When we run career workshops we always ask delegate if they have a written career plan, sadly 98% do not. I’ve noticed that many people spend more time and energy planning their holiday than they spend planning their career.
It’s all too easy to leave things to chance or to rely on your employer to plan your career. This is short-sighted, ineffective and unlikely to result in either personal or professional fulfilment. If you do the things you love in life will then you are more likely to happy at work, and working to the best of your ability, learning as you go. A happy worker is a more productive and a more valuable worker.
You need to spend time on your career plan but it’s like pension planning – most of us put it off.
Interestingly when offered access to tools such as Fuel50 which are designed to help with career planning most don’t access the tool. At 10Eighty we encourage career planning because a lot of an employee’s sense of self has to do with what they will become, not just who they are now.
It’s not always easy, sometimes we can’t discern a career path, perhaps because traditional career ladders have changed and the market for our skills is changing too.
You need to plan and map out your career goals and aspiration. There is too much uncertainty, arising from the impact of globalisation, a challenging economic climate, new technology all of which make the likelihood of job loss an ever present threat.
The secret to employability lies in investing in your skills and improving your knowledge around what the marketplace will need in the future. In order to grow and develop at work it’s important to pursue effective career development that facilitates personal growth and enables greater meaning and purpose.
How do you know where to invest in terms of your career? Ice hockey star, Wayne Gretzky, said the secret to his success was in skating to where the puck was going to be. The older we get the less likely we are to invest in personal development, however, it’s not getting older that makes you liable to redundancy, but failure to invest in your skills and education.
In a rapidly changing environment that failure to invest can be a career killer. Don’t let your career drift without real mission or purpose; life is too short to spend time doing things that don’t energise you.
What should you do?
- Know your strengths, recognise what energises you and what you enjoy doing.
- Invest in yourself and build skills now and for the future
- Create an elevator pitch to articulate where you are now and where you want to go
- Build a network (inside and outside your current organization) by adding value for others, and get your contacts on message. Remember networking is a reciprocal game.
Don’t be complacent, don’t get too comfortable – if you have not learned anything in the last 12 months it’s time to think again. Our free 10Eighty app ‘10Eighty Career Ladders’ can help assess your career journey with eight simple questions. It’s designed to help the user reflect on how well their career management by assessing strengths and weaknesses. It takes less than 10 minutes to complete and could be a real catalyst in terms of your career path and progress.