” Likes do not pay the bills, sales do ” – Unknown
Constantly learning new things and improving your skills set, is key to success in any chosen career, financial services, sales and product development are not an exception. Like any ambitious young professional with couple of years of experience, I must admit, I have asked myself whether an MBA would be the next right thing to do. Couple of days ago, I had the opportunity to reunite with one of my former colleagues. A manager, from whom I learned not only about sales and strategy, story telling and numbers interpreting but a lot about leadership and life.
When I moved on to my new position, he was about to start an EMBA in London Business School. Once we met the topics we discussed were many, including leadership, sales techniques and much more. Naturally, I was curious to find more about his experience studying an exclusive qualification in one of the best universities in the world.
First thing that he mentioned was that contrary to what many believe, an competing an MBA qualification does not necessary equal career progression or salary increase. Second, although exposed to a lot of academic teaching, my friend found that the most important learning came from the people in the course as well as the networking opportunities provided by the school and its alumni network, not the actual classes. Finally, when I asked him what is his key takeaway and whether he would do such a thing again, I was told that the most important thing he learnt was that an MBA gives you a different prospective on business.
After looking the research around the correlation between obtaining an MBA and career progression, the facts I found confirmed the obvious – the world has changed and keeps moving on faster than before. Having an MBA degree does not guarantee your career progression. In the new realities corporate career ladder is not what it used to be. Employers are interested in having skillful workforce. This days skills can be learned online and websites like coursera.org and udemy or khanacademy have revolutionized formal education. Technology helps businesses evolve faster than ever before sometimes even faster than humans can realize.
An MBA certainly helps to advance your career, however it is not what it used to be. Completing such an intense program is much more about yourself having a new experience that allows to adopt a different prospective on business and much more. Finally, the most important lesson I have learned from my former manager is to always embrace change. This advice has so far constantly help to progress in my career.