So have you set your goals for 2017 and your New Year resolutions? How about your career? When life is busy, time for strategic career management thinking is almost always not set as a priority, both in organisations and as individuals. Even where there are interventions in place at work and it is part of the organisation’s values to ensure individuals are developed to the level required, it is often viewed as another pressure on top of the already heavy workload and becomes a demotivator.

On a personal level, working for months or years without regular reflective activity around continued professional development and career management, can lead to becoming stagnant, working in the ‘wrong’ role – not utilising strengths and even becoming complacent in a role. This creates barriers for change, promotion, new opportunities and impacts both on the organisation and other team members. Managing careers is the responsibility of the individual and also the organisation to provide the right support to ensure it happens successfully at different times of the career cycle.

  • Our career direction is decided upon for many different reasons and often this is influenced by external factors (economy, technical advances, political influences, social changes, increased competition for jobs and, internal drivers such as our values, dreams, passions and ambitions. Our ‘personality’ preferences pay a huge role throughout our career management and will influence how we deal with change, make our decisions and organise our lifestyles.
  • Once we have secured employment, the next stage is focused on being the best we can in the role and adding value, as well as continual professional development, enhancing our skills, behaviours and knowledge of the role and the organisation. It is quite often during this stage that we realise we are demotivated in our career decision – the role or the organisation culture are not a good fit, or alternatively, we realise that we are capable of ‘more’.
  • This leads us to make decisions on a change in our career pathway; applying for promotion, a sideways move or just ‘putting up’ with the role because it pays the bills and allows a reasonable lifestyle. It may be that we want to experience new organisations and new locations.
  • Inevitably organisations change due to economic, political, technical and market forces which leads to the re-organisation of people within the organisation. This drives restructures, redundancies and involves losing some of the organisations professional tacit knowledge and skills learnt over time or a change in job roles. Career resilient people are more likely to survive this stage whether it is redundancy or a change in role because they have built their resilience over time through strategic career planning and the right continued professional development.
  • This will now lead us to either realise our career vision and self-actualisation or become continually dissatisfied, frustrated and even resentful that our careers have not gone to plan and perhaps ‘blame’ others and circumstances.

A good starting point is to ask yourself some questions?

  • Am I happy in my current role?
  • Does the culture of the organisation meet my values?
  • Am I utilising my strengths?
  • What is my prime motivator?
  • Am I looking for a new role or change in career direction?

A career coach will help you explore the above and help you to set clear career objectives, including personal, professional and development goals. Look at 2017 as an opportunity to explore and have the career you want.

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