on 17 October 18
You can’t be successful in your career by accident. Career success is the reward of your talent, hard work, luck, learning and a plan carefully managed and put to work.
Do you have a career development plan?
Do you have a career plan? Have you documented your long and short-term goals, areas of interest, and areas for further improvement? For your own benefit, do you know your strengths and weaknesses?
We are not referring to the ones you fill in during your performance review every year, which you have scribbled few lines on what you would like to do over the next year.
And you know that those objectives are hardly talked about until the next review. This has happened for ages, your organization may not be as invested as you are about your career development. So it’s you who have to take an active interest and put a plan to yourself.
If you are working in IT sector then you should definitely have a plan before competition takes your job. It’s a super competitive world and organizations hire talent purely based on skills. So here are five reasons why you should have a plan for your career path and work on it.
1. A Career Development plan will stop you from getting stuck in a rut
You aren’t going to be promoted based on your tenure anymore. If you are still performing the same tasks for which you have been hired for then you should also make up your mind for being underpaid for the rest of your career.
These days you may become redundant in your organization, despite your loyalty, because someone with higher entry-level skills can do your job even faster and are paid less. So without a clear career plan, you are taking the risk of going through a slow and painful path to an unfulfilling career.
You can look around in your office, you get to see someone who have been doing the same thing for years and are going nowhere. You may find it in your colleague who could be still doing manual testing / html coding for years. You can find them in different teams (horizontal/vertical), who get stuck in the rut. The only thing they have in common is that they have taken their career development for granted. You don’t want to be one among them.
2. A Career development plan will help you overcome your weaknesses
We all know how well or how bad we’ve been doing at our work. There could be those little things that you may have started to ignore but your colleagues remember very well like the long lunch hours, requesting a friend to cover for you. You may get away with it now but you’re not fooling anyone.
Your sweet talk may be well-like but if you don’t address those little things it could lead to a career suicide later on. You never know when you would cross the wrong person, or the management might change, or the company could start downsizing based on under performance. Without your notice, those shortcomings could suddenly be looked as major areas of inefficiency.
You may defend but what is the need to play cat and mouse games. Bottom-line, if you are not identifying areas for improvement, and not working on getting better and better at your work, sooner or later, you may lose your job.
3. A career development plan will help define your future career path
The three universal reasons behind why we work are Survive, Save and Serve, says Bob Bury in his book The Go-Giver. The first 2 stages are about meeting our basic needs and enjoying life with what we save. But very few realize the purpose of their work i.e., making a meaningful contribution to the society around us.
If we never cultivate the habits of accomplishing our career goals then we shall miss on the opportunity to drive our careers towards the path of significance. Of course you don’t want to wake up one day to just realize that you hated your job so much, that you never made and attempt to get things right.
So having a career development plan will not only give you the opportunity to review your skills that are in demand, but also identify additional skills that are required to perform and progress in your career.
Find out which IT skills can help you in your career progression
4. A career development plan will help you to take charge of your own career advancement
Think about the number of times have you blamed external forces for everything that you didn’t want to happen in your work. Your career development plan will help you take responsibility for all your actions. Be it attending a course to pickup new skills that would help you in your promotion or monitoring and applying to the right career opportunities before they are gone.
Since childhood we have been seeing and learning things from others. When we have no idea, we look into others for suggestions, similarly if you are having trouble in identifying your career paths, or discuss about your career progression, you can always look towards experts in your field for guidance.
It gives you the power in your own hands to steer your career in the right direction.
IT Career Coaches to help you in your career progression
5. A career development plan will give you the confidence you need to succeed.
With a career development plan in place, you have ownership over all aspects of your career.
You can overcome your weakness, decide on your career goals, and put meaningful targets to achieve them. You have a clear idea on what you want to accomplish and what progress you have made so far. The little progress you make keeps you motivated to achieve more and more.
So you no longer have to struggle to list out your achievements during performance reviews, or preparing for your assessment and promotion meetings.
Creating and maintaining a career development plan will place you firmly on your career path to success.