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Hello all,

I'm at an interesting juncture in my career and would appreciate your thoughts.

[b]The Present Situation[/b]
I’m 26, have been with my current (and only) company for 3 years, have had increasing responsibility, diverse roles (Global EHS, supply chain/customer service, IT, marketing and strategy), and am seen as a HIPO. I am with a global mineral mining and processing company.

In my current position (of 7 months), I’ve come to the realization that I very much disagree with my new division manager’s mission, vision, and management practices.

Thus, for the last 6 weeks, I’ve been looking for new jobs and have an interview with a privately held industrial distribution company that is known for leadership development, but is strictly domestic.

Alternatively, my previous boss who has been relocated to our Group Paris HQ may have global projects available for me to be involved with.

Additionally, I plan on getting an MBA (1 yr program) beginning May 08, though that’s tentative.

[b]The Future(?)[/b]
My career goals are to manage at the highest levels in large, dynamic, global companies, preferably in an industry I’m passionate about (automotive perhaps). The MBA track I plan to pursue is in Global Management. I consider this an important step towards my goals.

If my goal is [u]global management in a different industry[/u], what might you recommend for my current situation to best set up for the future? [b]ANY[/b] feedback is appreciated!

-Alex

juliahhavener's picture

It seems to me that given your career goals you have two options:

Gain experience in the global market that you can later take to your selected industry...

OR

Gain experience in your selected industry that you can later take to a global level.

You already have the network connections to give you some global experience if you can leverage it to your advantage. Do you have similar network connections in your chosen industry?

mwojtow's picture

Alexdifiore,

In the spirit of “any feedback” I offer that perhaps you take a moment to go for a bigger picture / higher level view. Therefore, here is what I would suggest.

First, listen to John Byrne’s (Business Week) podcast with Marshall Goldsmith on “Managing Your Career”. I found it helpful in my planning as it focused on the development of the following:

1. Identify what it is you are passionate about.
2. Identify your skills.

Based upon your post I would guess you have done the above two steps; therefore, you can begin at step three (3) below:

3. Using the information gathered from steps one (1) and two (2) above outline a strategy for personnel development (e.g. technical and managerial);
4. Come up with your personal brand. The web can be a good source of information regarding what your brand should look like and convey about you (Google “The brand called you”). Again the information to identify my brand came from my work in steps one (1) and two (2) above. This will help you sell to the needs of the person or organization you are targeting (i.e. match your skills with their needs); and
5. Then come up with a personal mission that is reasonable, easy to understand and has market value.

Finally listen to the manager-tools podcast called “Your Resume Stinks!”.

It might be worth taking some time to go through this process in order to map your personal journey.

Good Luck.

MXW

bradleymewes's picture

Alex,

I understand your what you are saying. I am a 25 year old manager in a firm where I have been for 4 years. I have made wonderful connections with numerous other companies in my industry, been nomiated for industry boards, and begun to manage a facility of 20 people. However, I have come to the realization that this may not be the right industry for me. After long, and very difficult reflection, I made the decision that I would begin looking for a position outside of this industry, even if it means taking a step down from management for a while as I "relearn" a new industry. I am now looking for a new position, tapping contacts, and quietly spreading the word. The one thing I have in my favor is that I am not looking inside my industry so I do not have to worry as much about the backlash about someone finding out (even though it is still a concern I am very aware of).

My general advice is this. If you want to work in the global automotive industry, chase after it with all the energy you have. The longer you wait the more difficult it will be to transfer over. As my very plain spoken father said to me when I was talking to him about this same topic the other day, he said to me. "Well son, you are at that age where you either have to shit or get off the pot."

Brad

bflynn's picture

Language aside, it is always time to consider your career moves.

A couple of thoughts -

You're considering an MBA program so look for a top program that matches what you want to do. Reasoning is that b-school is also a recruiting pipeline for global companies and you want a program that can help you get hired as well as get you into the role you want. As young as you are, do not do a part-time, executive or lesser full-time program. Go to a top-20 school or wait. Don't forget about overseas schools, since just attending one would greatly improve your credentials as a global manager.

Don't be afraid to give your old boss a call and talk with him - no email for this. You know enough about your relationship and corporate culture to know if this is a possibility. Keep it positive and avoid criticizing your new boss. Mention that you're looking for new opportunities and see where it goes. If he has them AND you are a fit AND he was impressed with what you did before, there is a good chance you can transfer to a new position under him. I understand Paris is a great place to live.

If the company you're interviewing with isn't perfect because its domestic only, don't be afraid to look at other ones. Alternatively, you might give them a chance if they have global growth plans.

I wouldn't say that you need to pick an industry and relentlessly move up within that industry. Its a possible route, but if you define the industry broadly or work within very similar industries, that is good right now. Breadth never hurts, but breadth and depth are best.

Good Luck - you're on a good career path and thinking about the right things.

Brian