As our economy becomes more global and the world seemingly smaller, what must an EH&S Professional do today to prepare to be/remain a leader tomorrow?

This paper will provide information and feedback derived from hiring managers, current safety leaders, job postings and other sources to try to establish a path to leadership. It will cover why it is important to have a plan, help you determine where your starting point is, give direction to resources available to expand your knowledge and skill sets, and provide insight into how to position yourself for success.

Do You Have A Plan?

I have had many professionals ask me, "Why should I develop a plan to advance my career?" They will go on to ask, "Won't that just happen by proving my value to my organization through performance and gaining experience?"

In short, NO! Jumping in your car and driving as far or as fast as you can until you run out of gas, or money to buy gas, is not the way you would plan a trip with a specific destination in mind.

Think of your career as a long journey. When we plan a trip, we know our starting point and we know our destination. What are the chances of success of reaching our destination, in the time we want to reach it, if we do not look at a map and plan the route? Slim to none. What we do is plan out the trip, what highways we will take, where we stop for the night, and what we might want to stop and see along the way.

Why would your career be any different? I like to say there are three types of people: Those who lead and make things happen; those who follow and have things happen to them; and those who just wonder what the heck happened.

Most people will fall into the middle group. People in the last group would not be attending a conference such as this. If you want to be in the first group, you need to prepare. You need to know what will be required of you. You need to know your role on the team. You need to have a clear and honest understanding of what your skills are today and what you need to do to put yourself in a position to take advantage of opportunities when they are presented to you. I will tell you this, in the real world, opportunity does not come knocking. It very often is just sitting in front of us and we either do not see it, or are unprepared to grab it.

By laying out your career map you will always be in a position to Expand Your Knowledge, Experience and Value.

When your organization sees you as a value to the company, defining value as ROI exceeding expectations, you will have created the highest possible level of job security.

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