Self-development, the only sustainable advantage

Dhaka,  Monday,   2016-09-21
Published : 21 Sep 2016, 21:16:14

Self-development, the only sustainable advantage

Ishtiaq Ahmed
There is no structured defined process and best practices in our country to guide the graduating students in different universities or colleges on approaches and means for professional development. The most common myth among us is that the organisations will train us once we get into a job. We do not ponder the realities that the culture of professional development is yet to be embedded in many local companies though multinational companies (MNCs) have a structured process. However, there are some limitations in the approaches of MNCs as well. Examples include: 1) The training budget is the first cost element which is reduced or even eliminated for a time period when an organisation experiences low revenue growth or no revenue growth, 2) The organisational priority for your development may not match with your self-priority or training needs 3) On an average, one gets at most two trainings in a MNC every year.

With 20 years of professional experiences in reputed MNCs and local companies, this writer feels that one must not wait for the organisation for one's professional development. This is the most common mistake that most of us do during our professional voyage and we all tend to blame the organisations. The brutal truth is that the 'blame game' or excuses will not take us anywhere.

Why do we need professional or self development? The answer is very straight forward. No one can even hold on his/her current position unless he/she develops professional skills as a continuous process. The challenges are changing each day and there is demand for new ways of approaching a challenge. This is the basic rule of survival in the corporate world. The next phase is working towards a robust self development. One must work with passion for one's self transformation with an objective in mind of reaching to the peak of career. During the process of continuously improving one's self, the person will have profound confidence and enhanced self-brand equity.

During the early stage of one's career these following steps can be a proper guide-

a. The first step is to determine the long term career goal e.g. Head of Department/CEO/ a particular role.

b. The next step is to identify the functional and managerial skills needed in current role and the next two roles.

c. The third step can be continuously looking for opportunities to enroll in relevant training supported by the organisation by convincing your supervisor.

Following approaches that were solely in one's control and can be initiated by self is another way for self-development.

a. Proactively getting involved in regional and cross functional projects: This helps in augmenting yourself brand equity and growing yourself as a business manager.

b. Learning about the best practices of other industries and developing a professional networking group: This approach helps in extending your knowledge beyond your own industry and helps in getting new ideas.

c. Reading international best seller professional books on a regular basis: If possible, one should try to carry a book during the travelling time to read and develop a reading habit during free time. These books are extremely rewarding for self development as the contents are based on real life experiences of professionals and interviews of top CEOs. These books worth more than a typical training.

We, in our lifetime, usually do not invest at all to develop a mini library for our professional transformation.  Let me go ahead and recommend three books that may be helpful for his/her early career stage.

1. Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins

2. GOALS by Brian Tracy

3. Winning by Jack Welch

The writer is former CEO of Omera Petroleum Limited and Omera Cylinders Limited. He is an MBA alumnus of IBA, University of Dhaka.
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