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Career Planning Process

Via The Balance Careers : 5 Tips to Improve Your Career Development

You Owe Yourself a Career Development Action Plan.

Career management isn’t just a nice-to-do, it’s a must do, if you expect to gain maximum success and happiness from the hours you invest in work. Face it, you are likely going to work 40 hours a week for your entire adult life. Why not make them the best 40 hours that you can create?

Career management in which you plan and work to obtain new skills, capabilities, and experiences, is the answer. Share your goals with your boss and you have created a partner who can help you broaden your experience.

You are chock full of talents and skills. Continuing their development will stretch your world and enable more of your unique contribution. This, in turn, will make your career success and progress a cornerstone in your fully-developed life. Does your world get any better than this? Not really.

Career Growth and Development Opportunities

When most employees think about their careers, they have not thought past their current job or the next promotion that they’d like to receive. They need to broaden their short-term thinking. As employees are promoted up the organization chart, fewer jobs become available, yet continuing to grow skills and experience should still be a priority for people obtaining value from and adding value to their career.

You can continue to experience career growth by taking the lead on your career development and progress. Here are a few ways in which you can collaborate with your boss to manage your career.

  • Job shadow other employees in your company to learn about different jobs.
  • Explore lateral moves to broaden and deepen your experience.
  • Attend classes and training sessions to increase your knowledge.
  • Hold book clubs at work to develop knowledge, and share terminology, concepts, and team building with coworkers.
  • Seek a mentor from a different department that you’d like to explore.

5 Tips for Career Growth and Development

Here are additional thoughts about career management. Dr. Tracey Wilen-Daugenti, Vice President and Managing Director of Apollo Research Institute and Visiting Scholar in Stanford University’s Media X program, recommends five additional career management strategies.

  • Could your career development and management use help to gain momentum? People who are the most successful and satisfied in their careers have proactively determined what they want from work. Once they’ve decided on their goals, they make a plan to accomplish the goals.
  • Developing a timeline with career goals and expected milestones is also an effective way to manage your career. Bringing your boss and his or her sponsorship and mentoring into the picture will ensure that you have an internal mentor who will help you manage your career.
  • Some companies have formal programs to help employees develop their careers. In others, you will need to informally pursue your career development. Companies with programs generally focus energy on helping employees develop and follow a career path.
  • The career path is discussed at several meetings bi-annually with the employee’s boss. The company doesn’t own the career path; the employee does. But, the company demonstrates its deep commitment to its employees by assisting where possible with resources of time and dollars.
  • Career paths are recommended for the same reason that goals are recommended. They are the written plan that can help each employee focus on what is most important to his or her fulfillment and success. Without a plan, you can feel rudderless and you have no benchmark against which you can measure your progress.

5 Tips for Strategic Career Management

Dr. Tracey Wilen, Vice President and Managing Director of Apollo Research Institute and Visiting Scholar in Stanford University’s Media X program, recommends these additional career management strategies.

“Succeeding in a demanding, changing workplace requires a strategic career management plan. Employers want to attract, hire and retain employees who provide the best value. So consider yourself a business with a product to sell, and create a strategy for marketing your workplace value.

“Data from the Apollo Research Institute on the future of education, work and careers suggest the following five career management strategies:

  • “Proactively engage your manager in a discussion about your career goals, and collaborate to create a career development plan. The most significant opportunity to exert influence is to involve your manager in the career planning process.
  • “Investigate short- and long-term skill requirements. If your goal is to become the Vice President of Human Resources, understand the education, skills, technology, and experience requirements, and develop interim career plans for achieving your long-term career goal.
  • “To increase your knowledge of career options, request one-on-one informational meetings with colleagues and managers. The purpose of these brief meetings is to gather information to help you make educated career decisions. People are generally willing to share their success stories and advice.
  • “Volunteer to complete challenging projects and assignments. One of the best ways to advance your career is to identify an organizational problem and propose a solution. By offering to implement the solution, you will not only increase your visibility as a problem-solver in the organization, but you might also expand your skills in the process.
  • “Consult the Human Resources department to learn about career development and job opportunities such as tuition reimbursement for a college degree or certification, in-house technical or professional training courses and available job openings. Take advantage of available opportunities. Maintain your momentum and commit to continuous skill building and improvement. By planning your career strategy, you are increasing your chances of staying employable and achieving your long-term career goals.”

Each of us has a certain number of years to invest in working and making a living. Having a job is fine, but creating a career will maximize your opportunities for success. To have a successful career requires that you pursue career management strategies like these.

A successful career doesn’t happen unthinkingly. It needs planning, tending, and frequent review. Are you ready to pursue these career development strategies?

Via DNA : Strategic career planning: 4 lessons

Arjun Khanna waved his hand at me from a distance. Weddings are a great excuse to meet a lot of people. Shaking hands with his left palm, carefully not tilting the plate full of food, he straight away asked if I could help his close friend Anil. Apparently, Anil had left his previous organisation without serving the notice period. The new employer asked him to leave without finishing probation. The old employer was not too happy with his ungraceful exit. Tough situation? Or bad strategic planning? The buzz word strategy is present in each organisation and every individual’s life.

What is it to have strategic planning at the organisational level? It is the process that defines how your company will create ongoing value for your stakeholders.

A project has a defined beginning and end, but the strategic plan is weaved through the organisation and is part of the entire lifecycle of the business.

Strategic planning helps to take the high-level concepts described in mission, vision, and values statements and have them brought to life by the activities and attitudes of every member of the organisation.

Now let us weave this into personal life.

To plan your career move, you need to look at four strategic points.

Achievement: Look through a magnifying glass and see for yourself for two pillars in your career graph. Competence and Challenging Problems are two highlights of the journey so far. Note each good point down. Remember that this is what you have earned. In any career move, these are non-negotiable for you.

Economic Security: Your expertise, fame in your field and influencing skills are your stanchion. See very critically, if the next opportunity has an option to use all of them. If not, will it leave you frustrated?Will the financials keep you motivated? If you are moving to entrepreneurship from a salaried job, even more, crucial to look at future potential then the current flow.

Status: Will there be any compromise in power and authority that you have today?The scope of personal development needs to be factored in as well. At a certain stage in life, one looks at getting a more meaningful work adding value to CV. What are you looking at in the move? A word of caution here, sometimes at an old job, the situation may not be bad enough to call quits but the temptation is an alluring bauble.

Culture: Sachin Ghosh soon decided to shift back to Goa where he had come from. “Goa and Bengal are very similar ma’am but not Surat. No fish in canteen here and no alcohol either,” He politely responded in the exit interview. The environment, people, food, and everything around plays a role. Look before you leap and do your research well.

Beyond these four points, incumbent Success is important for me. I will ask myself, how many people have succeeded or failed in this role and why? Higher success means more competition and failure means lack of innovation.Whatever it is, strategize well and the sky is yours without the glass ceiling.

Via Forbes : Three Career Planning Tactics From Wealthfront’s CFO And COO

When Ashley Fieglein Johnson was an executive at ServiceSource she was promoted four times in five years; From SVP to CFO to interim CEO and then Chief Customer Officer. She joined online financial advisor Wealthfront as CFO in 2015, assumed dual responsibility as CFO and COO a year later, and also runs a surf camp in Costa Rica. How did she plan her career to consistently seek out and excel in bigger roles? By ensuring she had the financial freedom to capitalize on opportunities and surrounding herself with mentors who helped shape her path. Here, she shares three tactics that propelled her career forward, gave her agency to design it and pave the way for the next generation.

Create an escape hatch to make career decisions without hesitation.

Fieglein Johnson’s first job out of Stanford was working with a disrespectful and occasionally frightening boss. Despite being a harrowing experience, it inspired her to start what she calls an escape hatch: A savings account with enough money to make decisions without risking your financial security (ideally for six months). “I never wanted to feel trapped like that again so I created a savings plan to ensure that I always have six months of runway so I can leave if and whenever I need to,” she says.

An escape hatch not only gives you decision-making power. It allows you to capitalize on opportunities, like joining an early stage startup or founding your own, and choose the career path you want to pursue. Fieglein Johnson first used her escape hatch when she was 30. After visiting Costa Rica and falling in love with the country, she purchased five acres of land to co-found Vista Guapa Surf Camp, a bed and breakfast she’s been running with her brother for 17 years. “Your escape hatch is the ability to say: ‘I just discovered something that is really important to me and I want to be connected to it.’ Whether it’s making a promising investment or starting a company, financial flexibility makes it possible to jump on the opportunities that come your way. You can’t predict them but they can be life-changing.”

Fieglein Johnson actively works to bridge the gender gap around saving and investing and frequently presents to women’s groups to help them structure their finances to achieve their life goals. The escape hatch is one of the first steps. She provides a straightforward process to create one today. Start by evaluating your spending habits for a representative month against your income. Look closely at your big expenses (like rent and car payments) and your variable expenses (like going to dinner or travel). Determine how much you spend every month and then multiply that number by three to six months, based on your comfort level, to find your escape hatch goal. Break down that number to reveal how much you need to save every month and where you need to alter your spending habits to reach it. It’s important to note that you should create an immediate plan to refill your escape hatch if and when you use it.

Prioritize mentors over role models.

Fieglein Johnson has had few role models during her two-decade rise in the finance and technology industries, which are traditionally male-dominated fields. She focused on finding mentors instead and urges aspiring leaders to seek ones who will actively support you throughout your career. “You want a mentor who really understands you and is committed to helping you make the best decisions at every point of your career,” she advises. “A role model may be someone you see yourself in, but it’s your mentors who will guide and sponsor you. That’s what really matters.” Her mentors continue to introduce her to new roles and help her navigate them. These are three of the best pieces of advice they’ve shared.

  • When Fieglein Johnson first started in investment banking, Michael Grimes, Head of Global Technology Investment Banking at Morgan Stanley, taught her that ‘the definition of success is when you are paid for your judgment, not your work.’ The insight gave her a landmark goal to aspire to at the start of her career.
  • During a challenging time leading ServiceSource as interim CEO, Benchmark Capital co-founder Bruce Dunlevie, who also introduced Fieglein Johnson to Wealthfront, advised her: ‘Have confidence in your instincts. They’ve gotten you this far and I think they are really good.’ There’s nothing he could have said or done that would have injected more confidence in me at that moment, she adds.
  • Peter Currie, former Netscape CFO, encouraged her to ‘always find joy in your work.’ She reflects on his advice daily to maintain perspective.

Create the conditions you deserve.

Beginning in her first job, Fieglein Johnson has faced challenges establishing herself as a traditional leader in the eyes of fellow senior executives and board members. The bar was and continues to be higher for her than a male with a similar background. While women often face these circumstances in relation to the glass ceiling, Fieglein Johnson also highlights glass walls: Subtle acts of sexism, some that may be unconscious, that hold women back daily. For example, when discussing a deal with a group of male colleagues who walk into the restroom, a woman must remain outside and is unable to contribute. Another is joining a conversation with male executives who instantly shift the focus to children in an effort to find common ground. Fieglein Johnson encourages women to take control in these situations so you can get what you want out of the interaction. “We have to persevere to break through the glass ceiling but we bump into glass doors all the time and they can be really disheartening,” she says. “The best thing you can do is say something and take action. Breaking through glass doors requires sustained effort and more women in leadership roles to eliminate these barriers for the next generation. It’s not always easy, but it’s vital that we walk through them one at a time.”

Via Economic Times : How to plan a career in changing job market

Remember the good old days? The streets were safe. Goods were cheap. Jobs were aplenty. You got promoted every few years. You had an income for life. But the world has changed. Neither your city nor your job is safe anymore. Hiring intentions are at a 12-year low in India as per a Manpower Group report.

Businesses are evolving or collapsing rapidly thanks to changes in multiple technologies and massive Internet penetration. Whatever job you do now will transform in three years or your employer will get it done cheaper and faster either through technology or by a younger replacement. Here’s how you can plan a career in a job market that will change more in the next five years than in the previous 50!

DYING ASSETS

Skills
Sticking to your current skill set is a sure shot way to becoming redundant. Are you an accountant who knows how to keep books? This single skill earlier could get you a job and keep you there for a lifetime. Just a few years back, this skill became useless if you could not use an accounting software.

Similarly, a single change called GST meant that your contribution to your employer dropped dramatically unless you were willing to learn new skills. Book-keepers now get paid much lower wages than a mere five years ago.

Knowledge
The knowledge that you hold today and spent years in acquiring and polishing is worth far lesser if you take even a single year sabbatical from continuous learning. With Internet penetration, knowledge is incredibly cheap and even the youngest patient and legal client questions and double checks the service he is getting versus the price he is paying.

Similarly, companies are learning that it is foolhardy and uncompetitive to pay senior professionals more for their knowledge alone. A youngster with less than half the experience can acquire that knowledge at a substantially lower salary.

Labour
Work hard and you will succeed is terrible standalone advice in the current job market. Merely trading in more hours of your labour will not work anymore. For every job that requires human hours, someone somewhere is working on technology to reduce time required to do a task to make you either more productive or redundant.

Companies are investing in bots to speak with online customers. IBM Watson scans all medical knowledge and a patient’s computerised history to accurately diagnose and prescribe thus reducing your role as a healthcare professional. From manufacturing to services to knowledge work, your labour hours are being replaced by technology solutions that help your company reduce costs and increase productivity.

Technology
If you are a technology-dependent professional, you know this better than anyone else. Massive changes in the technology that you used 2-3 years back forced you to head back to the classroom to upgrade or become irrelevant. Relying on your comfort with current technology in your job is the fastest route to losing your job to the next savvy professional who comes along.

Artificial intelligence in language/data, robotics/3D printing, Internet of Things in goods/manufacturing/labour and Internet/computing in knowledge/education are rapidly evolving technology spaces where your comfort levels in using them needs to keep pace to stay professionally relevant.

GROWTH ASSETS

Sales
Yuval Noah Harari in his book Sapiens ascribes evolutionary success to the ability of getting large numbers of people to work together. The primary difference between being merely skilled and being successful lies in how you work with others.

To achieve this, you require the ability to communicate and sell your ideas to others. As each person is different, you can relate to and deliver real value only when you figure out what individually matters to them. Work on your negotiation skills to master the art of reaching agreement on common goals and process.

Learning
Stay curious and stay hungry. If your current skills and knowledge are redundant, the only thing that you will ever require is the ability to learn. This is an acquired skill. The first step is to be intensely curious. Observe children who have the steepest learning curves simply because they are constantly curious about the world around them.

Let the work and success of others fascinate you enough to ask questions and read up on how they do what they do. Automate your learning process by constantly signing up for training available with your employer or online. No learning will ever go waste and no employer will ever let go of someone who can connect the dots across business and solve problems.

Creating
You will do well to set aside at least two hours every weekend to just pause and think. Ask yourself what happened in the previous week or month, what new knowledge you acquired and how can you improve your plan for the future.

As you invest in thinking, you will find yourself creating solutions for small problems at first and increasingly larger ones as you go along. Congratulations. Your creativity means future income for you!

HOW TO SURVIVE

Be paranoid
What could go wrong in your job? How will you find your next source of income? 28-year-old IITian Prabhkiran Singh—Cofounder at Bewakoof. com—believes constantly questioning what is working well helped his team build a Rs 60 crore profitable e-commerce startup without VC backing.

Double up
Get a second career, work a second shift, sell to a second client or acquire a second skill. Mayur Taday—Dy COO of a Rs 1,300 crore HR firm—believes constantly reinventing his career from sales to operations to product to startup helped him grow into a CXO role.

Stay fit
Investing in achieving high fitness levels increases ability and time required for learning and growth. Abhijit Yadav, an ex-Navy officer believes five hours a week in squash and golf gave him the energy, positivity and drive to rise to a Director from scratch in five years.

Stay sharp
To stay alive and kicking in your career, keep your mind ticking by constantly challenging and feeding it. Rustom Batlivala, a successful finance and investment professional, with careers in consulting, advertising and PE stays sharp by reading, learning music and meeting experts every week.

Grow people
The way to attract and lead people is to teach them, help them solve problems and unlock their potential. Shishir Gorle, CEO of Innovource, a staffing company, rose to the top by leveraging his armed forces experience to invest in people and helping them surpass their goals.

Via Forbes : Five Common Mistakes People Make When Seeking Their Next Career Move — And What To Do Instead

Maybe it’s because the academic year is kicking off (a new beginning!), or the calendar year is winding down (it’s nearly the end!), but I’m hearing from a lot of professionals antsy for their next career move. When people say they want to move on but they haven’t already done so, then there’s clearly something holding them back. Below are five common mistakes people make when trying to find their next career move and suggestions for what to do instead:

Mistake 1: you wait for the change, instead of designing it yourself

One experienced professional contacted me after being given more responsibility, which could have been seen as a positive change, but impacted her negatively since the additional work came without additional compensation. This was a wake-up call to look around but she had no idea where to start and was now busier than ever so had even less time for career planning.

Don’t be so busy responding to everything around you that you end up with a career by default. At least this professional was greeted with more work (albeit too much of it!). Other people come to understand the value of proactive career planning when they’re laid off or their nice boss leaves or they discover how far under market they are being paid.

If you only respond after a change happens, then you miss the opportunity to design your ideal next career move. Instead, set regular reminders in your calendar for proactive career management. Quarterly, set a reminder to update your resume, online profile and achievement portfolio. Monthly, set a reminder to reach out to your broader network, beyond who you might connect with more regularly. Weekly, set a reminder to update your social media or return recruiter phone calls. These reminders can be scheduled into your electronic calendar, so you set it once and have an accountability partner year-round.

Mistake 2: you wait for a better time, instead of making the time right

Another professional contacted me intending to make a move but then postponed some of the homework I suggested because of a work deadline, then postponed a session because of work travel, and then asked for a pause in the coaching plan because of a particularly busy time at work. Keep in mind that all her running around was for a job she said she didn’t want any longer!

If you wait for a better time to start working on your next career move, that time will never come. You have to make the time. You have to ruthlessly cut things out of your schedule till you free up enough hours to get some traction on your job search or your business venture or just some free time if you need to experiment to find your next career move.

Aim for one block of several hours one to two days per week. Then add some dedicated time during your work day because some things have to be done during normal work hours. If you start small and build from there, you give yourself a chance to get used to your new schedule.

Mistake 3: you overlook opportunities right in front of you, instead of always keeping an open mind

As both a recruiter and a career coach, I know that recruiter phone calls often go unanswered. Busy professionals will insist they don’t have the time to return the call. In five to ten minutes with a recruiter, you can hear about the market, get a sense of how competitive you are, and possibly get a lead into an opportunity you might like. How can you not make the time?

I’ve heard that many calls are actually frogs, not princes, because the opportunity at hand isn’t a fit. But if you are getting called for the wrong thing, then you should be using these calls to pinpoint why this is happening. Is someone from your past referring you at too junior a level? If so, contact that person, thank them profusely for thinking of you (getting referred by someone is a compliment!), and inform them about what you’re currently doing and interested in. If you’re lucky enough to have someone so in your corner that they refer you, you want to cultivate that relationship.

If it’s not a specific person who is positioning you as too junior (or the wrong industry or whatever else is wrong about the opportunities you’re hearing about) then it might be you — in your online profile or in an old resume you have languishing in a career site somewhere — that is incorrectly positioning yourself. Take the time to return phone calls and figure out how you’re perceived in the market!

Mistake 4: you only look at opportunities that are right in front of you, instead of taking a step back or a broader perspective to design exactly what you want

On the flip side is the person who jumps at whatever opportunity s/he gets called about, without objectively thinking about whether this next career move makes sense. If you’re unhappy where you are, the temptation is great to assume that any other opportunity is better, but not every career move is a good move.

Setting regular reminders for career planning and career management activities (see point 1) is a good antidote to overly hasty decision-making. In addition, if you do hear of an opportunity, even if it sounds amazing or it’s for a company you’ve always been interested in, research two or more competitors to that company. At a minimum, you’ll get market information that will make you more credible to the initial company. Even better, you might uncover additional leads for your next career move, which gives you leverage, if you can stay in play with multiple companies at a time.

Mistake 5: you fixate on only one option, instead of pursuing multiple leads

Pursuing multiple leads is critical to thoughtful career planning. If you fixate on only one option and that option doesn’t work out, you have to stop and start your search all over again. Sometimes leads don’t pan out, and it has nothing to do with you – budget for the role gets pulled, someone internal takes the spot, the position description is tweaked but just enough so you’re no longer right for it.

In addition, multiple leads give you leverage in the interview and offer negotiation process. You’ll be more confident about asking for what you want and deserve, when all your hopes aren’t pinned to any one company. You’ll be more attractive to companies because people want what other people want, and companies hate losing out to a competitor.

Finally, pursuing multiple leads is a form of experimentation which you should be doing regularly throughout your career. You can’t know everything about a company or a position until you dig deeper – take that exploratory meeting, return for that callback interview, listen to the details of an offer before making assumptions about what a company will do or not. Don’t be so quick to shut down discussions!

As we kick off another school year and wind down another calendar year, it’s a natural inflection point to considering your next career move. Take this opportunity to be proactive and thoughtful about what comes next. If you find yourself making one of the five mistakes above, use this post to stop yourself and try one of the other suggestions. If you’ve successfully made a move, what has worked for you?

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