In conditions of change, you can successfully plan your professional development. Here are five steps on how to do it.
Pushing the boundaries
First, ask yourself the central question: what exactly do I mean by “building a career”?
Unfortunately, society still believes a career is only a way to lead. But this is another myth of the creators of “successful success.” A specialist in a narrow niche can earn as much as his manager and even more. Also, a generalist can be no less influential than his director.
A specialist can narrow competence to personnel assessment and be super-demanded by large companies. They are looking for a person with various assessment tools who understands when to use them and has methods for multiple departments and industries.
The other pole is HR Generalist. Such a person knows a little of each direction and can gain the necessary expertise depending on the task. It is a tasty morsel for many companies, significantly growing ones. For example, I got to HRBP (HR Business Partner. – Ed.) because of my vast expertise in many projects.
Such experts can influence the level of HR Director and earn no less. However, they are lower in the hierarchy.
You can get burned if you go into management out of necessity and not desire. We had an example at TECHIIA when they transferred a designer to the lead position. Still, everyone quickly realized that constant communication and other managerial tasks almost did not drive him. He rolled back to his last job and found new ways to add value and pay.
Choose an approach
There are two main approaches to career planning.
“I know where I want to go, and I pave the path there. To illustrate, I want to be the head of my department, and I upgrade certain skills. Whatever it is, I will realize this goal here or elsewhere.”
At a career consultation, I had a client who wanted to work purely in intellectual property. The experience was small, but the desire was huge. So much so that she knocked on all companies without stopping and on all channels; ultimately, they took her to one of the best law firms in Ukraine – they could not resist her energy.
Or a case not from a career. A friend of mine once decided to live in Portugal. Despite my warnings that they needed to prepare carefully and that it would take a year or two, after a week, she took a backpack, $400, and left. I found a place to live and a job. I have been there for over a year.
I respect this approach. True, it is more suitable for people on whom loved ones are not very dependent because a rigid binding to one thing and experiments is a risk. Especially now, when the company may turn on optimization tomorrow, the profession and the whole industry may die due to the crisis.
Highlight the target
The next question is: “What and how much do I need?”
When we rely on external guidelines, we overestimate our needs. Because of this, the whole point of a career can fly to hell.
Fresh example. The head of a large department of a successful, stable business came to me for a consultation. The processes are well-established, and the team is excellent. But he is tired and looking for “a job that should bring pleasure.” He wants to free himself and get a project manager in a creative agency.
We found out that the client needs to see the results of their work and be closer to something good. At the current work, there were only numbers and plates. But he only saw the shell. The project’s work involves many tasks in conditions of uncertainty, difficult communication with creatives and customers, and the cosmic pace of work.
Lastly, the client honestly admitted to himself that he wanted to feel beautiful, but not in this way. In conclusion, it is worth starting a hobby related to creativity: drawing, organizing exhibitions, and the like.
Explore the zone of proximal development
In career development, I identify four main areas:
- Leading position
- Functional expansion
- Transfer to another job
- Complete career change
There is a conditional fifth way – a need that can be closed right here: recognition, influence, and gratitude. And there is a road “to the neighboring forest” – your own business. But this is a separate big topic.
When you have specifically defined a direction for yourself, I recommend that you, In the first place, take a closer look at your current site of work. Perhaps this is where your desired position is?
Every company has written and unwritten success stories. Often, the latter is of value, which you will not find in career matrices from HR.
There are companies where they like it when a person is straight and sharp, and there are teams where it is customary to grind sharp corners. In some companies, the chief accountant runs everything. In others, HR has the final say.
Identify the gap and how to bridge it
If your plans are not related to the current place of work, you should determine the gap between what you already have and what you need in a new position. There are three tools for this.About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud platform where their QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools are hosted in an efficient SSO environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.