While company stability and long lasting employment may be things of the past, the average person will work 25 years or more. If this makes you wonder how you will get where you want to be, a career management plan can help you figure out your destination. This plan should be in place from the early stages of your career and actively managed as you progress professionally through it.
A career management plan involves specific areas of focus. Typically, a plan will include a self assessment section that helps identify career motivators and preferences in your current position, current skills and competencies as well as those to be developed, and what your vision might be for your future. Following the self-assessment section, a section on career goals is created that identifies short term (1 year), mid-term (2-5 years) and long term (5 years) goals.
One of the most critical areas within such a plan is a section that identifies development and experience activities that will enable intended growth and change. This section has milestones to track activities, steps taken, how success has been measured and completion dates.
Finally, a career management plan should also include a resources section. This area is dedicated to identifying the individuals, organizations, professional networks or career coaches that can help you obtain your goals.
Many individuals only use career coaches when they have been laid off and need assistance with a job search. However, regardless of a layoff, you may need help from a career coach if:
- You don’t have a career plan in place.
- You are stuck in any phase of your career development or overall job satisfaction.
- You don’t know how to use existing skills and experience to transition to a new career or industry.
- You need to perform better in your current job.
- You need advice on how to handle a specific work situation.
- You aren’t sure how to progress to the next level in your career.
According to a 2014 Forbes article, “Most managers believe employees must take responsibility for their career development: 98% say workers should continually update and improve their skills, 85% say they should identify job opportunities and career paths, and 80% say they should be responsible for building their job-hunting and career-planning skills.”
Career management is each person’s responsibility. In order to get the most out of your career, you have to put the time and effort into caring for it. Partnering with a career coach to help you along the way will ensure you are not only prepared for a lay off, but will focus your work progression in the career direction you choose to travel.