Growing Your Career: A Give-and-Take with Your Employer

Jun 1, 2011
Tags: Business School, Career

Many elements contribute to long-term career success—talent, abilities, accumulated life experience, the development of knowledge and skills through education and training, and opportunities to apply these elements in the right environment. Of all these factors, the one most in your control is the pursuit of education and training…which you know, if you’re here on Taking the GMAT exam and considering a graduate business degree shows that you’re ready to take your career to the next level.

Is a graduate business degree the right move? Thousands of business school alumni attest to the value of their degrees’ long-term contribution to their success. Of b-school alumni surveyed in 2010, an overwhelming 95% very highly rated the value of their degree, 2 in 3 said their management education prepared them for their chosen careers, and 7 in 10 said it prepared them to assume leadership positions in the workplace. 

A business degree can vastly expand your career options. It’s a critical first step toward long-term career success, but the drive and motivation needed to grow your career are ultimately up to you. And you can bet that employers are looking for that drive in you—initiative is the most sought-after trait among new hires, according to nearly 80% of companies we surveyed this year. 

Another critical step is identifying your career advancement goals and determining the best strategies for achieving them. B-school alumni we surveyed last year gave insight into how they initiated their own career development strategies. Here’s what they suggest:


From an employer’s perspective, the looming generational shift in the workplace and retirement of Baby Boomers means finding employees who can help companies realize their organizational goals for growth over the next decade. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of employers we surveyed cited improving performance and productivity as their primary goal, followed by expanding their customer base (58%), and launching new products and services (50%). As part of these expansion-oriented goals, more than half (58%) of the jobs these survey respondents plan to fill in 2011 will be new positions.   

The key will be to sync your career goals with the organizational goals of the companies where you want to work. Today’s employers say the people they seek to hire will possess practical day-to-day knowledge of operating a business; current professional knowledge of policies, laws, and industry requirements; and fluency in new technologies and innovations specific to their jobs. In other words, companies want talent with “holistic business acumen and strong technical/quantitative skills” to be the next generation of managers and leaders.

Is that you?