Career Development, Career Planning

by on March 7, 2011

To climb the ladder of success we try anything and everything ever known by us. We behave extra nice and go out of our way to impress the senior management. We make it a habit to always meet our deadlines. Organize our time. Provide the most innovative and creative ideas that will help in the growth of our employer. In a lot of cases we are more then willing to change our field of work to simply achieve success. There are a lot of people who change their field of work after copious years in a completely different field. After investing a few years and a lot of hard work they are willing to waste all the experience and start fresh. What I fail to understand is that why does a person give up and is willing to work extra hard in a new field whereas if he puts in the extra work in the existing field, success will positively belong to him. What a person does not understand is that it is not only about hard work but smart working is also required to achieve the desired result.

Changing of fields does not come with a guarantee of success. What will you do if the new industry does not also provide the required success? Change the industry once again? Switching between industries is not an advisable option. One should stick to his field of work and gradually move towards success. It is not as difficult as it may sound.

If you believe that you have already given the best and still have not got your share of success think again.  Remember there is always a scope of improvement. If you look back on your style of working and think about it from the perspective of your employer, the result will be obvious. To be successful a person needs to be open to suggestions and always be willing to learn. What one does not understand is that a sensible advice can always increase his knowledge without making any effort. When a person is giving an advice he is sharing a piece of knowledge which came with time, effort and experience. Never ignore this advice. With every bit of increasing knowledge you are getting closer to success.The process of acheving success in ones career takes a lifelong of hard work. Everthing is required to be carefully studied and planned.

The Career Planning covers areas like choosing of an occupation, getting a job, growing in your job, achieving the desiired growth and eventually retiring. This a very important part of our life. One wrong decision can make you regret your decision. Everything you do is directly related to your future. So before you make any hasty decision make it a point to think twice. Understand every point and the consequences of your decision completely. Do some research, talk to more experienced personnals and read about the future possibilities of the chosen oportunity. Only when you have complete faith in your decision, go ahead with the implying part of it.

The Procedure for Achieving Success

There are certain procedures that you can follow to achieve the traits of an employee completely eligible for the next promotion. These are thing that would have been right in front of you but you failed to comprehend them. Even after seeing them everyday in our professional life we fail to register them and understand their importance.

When a colleague gets promoted the first question that comes to our mind is that what he did to deserve this promotion. We feel that we are working twice as hard as he is and we still fail to get the promotion. There might not be any doubt that you are a hard worker but what you really need to ask yourself is that are you a smart worker. The extra that your colleague does is that he pays attention to the minuscule details required to show his eligibility for the promotion. Today you would see how these small little things make all the difference and help you achieve the desired result. If you are truly serious about your career start paying attention to these miniscule details.

The first thing required by you is planning. Every step in your career should be carefully and strategically planed. You need to pay attention to everything. Plan everyday in advance till the time you don’t intend to retire. Think about the goals you would like to achieve in your profession life. Once you know the goals, map out the strategies required to achieve them. Remember the senior management is always analyzing your every move. They exactly know what you are doing during the working hours. It is a part of their job profile. So the next time you think of doing something unethical, think again. It takes an epoch to make an impression but just a few minutes of unethical behavior can ruin the entire endeavor.

The entire process of planning can be divided in two sections, short-term planning and long term planning. As the names suggest the short term planning pertains of the goals you would like to achieve in the near future whereas the Long-term planning is all about the goals you need to achieve to reach the top. They might be two different sections but remember that every decision made by you during the short-term planning will directly effect your long term planning. When you are making the plans do think about alternate options and the effects of the future decisions that will be made by your colleagues and senior management. Do not get adamant about your decisions.  When a person gets adamant on a particular decision there is a strong possibility of him not being able to pay attention to the alternate options coming his way.

Short Term Career Planning For Progress

We will first talk about the short- term planning. This is where you need to decide what you want to achieve in the next couple of years. Thinks about what you want and how will you achieve the desired goal. Make sure what ever you aim to achieve should be completely realistic and attainable. If you decide on unrealistic goals it is obvious that you will only accomplish disappointment.

Analyze the obstacles in your professional and personal life. There are numerous things in your personal life that can affect your professional growth. Traits like apathy, Laziness, procrastination and lack of motivation can cause an immense amount of damage. There are a lot of people who get affected by the pressure from family and friends. Comparison with siblings or friends can be extremely annoying. There are parents who would constantly keep making you realize how a certain friend or a sibling is at a higher position and earning much more. Though their intention is just to motivate you to do better but what they don’t realize is that at times it can work as a negative and give a feeling of dismay.

Remember there is nothing constant in life. There might be situation where you might be required to change your plan. There is nothing wrong with that, in today’s word everything is changing fast. You need to move with the changing time in order to achieve the best result. Go with the flow of time. Do not be stagnant. As the famous saying goes, stagnant water will always stink. No organization wants there employees to be outdated. They are always in search for new innovative methods of working and they want their employees to summarily adapt the new procedures.

To accomplish best results the first thing you need to do is evaluate your lifestyle. Analyze every aspect of your standard for living. You need to know what you have and what you need to make your style of survival satisfactory. You should know every materialistic thing you require. Throughout our life we keep compromising on the things we desire. This compromising makes us sad from within. If a person is not satisfied with his lifestyle it will surely leave an impression on his professional life. Calculate if the current job is providing the basic luxuries you want. Then explore the possibilities you have in the current field of work. In the near future can you accomplish the realistic luxuries you seek? When deciding on the lifestyle you want be pragmatic. If you will set your greed free it will indubitably lead you to discontent and jealousy. You have to be extremely careful with your thoughts, in a lot of causes while trying to find the negatives in the current lifestyle people start feeling that their life is appalling. Try to take it in a positive manner. Remember you are only doing this to improve your present existence. Whatever your state might be there is always a hope for development. With the right guidance and hard work you will be able to achieve the desired lifestyle. Never give up, as giving up will make you loose the battle of life even before trying.

Now that you are familiar with the details of your lifestyle, lets us draw our attention to a few of your personal traits. You are required to analyze your likes and dislikes. This list should include every possible detail. You need to pay attention to what kind of activities, books and television shows you like or dislike. Think carefully about each and every topic. Evaluate if your current job is supportive enough for your likes.  By doing this you would be able to know if the current job is able to provide you with ample support to fulfill your needs. It is giving you the opportunity to do what you like. Being able to follow ones hobby is extremely important.

You must be wondering why we are discussing your personal life. You wanted to know the procedure for growth in your professional life. There is an extremely valid point behind it. Ones personal life is directly connected with your professional life. Whatever happens in the personal life definitely leaves an impression in your professional life. Never underestimate the affect of dissatisfaction in ones personal life. There are numerous people who do not pay attention to the compromises they make in the personal life and eventually land up paying the price for this ignorance. You do not want to be one of them. Pay adequate amount of attention to your personal needs. This will help you gain success and more importantly peace of mind. If one does not have the peace of mind no matter what you achieve the joyous feeling of success will never come.

Ask yourself, what is that extra that you have to offer to your employer. Think in terms of your strength and flaws. When it comes to your strength you can analyze your leadership qualities, capability to adapt new procedures, education, technical knowledge and the capability to develop new profitable ideas. Remember there are no free lunches in this world. You are doing no favors on the employer by simply doing your job. You are simply doing a job which you are getting paid for. When a person starts feeling that he is doing a favor to the organization it becomes impossible for him to see things straight. He will never be able to focus on his job or the career plan chosen by him. If you are facing the same problem clear your head from these negative thoughts immediately. Look towards the positive aspects of your current job and employer. This will help you in seeing the brighter side of your present condition. One can never make a right decision with a claustrophobic mind. Before you choose to make any decision about your career clear your mind first.

The most important thing to achieve success is to know what success actually means to you. A lot of people do not even know what success actually means to them but spend a lifetime trying to achieve it. How can you aim to reach a destination when you don’t even know what your destination is? You need to know what exactly you consider as success, only then you can strategies the way of achieve it. Analyze what is the most important thing for you. Is it money, fame, peace of mind or all of the mentioned categories? There is no harm in feeling the need of money, fame and peace of mind all together but remember when you desire all there is an equal amount of patience required to achieve them. Do not be impatient as it will leave a sour taste in your mind.

Understand a few things about your personality. The things required to be figured out is if you enjoy change or would prefer to follow a fixed schedule. There are people who get bored by following the same schedule for a long period. On the other hand a lot of people get uncomfortable with a slight change in there schedule. With even a little change they get cold feet. You can simply match the result with your job profile. See if the current job is matching your peculiarity. If by any chance there is a disparity, try to figure out ways to solve the problem within the range of your job. If you will give it a serious thought I am sure you will be able to find a solution for this problem. Keep in mind that there is always a solution. One is just required to make the effort in finding it. Once you find the solution and are able to imply it, life will be simpler and your performance at work will definitely improve.

There are certain things you would still be required to unearth. Think about your ideal job that comes with a guarantee of happiness. What you need to know is the basic requirement for professional satisfaction. You can analyze things like work environment, industry, position, authority and remuneration.  Think about what truly motivates you. The purpose of this study is to help you understand what you want from your professional life. A lot of people are moved by the remuneration and many are just interested in fame. Whatever is your motivation be true to yourself. If you want fame, money and peace of mind together do not get disheartened. It is completely attainable. Do not scrutinize yourself for being greedy. If it is in a moderate amount, greed can also help in achieving your targets. Do remember it has to be in a moderate amount and you can only be the judge to what is judicious. Greed is an extremely complicated trait. If in your control it can do wonders but if you let greed rule your mind it will completely ruin you. Be extremely cautious with this trait and if you decide to use it to as a motivation, be completely sure that if required you will be able to control it. Once you know your wants from your professional life, explore the options available to know which one of them can help you attain the desired result. Do not be judgmental about your options. Make it a point that whatever your decision might be it is completely based on facts not on certain shallow conjectures. Do not only imply this rule only for the above mentioned situation. This should be your modus operandi for every decision made by you in professional and personal life.

Once you have the information about your personality, dream job, lifestyle required, skills and what is success use all this information to analyze your current situation. To be precise where you stand and what you need. You need to clearly understand what the problems are in your current job. What are the issues that are holding you back and not letting you perform the best to attain the required results? Everything is interrelated. You need to understand the importance of each and every factor clearly. Here you need to figure out the reasons responsible for the lack of motivation. After you have done the required research on the reasons you have to also find the solutions. For example if you feel the stress of your job is making you into a short tempered person. You can take care of this concern by picking up some activities like a walk, reading a book, listening music or even writing a diary.

You have been now able to sort the basic issues of your job and requirements in your personal life. Now you are required to pay attention to your career moves. Till now you might have thought about the multiple career moves. You need to sort out the feasible option. When you are doing this make sure you think about the benefits the move will provide and it that option providing you the path to achieve success. Find out every minute detail of the possible move. While finding out the details do not rely on a single source.  See what different sources have to say about the chosen move. Once you have all the information analyze every bit of it before you come to a decision. Do also find out about the experience and the qualification required. If by any chance you do not have the required experience or the qualification find out about the alternates that can make up for the lack. If you think the alternate required is achievable only then think about the next step required. If you plan to achieve the qualification required, positively explore every realistic option. Study the interview patterns of the job. Compare the chosen move with your current job.  When comparing, make a list of positives of both the options. Do not make bias decisions. Be honest with yourself and the research.  When we are unhappy with the current situation there is a strong possibility of us giving an extra extol to the available option. One will never be able to judge the situation properly if he is not completely honest with the research done.

If you believe the move is not feasible there are two options available for you.  First would be to choose an alternate attainable move. The second would be to analyze the reasons. You would be required to note the qualities lacking. Then strategies a procedure to attain the qualities required. If you feel that attaining the qualities will require a lot of time I would suggest the first option of choosing the alternate move, as waiting for long is not a sensible idea.

Whatever short term goal you set for your career, it should be practical and completely achievable. You do not need disappointment in the early stage of your career.  Aim to work toward a steady growth as this is the only way to success.

Long Term Career Planning For Progress

As we have discussed the short-term planning for your career now we shall focus on the long term goals. Till now you have understood the details of your current job, personal requirements and the next professional move. All these factors will influence directly or indirectly your long-term goals.

By long-term goals we mean what would you want to achieve in the next five to ten years of your professional life. The difference between the short-term and long term plans is that in long-term plans one has to see the bigger picture. You need to first decide what you want to achieve in the longer run. Once you have decided on the position desired start working on the research for the skills required. Everybody wants to achieve a place in the senior most management of the organization. But every post comes with its share of responsibilities.  You would be required to have the basic qualities like team building capabilities, leadership qualities, innovating new creative ideas for the progress of the organization, excellent communication and social skills. Besides the basic skill you would also be required to have certain qualities that no one in the organization has. If you are not able to prove your superiority among the other employees your not eligible for the senior management.

To achieve the required skills you need to start working on them from today. It requires a lot of experience and practice to become the best. Make a note of the skills that would be required in your field and start working on them. Always be willing to learn. Knowledge is the key to success and it does not matter where you get it from, be it your own experience, books or advises given by others. Whatever you learn today will be utilized in the future.  Nothing will go for a waste.

Be polite with your colleagues and the senior management. Never flaunt your knowledge to show someone down. You cannot afford to be arrogant at this stage of your career.

Keep a track of the developments with time in your industry. One the important quality of the senior management is that they always know the latest news. One is required to be well informed. It is very simple if you are in the senior management everybody will come to you for all the answers. You would be required to have the solution for every problem. If by any chance you are not able to resolve the query your capabilities will be immediately questioned. To avoid this embarrassment you would be required to work towards your goal right from the beginning.  Handling the responsibilities of the senior management is not easy at all. It is much more difficult than you think it is.

To achieve the desired position you are not only required attain knowledge. One should also show that he is capable of handling responsibilities. Start taking extra responsibilities. Make an initiative toward planning and implying new ideas for the growth of the organization. Everybody is capable of fulfilling the duties in their job profile.  An organization is always looking for an employee who is not only completing his duties but making an extra effort to improve the working of the company. Make sure whatever extra you do is noticed by the senior management. Learn to socialize with your fellow workers.  It is extremely important for you to learn the ability to mingle with your colleagues and senior management. This habit will help when you achieve your long-term goal.  Work on your decision making skills. You should be accurate with your decisions. Even if you are in any kind of a doubt do everything possible to make sure nobody besides you knows about your confusion.  Today is the preparation time for the most important test you will give in future. The result of this will decide if your dreams will come true or not. Be always prepared as success does not come with a time schedule.

The ability to keep going is necessary to achieve success in your field. No matter what the situation is never give up. I can assure you if one is able to work hard and make sure there is complete honesty in work nothing can take the share of his success away. Never be afraid of making a mistake. It is completely normal for a man to make mistakes. A sensible person is one who learns from his mistakes and never repeats them. If you ever face failure do not get disheartened. Think what wrong you did that resulted in this blunder. Once you are able to find the problem try and learn from it. Do not keep complain about the problems you are facing. Every organization wants his employees to have the capability to adjust in the available situation and be thankful for what is being provided to them. Be loyal to your organization. If you are ever in a situation where all your colleagues are complaining about the employer try not to be a part of complaining. If possible show a little extra loyalty and defend your employer.

If you want to achieve all your goals make sure you pay attention to every minute detail mentioned.  Growth in career does not happen overnight. You would be required to be patient to achieve the best possible result.

Create a Career Development Plan

Download the free career development plan worksheet and take the small career assessment test to find out your own strength and areas of improvement. It will help you know yourself better and finally you will know how to proceed to your goal in a systematic way.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Katie May 9, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Thanks for the helpful article! Very insightful!


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