Who’s in charge of your career?
In a recent survey conducted, it was discovered that the leading reason why staff leave their jobs was due to lack of career prospects. As a headhunter, I often encounter that as well. Many candidates may enjoy the work they do or love their bosses, but if they do not see a clear career path in their near future, they will move.
The scary part is that many candidates I talk to feel unhappy that their company has not provided them with a clear career development plan. They speak as though it is their employer’s obligation to furnish them with a black and white plan.
Many years ago, when I joined Shell, I was actually given such a plan for the first 5 years of my career. I was told that I was to be rotated amongst various functions and by Year 5, my expected salary and job grouping would be X and Y. All I had to do was to focus on getting my job done.
Today, such 5-year career development plans are not very common. Why? I think it’s because the average length of stay on a job has shrunk to 3 years and people just don’t want to stick around to see what the company will offer in 5 years, when a headhunter with a better offer is courting them in year 4. Hence, companies are not really inclined to manage your career for you anymore.
So, the onus of planning your own career falls upon yourself. You have to start asking yourself, “Where do I want to be in 5 years’ time? Do I still want to be in this industry? Do I enjoy this function (HR/Sales/Finance/etc)? Do I want to be in a larger regional role?”
The final responsibility for career planning lies with you, not your company. Do you have a Career Strategy™ today? Read the other articles on this site or buy the book for more ideas on that!