Why should you be concerned about planning your career? Well, it is YOUR career and if YOU don’t take responsibility for the success of it, then who will? Besides, you spend a lot of hours in work each day so it’s definitely worth your while to make sure you get the most satisfaction from it that you possibly can.
The workplace has been affected by three key ramifications lately:
- Less job security: gone are the times of jobs for life with high degrees of security. You will need to be more mobile and flexible than ever before.
- Up is not the only way: there are trends towards more flat organisations and traditional linear career paths are getting more rare, so diversify!
- Speedy obsolescence of technical know-how: rapid advancements in technology will require you to up skill and re-tool frequently.
Therefore, its worth putting in some extra time and effort to career planning, and that means making your PdP (personal development planning) much, MUCH more than an annual exercise merely to be tolerated and completed as fast as possible.
Developing a PdP that really works is a 5-part process which involves:
- Reflecting: prioritise your self awareness and synthesise your thoughts about it;
- Gain self-awareness: a sustainable PdP emphasises gathering input from many sources;
- Seek outside input: work hard at gaining information from others to have a rounded picture of your competences.
- Develop action steps: how can you get from where you are now to where you’d like to be? What were the core areas of satisfaction in your career that you identified last week and what steps do you need to take to improve each area?
- Set longer term goals: cover the bigger picture of achieving the balance you identified last week. All too often I see goals which are very short term and which are unlikely to do anything for this bigger balanced picture in the long term.
Here is a little 5-minute technique to help you with this task this week. It’s called a “Career Issues Worksheet” and it was compiled with the help of NASA’s Financial and Resources Management Individual Development Plan Advisor.