Personal development and expanding your network
Long-time executives who deliberately decide to give up their current job and devote themselves to a new task tend to undergo a lot of self-reflection before handing in their notice. They have usually got to a stage where they realize they are no longer satisfied at their current company or are hampered in their further development. Conversely, if a termination is effected by the company, executives face a sudden need to reorient themselves.
In both cases it makes sense to use the time between jobs productively – not only to engage in personal development, but also to expand your own personal network. Both of these are useful exercises regardless of whether you have already landed your next job or are still looking for the right role.
It is often difficult to answer these questions in detail and satisfactorily without external feedback. At the same time, executives should make the most of any professional transitional phases to confront these – sometimes uncomfortable – questions before they lose sight of them in the cut and thrust of everyday life.
As an executive between two jobs – use the time for personal development
One option that assists both personal (and professional) development as well as expanding one’s own network is further professional development. In particular, providers of “Executive Education” specialize in offering suitable professional development opportunities geared toward experienced executives. “Advanced” or “Executive” Management programs are less about acquiring more basic knowledge. Instead, these training courses provide a favorable framework that inspires self-reflection, where new ideas can be tested in a protected space, and that fosters an in-depth interaction on an equal footing with other participants to expand your own network. Additionally, executives naturally also benefit from updating their professional knowledge.
Most Executive Education courses for experienced executives are split into subject areas that focus on preparing you for top management roles or support you in performing such a role: for example transformation processes in companies, strategic challenges, or authentic management. Network expansion happens almost automatically because these intensive education programs are based on the “sparring” principle: tutors see themselves not only as learning partners on equal footing, but they also facilitate interaction and sparring between the participants.
About the author
Dr. Rebecca Winkelmann is Managing Director of the Executive Education at the WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management. With a total of over 15 years’ experience in management of higher education institutions, Rebecca has been supporting individual executives and entire organizations in the field of “Personal Development” for seven years, and she develops Executive Education programs.
About WHU Executive Education
WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management is a privately financed, state-recognized business school with university status based in Düsseldorf and Vallendar. It was established in 1984 and today enjoys a strong reputation in Germany and abroad. WHU Executive Education offers first rate Executive Education programs for high potentials and executives at middle and senior management levels. Our portfolio contains tailor-made programs for companies, open programs (including Leadership, Advanced Management, General Management, Finance, Venture Capital) for individuals and small groups as well as conferences.