What’s the Next Step in Your Sustainability Career?

Gregory Lewis, ICRS Coordinator

What’s the Next Step in Your Sustainability Career?

The ICRS Central London Hub was thrilled to be joined by Karin Mueller on 15 June 2022.

Karin is a leadership development expert, executive coach, trainer, and facilitator with over 20 years of experience. Following a 16-year-long international corporate career in sustainability and communications, she founded the leadership development consultancy Liebfrog.

In her hour-long session, Karin invited the participants to reflect on their careers, ambitions, and dreams for the future.

In our lives and careers, there is no one-size-fits-all, 'cookie cutter' recipe for success. However, Karin offered several helpful tips and thought exercises to set you on a path to where you want to be.

Key Takeaways

Start with the end in mind.

Few of us have a plan beyond a year, never mind a five-year plan. However, try to think on a longer timeframe and plan ahead. Even seven years ahead.

Ask yourself:

  • What does a good day at work look like?
  • What would you like your work to focus on?
  • What impact do you want to have?
  • How would you like to have grown as a professional by then?
  • What do you want to be able to do then that you can't do now?
  • Is there a specific role you have in mind?
  • And what do you definitely not want?
  • Describe your best life in 7 years as you envision it today.

Assess your gaps

Think about your skills gaps and how you can improve.

Such as:

  • Technical skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Experiences
  • Build your network

Use the ICRS Competency Framework

The ICRS Competency Framework is a professional development tool to evaluate your ambitions and expertise. Regardless of your career stage, it will help you create a development plan aligned with your professional goals.

Spend Five Hours a Week Learning

Never stop learning. Barack Obama spent an hour a day reading whilst President of the United States. Bill Gates read a book a week during his career, and Warren Buffett invested 80% of his time into reading and thinking.

As one participant said, it might be the 'easiest thing to push down the priority list'. But even some of the busiest and most successful people in the world find time for five hours of deliberate learning a week. And at least in part, that is no coincidence.  

Ways to learn with limited time and resources

Our event participants put their collective heads together and suggested:

  • Read on your commute, or spend that extra time reading if you are working from home.
  • Online learning with organisations like Coursera, Udemy, EdX and Udacity.
  • Distilled and condensed knowledge; LinkedIn Groups and updates, sign up for high-quality and relevant newsletters.
  • Universities often offer free public lectures.
  • YouTube may seem obvious, but it is a great place to learn, and it is free.
  • Podcasts are a fantastic way to learn while doing something else like cooking, walking, commuting, or running.
  • Webinars like those hosted by ICRS Hubs, but there are countless options.

Ask for feedback from your colleagues

Ask your colleagues, 'on a scale of 1-10, how did I do?'

Then ask, 'what could I do differently to get to a ten?'

Find yourself a mentor

Mentoring is a powerful development tool for anyone who wants to learn and grow, whatever their career stage. This can be as simple as asking someone to go for a coffee.

If you want to formalise a mentoring relationship, you can find a mentor through the ICRS Mentoring Programme.

Additional resources

Karin Mueller