In a period of rapid change, professional qualifications could give your career the edge. Here, Dr Tim Sellick, executive director of the degree apprenticeship programmes at Henley Business School, explains why managers need to seize their next development opportunity.
In today’s job market, why are higher and further education so important?
As we enter the fourth industrial revolution there has never been a better time for further and higher education to help prepare people for the world of work, and to be ready for the future as it arrives. In that sense, education at this level is not just about delivering knowledge but developing the individual, dealing with uncertainty, accessing innovation, being flexible and adaptive, and building transferable skills.
How important are management qualifications, in your view?
Very important. The pace of change is rapid so we all need to maintain our relevance in the marketplace. Today’s management careers could last more than four decades. Professional qualifications are a way to show employers that you are serious about your career and being contemporary, and that you are buying into a culture of continual professional development.
What training and development had the most impact on you in your career?
I did the leadership programme at Henley a few years ago. I wanted to experience a programme as a participant. I had thought, as I worked at Henley and understood the method of teaching, that I would remain removed from the process. However, I left on the Saturday morning of the programme, after a week away in a residential setting, and I couldn’t wait to get back to my office on the Monday morning – I was buzzing with new thoughts, ideas and things that I wanted to try. It still has an impact on many of the things I do both personally and professionally.
What’s the best piece of leadership advice you’ve ever received?
I once had an interview for a leadership position and, when asked how I would cope with the additional workload that the role would place on me, I naively answered that I could do things in the evenings and weekends. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t get the job.
The point was made by the panel that, regardless of my apparent dedication, it was about balance. If it’s all about work, not only will the quality of your work suffer, but you are not really planning and prioritising enough, nor trusting or delegating enough, nor developing or bringing in the right people around you – in short, it simply isn’t sustainable.
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