So, how are your new year's resolutions going? Are you on the right track to reach your goals that you set between two drinks on New Year's Eve?
Have you thought about including your career plan in your resolutions?
If the answer's yes and you still intend to make this a pivotal year, it is better to prepare for it in advance. Your career is something that you should plan. If you're always waiting for something to change, you will never reach your expected goals.
Three years is the average time used in career management and business succession planning. This gives enough time to obtain a new diploma, prepare for the transfer of knowledge of a person who is planning on retiring or become fully at ease in a position...and therefore consider upcoming challenges.
Ask yourself : Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
Are you planning to go up the ranks? Start now in order to obtain a graduate degree in management. It is better to diversify your skills, especially if one day you want to have employees under your responsibility.
Do you intend to seek more diversity in your tasks along with new challenges? Watch out for new trends in your field and give yourself three years to specialize in a specific niche. Be proactive : the market and organizations are evolving quickly, you have to anticipate changes in your area of expertise, so when your organization has grown enough to create new positions, you'll be more than ready!
When I started my master's degree in change management, there was no position in this field in my organization, but I knew that it was an up and coming specialty that I wanted to add to my resumé. Three years later, when I completed my master's, my organization had structured itself towards this field and my manager was willing to offer me a position since I was the only one who had this sought-after expertise.
Skillfully managing your career does not necessarily mean going up the hierarchy. Too often I see people wishing to be promoted for the wrong reasons. Money, prestige and status are not the right ingredients to make you a good manager.
When I graduated from university, I already saw myself as a manager with a team under me. Seven years later, I have completely abandoned this goal. I know myself better and I accomplish myself rather in the support, the diversity of projects and the teamwork that my professional position allows me to experience everyday.
My progress comes from a constant expansion of my skills; I try to add at least one new skill to my tool box every year. Thanks to these skills, I have had the opportunity to hold four different positions over seven years by accepting various assignments, even if they were temporary. This versatility allowed me to position myself favourably in several departments of my organization. Don't be afraid to move and share your knowledge with the other departments. Managing your career horizontally instead of waiting for this promotion to come is just as beneficial and satisfying. Think about it!
Too often we wait until we are unhappy in our current job to change things, but when we get there, it's a sign that it's already too late. Allow yourself to always be ahead of the pack by anticipating the coming changes. It will be much more motivating and much less unsettling!
Gone are the days when we could spend 35 years in the same position. Employers are always looking for skilled, forward thinking and innovative employees. Spending too much time in the same job, however competent you may be, will inevitably slow you down in your progress.
In short, MOVE! This is as relevant in career management as in sticking with your resolutions!
Article by Marjorie Brisson