Anvi arrived at her first job at an aerospace organization excited to work on revolutionary satellite technology. During the onboarding process, she learned all about the organization’s products and was even more charged up.
But when she finally got down to work, Anvi was given basic tasks that she didn’t think did her qualifications as an aerospace engineer justice. Luckily, a member of the team who’d joined the year before was there to talk to her and show her how far she’d come in just a few short months. Anvi realized that she had to think long-term instead of reacting to a short-term situation.
Anvi’s concerns aren’t unusual. When new hires join an organization, they can sometimes stumble thanks to the gap between expectation and reality. What can help them bridge this is effective career management.
What Is Career Management?
Career management and development is the structured planning of the course of a career. There are two possible interpretations of it:
This is where an individual makes a career plan for themselves. If they’re still studying, they could be making this assessment as a means to discover what path they’d like to pursue. If they’ve already joined a job, they’d be more interested in laying out a roadmap for whatever role they see for themselves in the future.
When a business works with its employees to help chart their career path, it results in a more content workforce. If employee expectations match their progress, they’ll likely be happier in their jobs. If you don’t know how to rise through the ranks, there’s no motivation to work. Career planning and management can help achieve this.
Whether you’re helping employees chart out their own journeys, or using career management as a tool for organizational staffing needs, it can be very valuable.
Steps For Planning A Career
There are a few steps that employees can follow to chart their own paths.
Imagine The Future
It’s a shame we don’t have a crystal ball to tell us what the future holds and what path to take, but we can envision it! People without work experience might have a hard time identifying which jobs might suit them best, but with a better grasp of what an office is really like, they can answer certain questions better. Where do they see themselves in three years? How about five years? Can they see themselves in their boss’s shoes, or is it some other role in the organization that attracts them?
C-Suite Or Tech Team?
That brings us to the next question. Say an employee is a star programmer—but isn’t great at managing people. Is the reason they aspire to a managerial role because it promises a greater salary? Are they actually more content quietly coding in the corner? Identifying strengths, weaknesses, aspirations and desires can help create a career path full of value and intention.
After tackling the near term and aspirations, employees can look far into the future. What will help them find meaning in their work? While money and prestige can be powerful motivators, some people may not find them to be enough. Serving others has often been identified as a factor that gives meaning to careers in the long term. Are there opportunities to serve people, communities or a cause within your organization?
By answering these questions, employees can chart out their future, which in turn gives them direction on how to proceed today.
Keep An Open Mind
Every profession has its own career path. For instance, a management career path will be different from that of a start-up founder.
Gone are the days that we walk one road all the way from college to retirement. More and more people change tracks nowadays, and mid-career changes are more acceptable than ever. Even if you don’t switch careers, with rapid advances in technology, the world of work is constantly changing. Upskilling and reskilling are often essential. Each upheaval—no matter how difficult to handle at the moment—is an opportunity to re-evaluate their goals.
If employees see what the track to progress looks like, they can pace themselves and be prepared for the journey. Harappa’s Young Talent Bootcamp can help young professionals get a clearer look at what’s in store. By building their work ethic, communication and teamwork skills they’ll have the tools to move ahead. By building their self-awareness on their own skill gaps and strengths, they’ll have greater clarity on how they can grow more as individuals and professionals, setting them up for long-term success. Our program is perfect for new hires with less than six months’ experience to help them kick start their careers.
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