Time to plan your career

first_img Previous Article Next Article John Lees, author of the best-selling book How To Get A Job You’ll Love,suggests taking a totally fresh look at your career Having a career plan seems like hard work, so we don’t do it. We give moretime to home decoration decisions than our careers. The result? Our job changesare guided mainly by chance. Creating your own career revolution, on the otherhand, can be done in just three simple steps. Step 1: Career awareness Career awareness focuses on what we can do now. It begins with three basicquestions: What kind of work do I find meaningful and challenging? What outcomes doesmy present or next employer really seek? How can I exploit the overlap, orcreate one? This is a model that requires you to audit yourself regularly. Spend atleast one day a quarter focusing on your career – cataloguing your successesand looking at areas where you can add to your learning. Career awareness is also about having a concrete wish list: your values, theskills that energise you, and your personal motivators. You become able to communicate a concise ‘message’, conveying what you wantto bring to your job within the next 12 months. This doesn’t have to mean changing jobs, but it is healthy tobe prepared forwhen it is time to move on. Step 2: Using creative business thinking We cannot rely on the career planning tools we learned from the previousgeneration. If you want an above-average career, you need a better toolkit. Lateral thinking in career development is about choice and strategy. Thinkabout what you can do next, and how you will get there, and not acceptinglimitations before you have even started. If you were an organisation, you might be holding a board meeting today.Your company will only thrive if you develop new products and services. If yourplanning meeting shoots down every new idea, the chances are you are going downthe tubes. Businesses know the value of ‘what if’ thinking, and how importantit is to push the benefits of new ideas. Sadly, our mindset for career choice is locked in logical, A-Z thinking.Lateral thinking has far more chance of coming up with an action plan that istruly original and differentiates you from the pack. Step 3: Open the exploration box To fully explore ideas about your career future, avoid the temptation of‘yes-no’ thinking. See how quickly you find a reason to say ‘no’ to a job idea– we are eager to find a reason why challenging ideas won’t work. We putdecision-making too early in the process, and don’t spend enough time reallyexploring options. Recruit supporters who will actively help you explore and research options,and will push you to see the benefits of doing things differently. Explorationrequires you to deal with what’s out there, which means talking to real peopleabout real jobs. Whether you are after promotion or the next career move, thinkresearch before job search. Career revolution: the result If you want an average career with average career satisfaction, continue thepassive route. Promotion, a new balance, or a better job may well mean not justa new CV, but a new way of thinking about your choices. How To Get A Job You’ll Love is available from McGraw-Hill, www.mcgraw-hill.co.uk Comments are closed. Time to plan your careerOn 27 May 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more