alliance Manchester Business School (UK) in 2009 when the job market was unsteady. He told BusinessBecause: “The version of you that comes out of business school will be a lot more capable than the person who comes in, so you’ll be a lot more attractive at a time when people will be hiring again.”