Duties as COO
First, you should know that a chief operating officer is on the top-level executive management in the firm and often fills the role of a CEO in smaller companies. The COO runs the everyday activities of the organization and then must report this to the board of directors regularly.
Secondly, you can find COO jobs in the private sector, government, small corporations, large corporations, and other institutions where the hierarchy is firmly in place. You will not find COO employment in very small startup companies, simply because they are not large enough to require such a high-ranking official.
Thirdly, the COO has a lot of pressures to make sure the company is profitable and that the entire operation is running efficiently. Many COO's travel extensively and work long hours, but others have more flexibility depending on the size of the company in which they are employed.
Education Needed to Become a COO
The COO is a position that is highly sought because of the prestige and reputation that comes with being in top management. There are more qualified applicants than there are open positions, which mean that competition is very stiff. You should possess a bachelor's in business but a master of business administration or higher.
If you do not have an MBA, it might be a good time to head back to school to earn this degree because combined with management experience, it makes your chances much better at finding a COO position. There was a time when those with bachelor's degrees were COO, but today, with the fact that there are more candidates than jobs, employers have demanding more education and experience.
One of the best ways to tailor your career is to have your education under your belt and then fill as many upper level management positions as you possibly can. This will afford you the knowledge you will need to begin applying for COO jobs. In addition, do not allow your career to become stagnant; if you truly want the COO position, you need to move to larger companies as you gain more management experience because this better positions you also.
Begin building a portfolio of your achievements and accomplishments that you have achieved at your management positions. You want to keep these handy because you can add those achievements to your resume, which helps you to have the upper hand.
Moreover, head to some online sites to see what some of the COO positions are seeking as far as qualifications and see how yours match up. Many times, you are more qualified than you thought and you can therefore apply immediately. If you find that you fall short in some areas, then you need to work to gain the skills and knowledge that COO's must have.
When you do have the experience and education and can begin applying for some positions, expect the competition to be tough. You will be up against other candidates that may be more qualified than you may be, though that does not necessarily mean they will land the position. Often, it is your experience, education, and how well you interview that determines if you are the candidate the company wants to hire.
Lastly, make sure you are networking because many times COO positions are never posted at all by the employer and it is by word of mouth that you may find out about an opening. Sometimes you may find out because a COO is retiring, therefore, networking is vital for you to keep your options open.
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