Although interviewers and your parents may ask you about it, think of 5-20 years of your career plans as a relic from the previous century. A long-term plan is redundant in the life of the modern professional, since at the current rate of disruption, 50% of his skills may be useless in five years. To begin, consider your education. More than 90% of the workforce is involved in jobs unrelated to what they studied upon graduation. So how do you operate successfully without a long-term plan? Keep reading.
- Comfort skills
If the lack of a long-term plan makes you uncomfortable or insecure, take an inventory of your skills and accomplishments to date. The results should lower your stress levels. If not, you need to drive new learnings or increase your skillset. Think of your career as an extension of the university where you invest in continuing education to grow.
Only a solid set of evolving skills will bring you help and growing income regardless of market changes. To choose the right skills to acquire, ask how you can add value. Imagine if you were a service company, what skills could you offer to other companies and how easily could you generate income? Therefore, if you are a Japanese translator in a small city, your income may depend solely on online freelance work.
- Price of the comfort zone
The opposite of insecurity is confidence misplaced in the present. If you have a steady job and are happy to carry on forever, then you are probably lulled into a false comfort zone where you are not taking any action. The price of inaction is high because if your business rotates or your work is disrupted by technology, you may not have a backup plan. The proper comfort zone is created only through actions taken to generate new possibilities.
- An execution plan
If you can’t live in fear or in a comfort zone, and you can’t rely on a long-term career plan, the only thing that works is a broad career direction and current work plan that you update regularly. If you started out as an accounting executive, then your career direction might be looking for rapid growth opportunities in accounts and finance, while your immediate plan is to master your current skills and learn new things in auditing, consulting, or the law.
- A YES every day
Say yes to something new every day, whether a colleague asks you to watch a new presentation, a salesperson takes you to a meeting with a client, a senior manager from another industry wants to chat, or your boss asks you to volunteer for a new one. draft. Each yes is a new risk that you can explore to grow and find new opportunities. For best results, create a plan to address each risk, whether it’s the client meeting or a new project. Remember, if you are already in the midst of a personal or professional crisis, say no to new risks until the crisis passes.
- Connections and opportunities
Are you so engrossed in your work that your communication is limited to the few people you meet every day? Do your career a favor by reliving the various networks you were once a part of. Catch up with your friends from school or attend an industry event where you meet former colleagues. Join new people circles by volunteering, attending training, or pursuing a personal interest like theater or hiking. The more people you genuinely connect with over the course of your day, the greater your access to knowledge and the power of serendipity. Many professionals will tell you how their best career opportunities came through casual meetings and conversations.
- Where is your coach?
Who is your coach or mentor? When all the top CEOs, world-class athletes, and successful entrepreneurs swear by their executive coaches and mentors, shouldn’t you invest in one, too? Much like going to a doctor, dentist, attorney, or accountant for medical, legal, and tax advice and guidance, a great mentor or executive coach is your go-to-person for professional support. Not having one is similar to unstructured experimentation where the benefit of someone else’s experience could have reduced time and effort.
- What is your Ikigai?
The Japanese concept of Ikigai loosely translates into what you do as “a reason for being.” Google it or envision it as the ideal four-circle intersection of what you love to do, what you can get paid for, what you’re good at, and what the world needs. Think about your Ikigai to find a career direction and create your current plan. Know that the passion vs. money debate results in poor decisions. You will rarely have the sustained resources to pursue a passion and if money is the only criterion, your career options will generally be disconnected and dire. Start with what you are good at and then grow into what you love to do and get paid well. As you evolve, direct your career to offer what the world needs most to find the main purpose of your existence.
A PLAN IN YOUR COMPANY?
- Know what has changed
In the short and medium-term, what are your career plan and your trajectory in your company? To answer that, first, know what has changed for your employer since you joined. Has market disruption or automation caused a change in priorities in the way you do business? Is your role now less or more important?
- Take the wheel
Don’t expect your employer to offer you a defined career path until eternity when your own business is subject to change. Your employer appreciates and encourages professionals who monitor their own careers and take the lead in career progression by seeking more skills, changes, and responsibilities.
- Create information channels
If you are in a new company, you are always aware of what is happening and the new possibilities that exist for your career. If you work for a larger organization, invest in building an information network through different teams and cross-functional interactions that will keep you up-to-date on new operations you can explore.
- Cultivate support
Take full advantage of available support systems to seek input into your career path and apply for resources and permissions for growth opportunities. The HR channel works well for proactive professionals. If you have a senior or manager as a professional mentor, keep them updated on their learning, progress, and preferences.
- Create the role
Don’t limit yourself to the job description for which you were hired or the vacancies that arise in your company. Think about who you might be or the position that would be perfect for you and valuable to your employer. Present your thoughts and the business case for your ideal position and take advantage of your support system to give it a try.