The role of chief of staff is relatively new in the private sector and qualifications for the position can vary from company to company. But what is the career trajectory for a chief of staff? To become a chief of staff, you need to have excellent interpersonal skills and several years of executive-level experience in corporate environments. With this description of the chief of staff job, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. The position of chief of staff provides the extensive exposure needed to truly understand how companies work in practice.
As a chief of staff, you have gained unique and valuable perspectives on how a company works, how leaders make important decisions, and how to build lasting and impactful relationships that help an organization grow. In addition, very few people have what it takes to be “lifelong” in the position of chief of staff, so your long-term career plan should include some alternative options for when you're ready to leave the position completely. Career paths for the chief of staff can start with a position as president, advance to a title as president (26%, chief operating officer), and finally end up with the title of president (&, chief operating officer). Outstanding performance in a chief of staff position for 2 or 3 years can accelerate your career, especially if you move to a new position within your organization.
In addition to developing an executive mindset, the role of chief of staff helps you learn how companies actually work. For example, a friend of the Chief of Staff didn't fully understand the extent to which she was reducing internal communication gaps between teams with interdisciplinary dependencies. As chief of staff, you will work with the CEO and report directly to him, conveying messages and ideas from other senior executive leaders to improve the company's internal functions and processes. In a rapidly growing company, most of the positions you need today didn't exist a year ago, and many managers of staff set up new roles within their company. The position of chief of staff, by design, has integrated visibility for senior managers, and this visibility is greater than would otherwise be achieved at this stage of his career.
So what is the next step in a chief of staff's career? While each person's career path is as individualized as a fingerprint, here are some typical roadmaps for people interested in the position of chief of staff. The most common career trajectory for a Chief of Staff is to move up into an executive role such as President or Chief Operating Officer (COO). This is because they have gained invaluable experience in their current role that will help them succeed in their next one. They have developed an executive mindset that will help them make better decisions and understand how companies work in practice. Additionally, they have built strong relationships with other senior executives that will help them move up in their career. Another potential career path for a Chief of Staff is to move into an advisory role.
This could involve consulting or working with other organizations on projects related to their expertise. This could also involve teaching or speaking engagements at universities or conferences. This type of role allows them to use their experience and knowledge to help others while still maintaining their independence. Finally, some Chiefs of Staff may choose to pursue entrepreneurship after leaving their current role. This could involve starting their own business or joining an existing one as an executive or advisor.
This type of career path allows them to use their experience and knowledge to create something new while still having control over their own destiny.