As a career coach, much of my time has been spent supporting clients on their next move. Working with a range of staff from senior director level to those just starting off in their careers it surprises me that a very low percentage of staff really think through their career strategy as they start off in their careers.
When you consider one of the most common questions at interview is 'Where do you see yourself in five years time?', how many applicants have a real vision on what their future will be and believe they can influence that.
So let's consider what you can do to make a difference in your career. It is never too late.
1. Review the Market
Research the internet, talk to people in different industries - where are the skill shortages in the industry at the moment, now, and what is forecast for the future?.What may be current now may not exist in twenty years time.Whether you are currently choosing what subjects to take for a future apprenticeship or degree or someone disillusioned with a current career and want to move into something different check out first where it is likely that your new qualifications will support your new move.
2. Create Visibility
Understand yourself. What strengths can you utilise to benefit an organisation? Know your environment, whether that be the organisation you are currently working for or a future employer. Who do you need go get in front of to advise of your skills? Who are the main decision makers in the business and how can you create an opportunity that will benefit all parties. People have been heard to say, 'Well you were in the right place at the right time.' but in my opinion it is about knowing your environment and understanding when your skills will be of benefit. Employers buy skills, experience and attitude. Showing that passion to improve the effectiveness of the company is in everyone's best interests.
3. Use your Network
Understanding the power of your network and how to create a strong reputation for being known for your skills is key in any career strategy. Building regular communications with those that support you, as well as taking time to understand the career pathways of others can provide astute advice in developing your own career. Regularly network through events, whether internal or external and online such as using the professional platform of Linked In. This will really build your reputation on the market as well as expand the working relationships that you have currently. An internal event may simply be attending another team meeting in another department which will help you understand the nuances of that division and develop stronger relationships as well as demonstrate to your own manager that you are interested in the bigger picture.
Enough to be going on with? Watch out for part two in our career strategy series in the coming weeks.
Think different, be different.