Self-Investment is something that is always discussed by professionals in the HR space in one capacity or another. As conduits of people development we encourage you to home in on your craft, gain exposure from different working environments, and diversify your commercial experience by working within a range of sectors.
What doesn’t get discussed enough is the bigger agenda, which is how Self-Investment will dictate transformational initiatives for the future of work and the functionality of the economy as we know it.
Professional and Personal Development is an ongoing process; just like change, it is something that is constant. The time you take to invest in yourself is usually to be better and open the door for career growth and opportunities. Well, I’m here to tell you about the integral role you play in the development of the next generation. It’s not just about fulfilling your aspirations and being an expert in your field. Your knowledge and collaborative working styles will be the conduit that grooms future leaders and set the pace for REAL transformation in the workplace.
Once upon a time, there was an era when dictator-style leadership was a sign of authority, professionals were only regarded when they were male, and working in an office was the only way to ensure productivity. Fast forward to the last decade and a pandemic that shook the global economy to its core, it’s evident that we have come a long way in the development of human capacity building. From the incorporation of diversity and inclusion initiatives to innovative employee engagement strategies, the workforce is slowly but surely becoming a place where professionals can thrive and rely on their expertise to open doors that were previously closed due to socio-economic ideologies.
But we can do more! Starting from professional succession planning. Organisations do this all the time to ensure seamless business continuity. Part of the integral role that Human Resources play is to ensure that there is a contingency plan in place to minimise the disruption that employees cause when they move on to pastures new.
As professionals, we should also intentionally set-up professional succession plans where we eradicate the use of stone-age methodologies being used in the workforce, and impart our expertise, emotional intelligence, and collaborative leadership skills on those we mentor, work alongside, or manage to drive a positive culture for the future of work. This can be moderated within organisations, alumni associations, and professional networking groups to ensure its penetration and presence in the workplace.
A lot of professionals struggle, struggle does not discriminate. It does not have an age range, gender preference, or level of experience. Everyone at some point in their career has been in such situations, but very few address it. Some people find themselves thrown into the deep end and trying all they can to keep their head above water, while others are so overwhelmed that it affects their mental wellness. Many people do not speak about how they feel, out of fear that their issues may be treated with mediocrity, or they would be labelled as being incompetent in executing their deliverables; which is very wrong.
The only way to change the narrative is to promote accountability; not just for your own development, but those around you who you will leave behind through succession planning as you navigate through your career. We learn from our previous mistakes, and we try to do right by ourselves in our future endeavours and as we learn, these experiences, be it from the environments we found ourselves or the people we have worked with or formed relationships along the way, have made us more rounded professionals and people. With that knowledge, we can set the tone in the workplace, and those who sit in integral positions can impart the results of their experiences as positive initiatives in leadership that can be embodied for generations to come.
Tomorrow’s leaders have new shoes to make and old shoes to disregard. Gone are the times when filling old shoes was like carrying the torch of corporate politics, dictation, and toxicity. Creating New Shoes means changing the face of employer brands to ensure businesses thrive, promote inclusivity and improves mental wellness.
The weight on their shoulders, not only are they responsible for driving innovative economic growth, they are also responsible for championing sustainable corporate governance in a time where there is so much unrest, and the futuristic trends are evolving with no transcript to follow.
We may not be able to fix the problems of yesterday, but we can determine the present and fix the future. Let’s create the environment that our children will inherit, an environment for growth, and a balanced mind-set.
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