Happy New Year from all at 10Eighty!
The year ahead is full of possibilities, opportunities, challenges, learning and growth. Whether you made a list of resolutions, or have simply resolved to do what you can, the start of a new year is a good to time to review your career plan.
You know it makes sense to plan ahead but most people just let their career happen. We like certainty, and become comfortable in our jobs, we are lulled into a false sense of security where it is easier to hope nothing will change and there is no need to plan for change.
If you were made redundant tomorrow would you be ready to tackle the job market? Do you have the skills and expertise the market wants? Is your CV up to date, your elevator pitch fluent and convincing? Don’t kid yourself you won’t be made redundant, things change and acquisitions are a fact of life. Organisational restructuring means cost savings and job losses, expect to see more of such activity in 2017! Be ready for what life throws at you.
Be prepared to deal with the unexpected. Be alert to changes in your work environment. Network assiduously, whatever your employment status, so you are well-informed and can call on your network when you need to find a new role.
At 10Eighty we advocate undertaking a regular ‘career MOT’ – review last year, assess what you learned, evaluate your achievements and any new responsibilities you assumed. If you are not learning you are not growing, are you treading water rather than making progress? Update your CV as a matter of course.
Focus on your career and decide where you want to be and what you want to achieve in terms of personal development this year. Commit your plan to writing and keep it somewhere handy so you can refer to it at intervals and monitor your progress.
As a starting point we could characterise this very simply:
- Plan – focus on objectives, the imperative, urgent, needed and nice to have
- Prioritise – design strategies to achieve those objectives
- Perform – then focus on getting things done, a plan is great but you need to act on it
10Eighty career management tips
Make the most of your career opportunities in 2017:
- Use some lateral thinking around how and where your skills and experience may be useful. Don’t think of career progression simply in terms of promotion; you may miss valuable opportunities with such a narrow focus. You may be an expert in your area of work but it’s smart to appreciate that developing skills such as project management or effective communication skills may offer benefits and opportunities.
- Expand your knowledge base – are your qualifications up to date? A new challenge may expand your horizons, think about researching training opportunities and costs, and consider whether new qualifications will help you to ‘sell’ yourself at interview. Look at the qualifications others in your field hold, and take advice from colleagues or a mentor as to which may improve your employability.
- Be open to the possibilities. There is often more to a role than meets the eye in a job description and an informal chat with a hiring manager or HR manager could provide important contextual information. Be ready when an opportunity presents itself.
The average Briton spends 100,000 hours at work during their lifetime so making a good job of it will really make a difference to your health, happiness and career prospects.