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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

Fees to class sizes – what you need to know about private schools in France

In many countries, private schools are the preserve of the wealthy elite, but France has a wide network of private schools that are well within the financial reach of ordinary families - James Harrington explains more.

Fees to class sizes - what you need to know about private schools in France

The education system in France has its problems – at the start of the new school year some 4,000 teaching posts were unfilled and the government has launched an ‘emergency plan’ for English language lessons – but there’s no doubting there are wonderful schools and wonderful teachers making every effort to ensure children from aged three to 18 get the education they deserve.

However the country also has a sizeable network of private schools and around 15 percent of French children go to a private school. While some are undoubtedly expensive and elite, others are surprisingly affordable and provide an extra option for parents when deciding on  a school for their children.

Here’s what you need to know; 

Different types

There are two types of private school – sous contrat and hors contrat.

Sous contrat schools, of which there are about 7,500 in France, are part-funded by the state – teachers are paid by the Department of Education, for example – but also charge fees. France’s numerous Catholic schools, or regional language schools are usually sous contrat.

Hors contrat schools – which number about 2,500 – must still meet general education requirements but can choose their teaching methods and have no state funding. Private international schools found in most big cities, such as the American School of Paris, are hors contrat, but still follow mainstream teaching methods.

For comparison, there are around 60,000 state schools in France.

Prices

Yes, there are expensive private schools in France. Sending your child to the exclusive Ecole des Roches Private Boarding School, for example, will set you back more than €12,000 a term – not quite Eton or Winchester-level fees, but still well out of the reach of a large portion of the population. But, like Eton and Winchester, they’re not the norm. 

On average, fees for a day pupil – one who goes home at the end of the school day, rather than one who boards at the school – are in the region of around €2,250 a year. Meals are not included, and are generally charged at a slightly higher daily price than at state schools.

Financial aid, including scholarships, may be available for less well-off families.

READ ALSO French school canteens to cut cheese course as inflation bites

Boarding and hours

A large number of state and private schools offer Monday-Thursday boarding. It is not uncommon for pupils who excel at certain subjects or sports to attend collèges or lycées some distance from home, and board during the week.

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Daily school hours, meanwhile, are broadly similar, with children generally starting their school day at around 8am and finishing soon after 4pm on school days. Collège and lycée pupils also go into school on Wednesday mornings, and some may have classes on a Saturday, too.

Popularity

Smaller class sizes and a reputation for “better” results means that private schools are increasingly popular. The number of French private schools has increased steadily over the last decade, and now 15-20 percent of pupils go to a private establishment of some form. 

On the whole, private schools tend to do better in results league tables – perhaps in part because of the additional investment from parents, but also because class sizes tend to be smaller, which allows for more one-to-one education. Smaller class sizes and more individual attention mean they may also be a better option for children who struggle in big schools.

READ ALSO What kind of school in France is best for my kids?

Qualifications

State schools and sous contrat schools teach to the national curriculum, which leads, in turn, to brevet and baccalaureate qualifications.

In contrast, some hors contrat private schools offer different qualifications, including American High School Diplomas and SATs, British GCSEs and A-Levels, or the international baccalaureate.

Religion

Although many sous contrat schools are Catholic, most readily accept non-Catholic children and are not allowed to indoctrinate the Catholic faith. Hors contrat schools, on the other hand, may include a religious element to their teaching.

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