Wherever you are in your career, your future is in your hands. Talented, curious, ambitious? There is a whole universe of choices open to you. With the seemingly limitless range of opportunities that the ESCP business masters offer, the question is how to choose.
If you are just starting out, the direction you take now will decide the nature and quality of the work you will do tomorrow, and into the future. The time and energy you invest now in asking the right questions will be repaid in a fulfilling career tailor-made to your interests, skills and experience.
Whoever you are and whatever you do, you can dramatically increase your chances of “being successful”. So where do you start?
A road map for your successful career – your “Unfair Advantage”
There is a perfect career for you that is just waiting to be crafted. This career is defined by three elements that will create your own “Unfair Advantage”, as it has been coined by the ESCP Careers Services. This is what makes you unique in the world of business. It is the result of three critical factors: what you want (aspiration), what you can do (ability) and what the market needs. Where they intersect is where you can achieve career success – and satisfaction.
Defining your own idea of success – your aspirations
You decide how you want to measure career success. To get the best marks, ask yourself the questions that matter from the very beginning. This starts with understanding your personal drivers: the fears and desires that can move you forward or hold you back. It is important to recognise their existence because they are not likely to go away any time soon!
The career you choose will correspond to what you are looking for in terms of lifestyle, as well as practical, moral, family and social considerations. And yes, this is where internal conflict undoubtedly arises! Life is full of compromises and pointing your career in the right direction is no different.
In practical career terms, what you want most will be represented in the gritty details of the type of industry sector and/or job function you see yourself working in. It will be a question of location, relationships, team size and company ethos. Do you see yourself working alone or within a team? Where would that team be? What kind of output would it have?
What are your abilities?
Next, you need to look at your skill set. Whether they be hard or soft skills, your talents are key in setting you apart. Skills can be learned and developed but be honest with yourself. What is important is recognising what you can do today in a professional capacity.
When it comes to soft skills, there are seven skills that will be of the greatest importance in a changing world. Be it the ability to think systemically, to align actions and purpose or to trust and liberate, they are the fundamental skills for managers that will lead change through business.
What does the market need?
Finally, the market. It represents the real and concrete needs in the world. Here, your expectations and skills will need to align with those of employers and clients. Of course, you might find that you’re interested and have the skills for the job, but don’t have the background that they are used to hiring. Finding the sweet spot of presentation is a matter of experience and getting the right help.
Turn to those who can help: Careers Services
Defining and building your “Unfair Advantage” is of course a process that will take time and effort. Expert outsider’s perspective will help you get there quickly and effectively. During your studies, the Careers Services Team organises group and one-to-one coaching sessions on everything from strength and motivation assessments to CV and interview preparation will help you refine your career plan while developing your presentation strategy – that famous “elevator pitch” – and tools.
Along with all the support you need to define and develop your own Unfair Advantage, we regularly hold networking events right on campus. You can make contact with the professionals working in the areas that interest you most. Company presentations, visits, roundtables and skills-based international seminars are the perfect chance to probe, question and present yourself to career professionals.
Your career matters. It is the source of inspiration, satisfaction and, let’s not forget, your livelihood. With the right tools and reflection, your career after the Master in Management will be the opportunity to fulfil your potential and maybe even change the world while you’re at it. So let’s get started!