- On July 26, 2015
I listened to four GCs recently share their best tips on how they got to the top:
- Evaluate where you want to go, and work backwards. Brian Cabrera of NVIDIA says to ask yourself what skills are you missing for that top job, and then go get them. Always take on new opportunities, even if you don’t get paid extra for them.
- Cultivate long-term relationships because you need people to introduce you to the right connections, tell you about jobs, serve as your reference, or teach you new skills and industries. Understand that building relationships can take a long time and may not show immediate results. But it is up to you to put in the effort to start the relationship and then stay in touch over the years.
- Create concrete networking plans. Schedule yourself to meet different people regularly, e.g., partners, classmates, professors, and old clients. John Kuo, the GC of Varian and a self-described introvert, makes the effort to network, speak on panels, and catch up with people.
- Stay authentic, and be passionate. Executives respond to enthusiasm and similar ideals.
- Develop a track record of success. Show you will do what it takes to do a good job, even for pro bono or short term projects. Jan Kang, the GC at AOptix, has received job offers from old colleagues and new clients who saw how skillfully she worked even when it was not her regular job.