Career Planning

In a world where technology is continuously shifting parameters and change is the only constant, is it still possible to plan your career?

Having a plan and clear direction are as important as ever, but agility and openness to change will determine how successful you are. Whatever broad plans you have in place, reviewing them each year will keep you open to new opportunities and help maintain a sharp focus.

Taking stock

Reflect over your last 12 months and what you’ve accomplished. Go through each month and remind yourself of your biggest projects, how you’ve helped your department run more efficiently and how you’ve impacted on the bottom line. Think about which aspects of your role you’ve most enjoyed and which you’d like to eliminate or reduce. Make a note of what obstacles you’ve overcome and what skills you’ve developed.

Should I stay or should I go?

If you’re happy in your current company, staying is an attractive option but make sure you’re still proactive and keep in control of your career for the next year. If you enjoy managing people, see if you can develop these skills by leading larger teams or mentoring staff. If you want to develop your IT skills – sign yourself up for a relevant course. To develop you skill base, you could also consider asking for a transfer to another department or an overseas secondment.

If you can’t see the scope for development in your current company, you should consider looking at opportunities elsewhere. It’s a good idea to make note of what you like most about your current job and what skills you want to develop in a new company as this will help you assess the risk and rewards of moving on. You don’t want to go from the frying pan into the fire.

The bigger picture

When considering moving company, look at the bigger picture and find out more about your new boss and management team.

The best way to become a great leader is to learn from one. It’s really important to have a strong support network around you in the form of mentors and sponsors as they’ll be on hand to give you advice, help you capitalise on your strengths and act as role models.  This should be a key part of your decision to join any company.

Nurture your Network

Remember organisations don’t hire people. People hire people. The more people you know, the more people will think of you when a job opening comes up — even when it is not publicly advertised. With this in mind it’s important to nurture your network throughout your career. If you’re actively looking for a new role, reconnect with your network and organise coffee or lunch with your most important contacts.

Conclusion:

Once you’ve a broad strategy in place, don’t be afraid to make changes along the way to achieve a work life balance that best suits your personal circumstances and brings you optimal fulfilment.

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A very smooth process, and enjoyable as well. Laura was a pleasure to work with: fast, efficient and positive.

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