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Five ways to transform your career in 2022

For many, the rapidly evolving events of the last two years have meant that they have been given the opportunity to pause, reflect and decide where they want their career to go next.

Five ways to transform your career in 2022
Start your journey towards success with HEC Paris. Photo: MadeToShow Photography

The journey of self-discovery, particularly within a business context, is never straightforward. 

Together with French business school HEC Paris, we highlight some key areas to consider in taking your career forward in 2022. 

Centre Yourself 

Two years of working from home and disrupted business conditions mean that many are considering what brings fulfillment to their careers. Importantly, they are learning what they could do without. It’s a great opportunity to take stock and evaluate where they are in their career.

You might ask yourself, ‘What could I lose from my daily work and not miss? What is unnecessary and drains me?’ This kind of exercise can identify what could be holding you back, and lead to a more productive self. 

Taking the time to articulate the areas in which you could be upskilling, and closing knowledge gaps, is another good exercise for ‘centring yourself’. It can also lead to realisations that can not only take your career forward, but can help develop innovative solutions which can be spun into new ventures. 

An Executive MBA (EMBA), such as the one offered at HEC Paris, can be a good way of highlighting and closing knowledge gaps. They offer a number of specialised subjects that suit almost every industry and area of business, and are constantly updated to reflect the latest practice. 

For a perspective on how this kind of reflection can provide lasting benefit, Julie Allison, VP of Sustainability and Transformation at ACCOR and HEC Paris EMBA alumni, recently spoke about how ‘asking the right questions is vital. 

Learn more about how you can take the next step in your career at HEC Paris

Get updated 

If nothing else, the events of the last two years and the global pandemic led to a wealth of new research, innovations and ways of doing business. Changes to working conditions, delivery infrastructures and app-based services are examples of how the way business is done has fundamentally changed. 

That is why understanding the latest in business acumen and innovation is vital to taking your career forward. The world is moving faster than ever and the next generation of business giants will be those that understand that constant education is key.

Those pursuing an EMBA will be exposed to the latest business trends, in an environment where they will meet business leaders and fellow executives from across the world. Programmes, such as HEC Paris, also regularly feature some of the world’s most exciting business innovators, who will share their stories and ways of working. 

Change your scenery

No matter how old you are, nothing spurs new understanding and a greater appreciation for things than a change of scenery. Not only will you be placed into an environment where you are required to pay attention and focus on detail, but you will be exposed to new ways of doing things and different cultural sensibilities. 

Studying in a world capital can make all the difference. These places not only have a proud history of business and industry, but are centres of learning, attracting innovators from around the globe. Paris, for example, is not only the birthplace of some of the world’s most recognisable brands and cultural movements, but is a constant magnet for those wanting to make their mark – where better to learn? 

Transform your career in one of the world’s business and culture capitals. HEC Paris EMBA courses begin each March and November in Paris

A change of scenery is one of the best ways in which we learn. Photo: Getty Images

Connect with others

To quote the poet and playwright John Donne, ‘No man is an island’. We are only able to grow and develop when we are exposed to the ideas of those around us. Our preconceptions are challenged, our ideas are tested and we are able to use each other as a sounding board for the messaging we want from our endeavours. Therefore, anybody seeking to refocus their career in 2022 should consider their personal network. 

An EMBA is an ideal way of fostering growth, thanks to sprawling networks of alumni. These networks ensure that connecting with other EMBA participants promotes lifelong growth and learning.

HEC Paris EMBA alumni Bola Bardet credits the breadth of the alumni network she found at the school as an integral part of her success as founder of Susu, a digital health service for the African diaspora

Hone your leadership skills

You may have had leadership positions before, but leadership in business does not consist of a static set of qualities. New trends in business mean that different skills and knowledge are required to lead effectively over the course of time. What worked pre-pandemic may not necessarily be the best way of leading now.

EMBA participants, through the course of their subjects and projects, are brought into contact with a variety of business leaders and leadership styles. Many HEC Paris EMBA alumni, such as 37-year-old Christofle CEO Émilie Viargues Metge, have spoken about how some of the most useful and long-lasting insights she gained were from interactions with thought leaders who both taught at and visited the school. 

Deciding on one’s future career path is never easy. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and time. That is why when embarking on such a journey, it’s important to have the tools you need to make up your mind. For some, such tools can be found in the course of an EMBA at HEC Paris. 

Ready to revitalise your professional career, or venture down a new and exciting path? Discover how HEC Paris offers a world-class experience for mid-career executives. New intakes begin in Paris in March, September and November

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EDUCATION

EXPLAINED: How Spain will make it easier for students to graduate

The Spanish government has passed a new decree which will allow secondary and sixth form students to graduate and receive their qualifications, even if they have failed some subjects.

Spain is changing its education rules
There will also be no re-sitting of exams at Spanish secondary schools. Photo: CESAR MANSO / AFP

The Spanish government approved on Tuesday, November 16th a new Royal Decree which gives instructions to teachers to change the way they grade their students for the rest of the school year of 2021/2022 and 2022/2023.

Education in Spain is compulsory for all those from ages 6 to 16. The Spanish education system is made up of primary and secondary schools. Secondary school is referred to as ESO and students receive a Título de Graduado Educación Secundaria Obligatoria (Title of Graduation from Obligatory Secondary School Education). This is the last four years of compulsory education, up until age 16, and is similar to GCSEs in the UK.

After age 16, Spanish students can go on to study for the optional Bachillerato for the next two years up until age 18. This is equivalent to A-levels in the UK and is needed if the student wants to attend university. 

The new rules apply to the ESO and Bachillerato qualifications. In primary education, there were no specific qualifications or failure limits and this is the same in the new decree too. 

What is changing?

  • Before, students studying for the ESO were allowed to pass each year only if they did not have more than three failed subjects, but now with the new decree, there is no limit.
  • There will also be no re-sitting of exams in ESO.
  • In order to graduate with the ESO qualification at age 16, students could still graduate even if they had up to two failed subjects, however now there is no limit in the number of failed subjects allowed to graduate. 
  • In order to pass each year of the Bachillerato, students could still move on if they had up to two failed subjects. This will stay the same in the new decree too. 
  • In order to graduate with the Bachillerato qualification before, students had to pass all subjects and exams, but now one failed subject is allowed. 
  • Students will also be able to sit the Selectividad, which are the Spanish university admission tests if they have failed some of their Bachillerato (sixth form) school subjects.
  • For the first time in history, students with special needs who have had significant curricular adaptations and have not studied the minimum requirement for other students will also be able to receive their high school qualifications.

READ ALSO: Why Spain is failing in maths and science teaching

How will it be decided if students can graduate?

The text presented to the Council of Ministers by Pilar Alegría, the Spanish Minister of Education states that the decision on whether or not a student passes secondary education will be decided on by each board of the school or institution at the end of the school year.

It is the teaching team “who is given the ultimate responsibility for the decision on the promotion and qualification of students” she stated. It will be the teachers who have to make the decision after assessing whether the student “has reached the appropriate degree of acquisition of the corresponding skills”. 

This means that there will no longer be specific requirements to graduate high school and that the parameters for passing will be different for each institution.   

Why have the rules changed?

The new measures are designed to avoid students repeating years and improve graduation statistics.

According to the latest statistics, out of the countries in the EU in 2020, 79 percent of the population between 25 and 64 years old had graduated Secondary Education or higher and Spain is around 16.1 points below this average. 

Pilar Alegría said that 30 percent of 15-year-old students have repeated a year at least once and “dropout rates are increased by this percentage of students”. 

That is why we are committed to a system “based on trust in teachers”, “continuous evaluation” and “collaborative work by teaching teams”. She has assured that “the culture of effort does not run any risk with this new norm. An effort based on motivation is better than one based on punishment”.  

READ ALSO: Spain passes contested education bill

Are all regions on board with the new rules?

Madrid, Andalusia, Galicia, Castilla y León and Murcia strongly oppose the new rules because they “lower the requirement” and “unsettle the teachers”. 

The five regions complain that the royal decree changes the rules of the game in the middle of the course since the students have started the academic year with a particular curriculum and specific criteria in order to pass it. 

Madrid 

“Within our powers, while respecting the law, we are going to try to prevent the royal decree from being applied, as we consider that it is a direct attack on one of the pillars of the Madrid educational system, as is the merit and the effort of the students “, said sources from the Department of Education of the Community of Madrid.

Galicia

The education authorities in Galicia said that they will also “explore any legal possibility that allows for preserving the culture of effort and quality as signs of identity”.

Castilla y León

The education departments in Castilla y León said that for their part, they “will make sure that the curricular development and the norms of promotion and qualification are the least harmful”.

Andalusia 

“Although the norm establishes that the Baccalaureate degree can be obtained with a failed subject, we understand that it does not make sense because all subjects contribute to the acquisition of the necessary competencies,” said the education authorities in Andalusia.

Murcia 

Murcia is also not in favor of the royal decree and denounces “the improvisation of the Pedro Sánchez government and the lack of legal security for the decisions that have been taken”.   

Unions and Associations

Teachers’ unions such as Csif or Anpe or associations such as Concapa or Cofapa warn that more students are going to arrive less prepared for the next level of education, where the problem will explode. 

These regions argue that this new system will leave a lot of grey areas because teachers’ criteria can be very subjective. The elimination of make-up exams is also causing confusion because “they give another opportunity for students to pass based on their effort and ability”. 

The rest of the regions, on the other hand, were in favor of eliminating the need to re-sit exams because they believe that the evaluation should be “continuous” and the student should not risk everything for a single exam.

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