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Jan 04, 2024

IR experience pays in today’s unsettled world

IR Magazine will produce a series of articles covering professional development in January

With the New Year upon us, thoughts naturally turn to what we’d like to achieve over the next 12 months, both personally and professionally. 

On the latter, many of you will be thinking about how you’d like to advance your career, either inside your current organization or at another firm. Indeed, research by Glassdoor has found that January is the most popular month for employees to think about changing jobs. 

When we talk about career progression in IR, often the focus is on adding additional responsibilities or even transitioning into a completely different role. 

But IR has become much more than a rotational position or stepping stone, as explained by former head of IR at AstraZeneca, Thomas Kudsk Larsen, in a guest column for IR Magazine this week. 

There are growing demands on IR, while the world is an increasingly unsettled, fragmented place, he argues, so experience within the profession is becoming more and more valuable.

‘If safe hands are needed at the IR steering wheel, one cannot take the job with the intention of just staying long enough to secure the next job in the company,’ writes Larsen. 

‘In order to be a trusted partner to the market, pleasing internal stakeholders to lobby for an internal promotion may not serve the market’s need for a value-enabling spokesperson in the company, one who shares good and bad news in the quest to improve company performance.’

Larsen notes that long experience is also valuable in monetary terms: ‘Changing companies as part of an IR career is likely to create more personal value as opportunities to advance investor communications at a new company emerge,’ he says. 

Of course, there is no one right way to view a career in IR. For some, it becomes a highly satisfying, long-term career. Others pass through the role, gaining vital experience with the capital markets and C-suite, before heading onto other things. Right now you might not be sure which path to choose, which is completely normal. 

While each journey through IR is unique, data can help us see the broader trends and offer food for thought on your own next steps. 

This will be covered in IR Magazine’s upcoming Global IR Salary & Careers Report, due out later in January. But to give a preview of the results, a large number of survey respondents say they have been in IR for more than 10 years, underlining the appeal of long-term commitment to the role.

To help you plan the next stage of your career, wherever that takes you, we’ve lined up a series of articles this month about IR careers. 

The aforementioned column from Larsen is a great place to start. Over the next weeks, we also have interviews with IR Magazine Award winners about their secrets to success, a deep dive on IR succession planning, what the next generation of IROs are doing differently, and much more. 

How are you preparing for the next stage of your career? And what professional development topics would you love to hear more about? Get in touch and let us know at or on LinkedIn