Yes, on the E-Side. ISM’s eSide Supply Management to be precise. Earlier this year, it published Career ROI: Advice From the C-Suite which offered 10 great suggestions to get, and keep, your career on a successful career path. These were offered by a career procurement professional with over two decades of experience and were right on the money. These five in particular were on the money.
- Own Your Career Plan
Actively take charge of your career growth and the opportunities that come your way. This includes educational opportunities, professional opportunities, and networking opportunities — whatever and wherever they may be. And be sure to check out the talent management resources popping up from the leading consultancies (Greybeard Advisors, The MPower Group, etc.) and professional organizations (ISM, Next Level Purchasing, etc.). Start with the presentations from the recent ISM conference which had a track on talent management.
- Develop a Personal Brand
Figure out who you are, how you are different from everyone else, and what it is that you bring to the table. Then work the brand online and offline. Start by establishing a great electronic image, that has clout (with or without Klout), and advertises who you are, and then live it when you network and interact with people. And be sure to constantly maintain and build your networks as this will help demonstrate the success of your personal brand.
- Work Hard on Your Soft Skills
If you look at a top 10 skills list for Supply Management today, you are just as likely to find team management, change management, negotiation management, supplier (relationship) management, CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) management, leadership, communication, cultural sensitivity, and professional development as key requirements as you are e-Sourcing/e-Procurement technology experience, data analysis, risk management, financial management, innovation management, or working capital management.
- Be a Strategic Thinker
Supply Management is about the long term. It’s not about reducing costs today just to inflate them tomorrow (by cutting too deep into a supplier’s cost margins, selecting components of inferior quality, or hanging on to last generation technology too long and avoiding investment in next generation technology that can greatly reduce costs and increase sustainability in the long term). It’s about finding ways to increase the pace of innovation, assist the organization in NPD (new product development), and assist the organization in new market entry. It’s about finding new opportunities for value generation, and not chasing the same cost reductions year over year. At some point, 2% just doesn’t make a difference.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks, or Fail
If you aren’t willing to take risks, you’ll never push the envelope and see what you are, and are not, capable of. If you don’t figure this out, you won’t make much progress in developing your personal brand, and won’t really stand out form the crowd. So take a few risks, fail once or twice, learn from your mistakes, and exceed expectations the next go around.
For five more great tips, see the original article on Career ROI: Advice From the C-Suite.