Do we still need a career plan nowadays? The days when we spent 30 years of our life working for a single company are over. It is estimated that an individual will change employer at least five times during his career. So what is the point of a career plan?
Stability and a linear professional trajectory still apply to a handful of professions. Lawyers, doctors and architects are some examples. This often applies for professions.
For many other fields, however, a career will be defined by a sequence of positions, most of the time representing opportunities to be taken advantage of. A career plan then becomes the guideline for our journey.
A manager might want to manage a larger team, or even oversee an entire department. An assistant may have the goal of becoming a project manager, then a project director. But opportunities to be taken advantage of are not limited to internal promotion.
A dynamic approach
A company that does not offer career prospects to its employees risks seeing them leave sooner or later. This is why a career plan must be built jointly by the employer and the employee.
It is even possible to discuss external possibilities with the employer. The employer could thereby review its ability to meet the needs of its employees.
Professional mobility and an employee’s multiple experiences are now considered to be assets. The Adidas Group even offers its employees the chance to try a new position in a new country. “Careers Without Borders” is one of the programs promoted by the company to recruit new talents.
Having career plans
A career plan does not have to be cast in stone. It is easily possible to have multiple career plans, depending on where you are in our professional journey.
A freshly graduated student will want to have an early career plan; with experience in hand, a mid-career plan may be necessary, if it is a question of stagnation or reorganization. In other words, a career plan can be sent back to the drawing board as often as the need arises.
Good questions to ask
- Building a career plan requires asking the right questions. Here are a few examples to carry out a self-assessment:
- Where am I in my career path?
- What are my motivations for work?
- What are my skills?
- What constraints am I willing to accept (distance from work, schedule, etc.)?
- In what industry do I see myself progressing?
- What do I have to do to achieve this career path?
- Is new training needed?
- How do I acquire the necessary skills to move forward?
- And especially, how long could it take to achieve the goal (months, years)?