Taking your career to the next level involves more than simply maintaining your existing skill-set or keeping abreast of the latest industry trends.
At the risk of sounding a bit clichéd, professional advancement ultimately depends on how readily you can seize upon new (and often unanticipated) opportunities.
To spot the career breakthroughs that someone else missed, successful leaders have a secret: they assumed it would happen and they planned ahead.
Manager training is one powerful strategy for adopting this proactive approach to career advancement. It is especially important for environmental professionals to prepare for the competencies that managers need because:
Reason 1: The same attributes that define great employees also apply for great managers.
Earlier this year, we launched an Employer HR Strategies study
that involved a series of in-depth interviews with environmental employers. The preliminary results of this report point to a surprising fact: employers really prioritize soft (or transferrable) skills when they look at job candidates. These companies mentioned the specific examples of:
Good communications skills, including writing
While all of the soft skills mentioned above represent the ideal characteristics of a strong employee, these skills are also essential for managers. As a result, manager training typically includes components that help trainees build out these specific soft skill areas. When environmental professionals pursue manager training, at a minimum, they are enhancing competencies that make them more valuable and marketable to employers.
Reason 2: A high proportion of environmental workers are managers.
For professionals working in this sector, the chances are high that at some point in your career, you will work as a manager. Consider this: in ECO Canada’s 2010 Profile of Canadian Environmental Employment
, 40% of environmental practitioners managed people, budgets, or projects. When management roles are such a defining feature of working in this sector, it makes sense to pursue training that supports this career path.
Reason 3: Environmental professionals who work as managers have higher levels of engagement than other career paths.
There’s something about working in a management role that can increase your level of engagement and job satisfaction. In our 2011 Professional Engagement report (featured in the quick presentation below), over half of the environmental professionals who managed people or projects were Committed, meaning they were fully engaged and intended to stay with their current employer for 3 years or longer.
By contrast, professionals who worked as subject matter specialists or technicians/technologists were less likely to fit the Committed profile.
Consequently, training can be a way of increasing the sense of accountability and ownership that will ultimately enhance your engagement at work.
Do you agree with the reasons listed above? Why or why not?