It could be a promotion at the company where you already work, you may want to pivot into a new sector, you may even be looking to move to a new country—once you know your motivations it’s easier to figure out how to take that next step.
So what are some of the key things you should consider when planning your next career move? And how can you prepare yourself?
1. Your ability to make an impact
The ability to make a positive impact on both the people around you and wider society is becoming increasingly important for workers today. According to Deloitte, 55% of millennials and 52% of Gen Z say they are interested in working for companies with a social purpose.
For Max Von Hoyningen, who’d already had success as a KPMG strategy consultant and then data analytics entrepreneur, the next career step meant moving into a more sustainability-led role.
This drove him to enroll in the International MBA program at IE Business School in Spain, where he learned key skills that were essential to lead a career with impact.
“The MBA gave me the confidence to pursue new solutions against the usual pushbacks, instead of finding the seemingly best traditional approach,” he says.
After graduation, Max launched a new career working in corporate relations at the World Wildlife Fund in Germany. Like many others who enroll at business school, the teaching and experiences he gained allowed him to move towards a career that makes a difference.
2. Your travel expectations
Many jobs offer the opportunity to travel. Consultants often have to physically see their clients in action, investment bankers may be required to oversee a deal in-person, while marketing and communications professionals typically attend several events over the course of a year.
Other jobs offer fewer opportunities, so it’s worth considering if this is something you’d like from your next career move. If the answer is yes: the next question to ask is how you can make this possible.
Employers are more likely to prioritize those with experience traveling and working with people from other cultures. At IE, the IMBA cohort comprises students from more than 40 countries, while there are also a variety of opportunities available to embark on international study trips.
Enrolling at business school can therefore offer the chance to gain international exposure and open doors to further travel opportunities in the next stage of your career.
3. Your desired sector
Often a new career step means branching out from your current sector. There are any number of reasons why this could be the case: you could feel the need to pivot industries to open up more opportunities, or you may simply be bored with your current area.
If you desire a career change, enrolling at business school could prepare you with the transferable skills and expertise to make the switch.
Mitsuya Shimura spent eight years working in sales and marketing for Japanese materials manufacturer, Toray, before deciding he wanted a career change in 2020. The son of an entrepreneur, Mitsuya wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps.
He decided to leave Japan and enroll in the IE IMBA to experience a new business and social culture, while also expanding his way of thinking.
“In the conservative society that is Japan, it is quite difficult to shift from the employee side to the entrepreneur side,” he explains.
Through the program’s entrepreneurial initiatives, including the Startup Lab which helps students develop their own ventures, Mitsuya was able to pivot careers and launch his own company after graduation.
“Thanks to the entrepreneurial mindset that the IMBA program provided with me, the shift was relatively smooth.”
4. Your career progression
While changing sectors or traveling more may be key drivers for certain individuals, arguably the most common factor in planning a new step is simply career progression.
But whether that comes in the form of a larger salary or a more senior position, it’s not always easy to see how you can achieve your goal.
You may not have the necessary qualifications, or your company could lack the budget to match your salary expectations. Likewise, the next rung on the career ladder could require you to upskill or fill gaps in your resume.
Depending on your situation, business school can provide you with the opportunity to boost your profile and progress in your career.
The average salaries of graduates from the IE IMBA class typically rise by 101% between joining and leaving the program. Among the most recent graduating class, 92% landed jobs within three months of leaving the program.
Of course, enrolling in a degree such as an MBA or business master’s may not be necessary to achieve that immediate next career step. But looking towards the future, a highly sought after qualification on your resume could also lead to further opportunities later down the line.