Climbing the governance career ladder whilst avoiding burnout

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In the dynamic landscape of modern business, one thing remains constant: the importance of continuous learning. As a Governance Professional or Company Secretary, the expectations and challenges you face are continually evolving. To stay ahead of the curve, it’s not enough to rest on your laurels; instead, you must engage in regular upskilling, coaching, and training. However, the benefits of this commitment to lifelong learning extend far beyond simply keeping up with industry trends and regulatory changes. It can also lead to a healthier work-life balance, reduced stress, and increased opportunities for promotion.

Continual learning equips you with the skills and knowledge needed to perform your role more efficiently, which can streamline your workflows and reduce the time spent on tasks. It can also reduce stress by providing you with the tools to navigate the complexities of your role confidently. Therefore an investment, either self-financed or paid for by employer, is not just an investment in your career, but also in your personal wellbeing and satisfaction too.


What should I look for when researching training options?

When researching training options for your team or organisation, consider the following factors:

  • Relevance: Ensure that the training content aligns with your organisation’s goals, any specific requirements, and the skills that you or your team needs to develop.
  • Quality of Content: The training content should be up-to-date, comprehensive, and accurate. It should be presented in a structured, easy-to-follow manner that will effectively facilitate learning.
  • Trainer’s Expertise: The qualifications and experience of the trainer are crucial. They should have a solid background in the topic, real-world experience, and a proven track record in training. If possible, check reviews or references about the trainer. As has been said many times before ‘never take advice from people who aren’t where you want to be’ this goes for training too, if someone is training you to become someone they have never been, consider if they’re worth your time and money.
  • Interaction and Engagement: Good training should involve interaction and engagement, not just passive listening. Ideally you should check there will be group activities, discussions, case studies, Q&A sessions, etc.
  • Flexibility: Depending on your organisation’s needs, you might need training that can be carried out at different times or training that can be done in different locations. Check what is possible before settling on a trainer or training provider.
  • Cost: While cost shouldn’t be the sole determining factor, it’s still an important consideration. Weigh the cost of the training against the potential benefits and return on investment (ROI).
  • Customisation: Depending on your needs, you may want a training program that can be customised to fit your specific requirements, using real examples from your industry or even your specific organisation. Good trainers will bring to life your organisations challenges and weave these into their training content.
  • Technological Capabilities: If the training is to be conducted online, ensure that the technology used is reliable, easy to use, and suitable for your team. You might need features like breakout rooms for small group discussions, the ability to share screens, or a good mobile interface.

Remember, the best training option will depend on your specific needs, goals, budget, and the current skill level of you or your team.

Reduce stress and increase your success

Neglecting to conduct training can have numerous negative impacts on your professional development and growth as well as your organisation. Here are some potential risks associated with not providing adequate training to employees:

  • Decreased Productivity: Without proper training, you may be unaware of the most efficient ways to perform tasks, or if there are new requirements there could be new ways of thinking that you’re currently unaware of.
  • Increased Errors: Lack of training can result in more mistakes as you may not fully understand your role or the procedures that should be (typically) followed.
  • Poor Compliance: Without maintaining your training on laws, regulations, or company policies, there is a risk of inadvertently breaking the rules, leading to legal issues, fines, or damage to the organisation’s reputation.
  • Decreased Employee Engagement and Satisfaction: Training can help you feel more competent and confident in your role which can increase your job satisfaction and engagement.
  • Missed Opportunities for Innovation: Training often highlights new ideas and ways of thinking, which can spur innovation. Without training, you might miss out on these opportunities.
  • Stagnation: Without continuous learning and improvement, you and your organisation may fall behind as technologies, markets, and best practices evolve.
  • Difficulty Adapting to Change: If you have the right training, you can be better equipped to adapt to change, for instance understanding the potential changes to the UK Corporate Governance Code can leave you feeling focussed and ready to take on this new challenge.


It’s important to not view training as an expense, but as an investment in your future career and the success and growth of the organisation in which you work. Proper training can improve performance, mitigate risks, and give you a competitive advantage.

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