Aside from technical skills and business knowledge, professionals should master three other key skills.
Staff development There’s no point being a loner in your career. The ability to influence a business and do a good job is dependent on the calibre of the people who work for you. So take time to build the best possible team and develop your staff. All team members should be a representative for you – you want them to be able to walk into a meeting and show how good they are, which will reflect positively on you.
Communication skills This doesn’t just mean the ability to make a presentation. It also refers to your ability to influence others. If you’ve got 30 seconds with the managing director, you need to be able to communicate the three or four key messages you need to get across simply so it can be understood.
International experience Now, if you really want to reach the top, international experience is increasingly important. To achieve this, you do not necessarily need to complete a secondment, although that will obviously be an advantage. Perhaps you could go and work in the Australian or European part of the business, or you could get involved with overseas projects. Such international experience is important as it gives you a solid understanding of the culture of the business.
Emma Charnock, regional director, Hays (Hong Kong and China)