Career Advice You Wish You Had Received
Be an investor-minded employee and review your company's success prospects.
Back in March 2015, I was asked to participate in a panel discussion on Career Advice I wish I had Known Earlier On. I was looking forward to this panel discussion. Ahead of that discussion, I crafted a blog post on the subject of career advice and areas to focus on which would be part of my panel commentary.
Here is a short video from that original blog post. At the time, I was in total agreement with the speaker and I still am. In fact, Embrace Any Future’s practice and my prior corporate work as a mentor and leader have been focused on having more employees have an investor mindset and skillsets.
As we head back in time, take a listen to the Ted Talk, there are still opportunities to learn more about a business, an industry, and the environment.
Also, here is part of what I wrote back then updated for better grammar and an evolved view:
“With so much change occurring: heightened globalization, technology disruptions, economic deleveraging, improved longevity, and geopolitical shifts, it's important to be acutely aware of our environments, including the businesses we work in, the communities we live in, and the societies we are a part of.
focus solely on understand ing the business environment in which we live and operate, we'll find that having a broad and deep perspective of the business, strategic, and competitive landscapes can offer a significant and sustainable advantage. We will sense the shifts before they occur, prepare for the impending changes, and assist our leadership in executing the strategy.
So, be resilient. Be aware, informed, and flexible enough to handle any future. This means that being knowledgeable about your business is the necessary first step to becoming resilient, contributing, and persisting in the long term."
Applying the Career Advice: Be an Investor-Minded Employee.
As candidates considering a company, employees reviewing their company’s prospects, or leaders evaluating their equity compensation, it's more critical than ever to review the company you are working for or working with.
It's important to make an assessment and call on their competitiveness, long-term prospects, and whether the company operates in an industry that will be growing or compressing in the coming years.
To make your assessment, I recommend you do the following:
Listen to the company's quarterly analyst calls.
Understand what the company is offering in terms of its strategy, competitive advantage, product differentiation, etc.
Do you understand the strategy, competitive edge, or product differentiation?
More importantly, do you believe in it?
Determine your company’s Z-score, a numerical snapshot of a company’s health.
What is your company’s health? Are there any surprises?
Review the Year-to-Date (YTD), 1-Year, 5-Year, and 10-Year company return relative to others in the industry.
Where does your company stand relative to others in the same industry?
Where does your company stand relative to the broader S&P 500?
Is your leadership team effective in allocating capital?
Is your company’s Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) greater than its Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC)?
How does your company’s ROIC compare to its competitors?
How does your company’s ROIC compare to other industries?
If you work for a publicly traded company, this information should be readily available via a Google Search.
It’s a Wrap:
As you continue to progress in your career, it's important to create significant value for the businesses you are working for. It's equally important that you are investor-minded and discerning enough to identify if the company you are working for is a great future prospect as you rise in the organization.
The last thing you will want to do is realize you have been climbing up a mountain that does not match your full potential.
Interested in a list of other investor-minded skills? Check out Investor Skills and Traits (in our Newsletter).
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