So you’ve decided to aim for the stars and try to make it to a chief position in your company. Or perhaps you’re just preparing for the future.
Becoming a C-Suite executive is one of the most fulfilling roles one could have. Whether your goals are CEO, CFO, or anything in between, there are fundamental rules to follow and a correct mindset to keep.
So how can you reach these prestigious levels? We had that very same question, which is why we interviewed Joe Jedlowski.
Joe Jedlowski has ample experience climbing through the ranks; he has been the CEO of multiple companies and is the current owner of Distinctive Living. So, he is the perfect person to advise those wanting to rise through the ranks.
Do you think anyone could reach a C-level position? Or are those positions reserved for a specific type of person?
Joe Jedlowski: I don’t think anyone can just hop right into a C-level position. However, I believe anyone can work towards that goal and accomplish it.
Certain leadership qualities are required for these positions, you know. They need to communicate exceptionally well, manage a team, and be very proficient in their own skillset.
So my advice is to figure out which of these assets you need to work on and then attack it full force. Master your craft, find leadership opportunities either in your job or community, and build your image and communication skills as much as you can.
How much work goes into reaching a C-suite position?
Joe Jedlowski: Many, many hours. And I won’t lie, 99% of those hours will be unpaid, on your own time.
It’s not easy to stand out and become a top employee. If it were easy, everyone would do it, right? The hard part isn’t putting in the time; it’s correctly using your time.
It’s critical to gauge your own skill set and work on improving. If you spend one thousand hours working but aren’t focusing on improving the entire time, I find that you’ve just wasted one thousand essential hours.
Do you have any specific tips? What could someone do right now to start working towards a C-level position?
Joe Jedlowski: Find a mentor if you’re seriously aiming for C-level jobs. That’s the first thing someone should do, especially if they’ve already put in a lot of good work at their company.
Find a C-suite executive and engage them. Tell them your goals, ask for advice and pick their brain. If they’re like me, they’ll be more than happy to see that you’re thinking about your position in the company long term.
I’ve mentored many interns when I was still the President of Milestone Retirement Communities, LLC. I just love to see that kind of enthusiasm, and I don’t mind taking my time trying to help them succeed.
How about education? Are there any degrees that would help with this career path?
Joe Jedlowski: An MBA always looks good on a resume and is a fantastic way to network and acquire the necessary skills. No degree will guarantee you a C-suite position, of course.
There is a lot more to the job. However, if you truly learn during your education and don’t just go through the steps, it will definitely give you an edge.
Where should people look for these positions?
Joe Jedlowski: Well, if they want the position in their own company, they should find a mentor, as I said. Establishing a good relationship with the higher-ups may put your name in the running when a position opens up.
Otherwise, you’ll want to submit your resume to executive search firms, which are used specifically to find C-suite employees.
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