Are You In Control of Your Career
If you read the two previous posts in this series, Social Disruption – How Job Search has Changed and The Traditional Job Search is Dead – R.I.P. , you know that, if you are following a traditional job search, you are not in control!
Do You Have a Career Development Plan?
Most of you who came up through corporate ladder will remember development plans. You sat down with your boss every year to document your career trajectory. When was the last time you did this?
My last career development plan was in the late 1990s when I still worked for IBM. I have been in control of my career choices ever since.
Reflect back over the last 15 years of your career. Who has been in control?
- Have you been laid off or unemployed?
- When you lost your job, did you see it coming?
It is time to take control and be prepared to change jobs every 2-3 years. That does not mean you will change jobs every 2-3 years, rather, that you will be prepared.
The New Development Plan
In previous posts, I have written that you should take time to reflect on your career twice a year. If you live in the United States, two easy dates to use are July 4th and January 1st. Both of these are holidays.
You should update your resume and LinkedIn profile twice a year based on your reflections.
You should also create a development plan which needs to contain the following sections:
- Career Goals – Short Term (1 year) and Long Term (3 Years)
- Current Standing – Access where you stand right now in your career. Include skills and areas of expertise. Where do you see pitfalls that could be an issue in the coming year?
- Formulate Options – Determine what skills you need to develop. What skills will become obsolete? What steps can you take to develop or enhance your skills?
- Develop an Action Plan – Develop a step by step plan to reach your goals. Make sure that all of your steps adhere to the SMART acronym. Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.
Your development plan is a living document and should not exceed 3 years. No one can predict what the economy will look like past 3 years.
In Control of Your Career
If you want to be in control of your career in the era of Social Disruption of Job Search, you must be proactive.
If you are not regularly assessing your industry directions and how your skills fit, you are not in control.
Have you been in control of your career?
Comment below and tell us your story about being in control of your career.