The workplace of today has seen significant changes if you compare it to that of a few decades or a few years ago. This can clearly be seen through the increasing attrition rates, changing work structures, and the lesser importance given to work tenure. And when you combine all these factors, one the first things that suffer are the employees and their career development.
So if you intend to stick to your current job for a long time or if you just want to go up the corporate ladder within your industry, it is best to take matters into your own hands. Take it as a free career development plan—one that you develop and customize for yourself.
And if you are still on the fence whether taking matters into your hands is the best path to follow, here are seven practical reasons why you should. Read on…
Plan for Your Future
As its name implies, a career development plan is a plan. And if you do not have the support of your company or organization, it is best to make the plan by yourself. Who else will?
By creating your own career development plan, you are already setting yourself for success whether you stay in your current company or if you find a better one. The most important thing is your realization that you can do it yourself and that you will see positive results as long as you work hard for it.
To Strengthen Your Own Skills
One of the main tasks you need to do before you actually write down and create your own career development plan is to assess your own skills and to find out what specific skill level you are in. Sometimes, this self-assessment phase takes the most time since you will need to rely on your willpower and lack of bias.
And once you get over this stage, you can easily identify your strengths and develop ways to leverage them in the workplace. To illustrate, if you find out that you enjoy delivering speeches and convincing people through your speech, you may develop this skill by joining a speech class and practicing your skills through the sales pitches you make to your clients.
To Find Your Own Blind Spots
When you are first hired by a company, the human resource team would already have made an analysis of your strengths and weaknesses as an employee and how they can use this to their advantage. This is why different employees are assigned to different departments and are given different designations in a company.
However, if your employer does not invest more time and effort in helping you advance your career, developing your own career plan can also help you determine your own personal blind spots. By knowing your own deficiencies, you can choose an action plan that will allow you to use your strengths more. In addition, knowing your own blind spots can help you learn of ways to compensate for or transform these weaknesses into strengths.
To Follow Your Own Passions
Working life is now vastly different from what was experienced by people one or two generations ago. Today, doing what you love and what you find fulfilling is often the main criteria when looking for a career.
So, if you want to make sure that your own career path is geared towards a specific job or industry where you find fulfillment in and where you feel most passionate about, it is best to manage your career development yourself.
Of course, this process will take a long time. But if you are only willing to invest your time and effort into it. You will see results sooner than you think.
You Can Course-Correct at Any Time
Another advantage with taking full control of your own career development is that you have the power to step on the brakes and course-correct at any time. To illustrate, if you once thought that getting an MBA is the way for you to get promoted but do not think so anymore, you can easily stop attending your masters’ classes and/or shift to a different masters program. You can have all this power when you just manage your own career plan.
You Only Have Yourself To Contend With
At the end of the day, having total control of your own career development means that you will only have yourself to feel sorry for or grateful for if things go south or if you succeed. For some, this can be a good form of motivation since they do not want to let themselves down.
Others may find this task difficult due to the lack of accountability partners. That is why as a workaround, you can always ask your spouse, a close friend, or even a co-worker to join you in your career development. Remember that workplace advancement does not happen overnight. And when your company does nothing to help you reach your professional goals, taking full control of your own destiny is the next best free career development plan for you.
All the things we have discussed here may sound too simplistic. But, really, it is these simple things that will help propel you into a purposeful career plan and into a successful life later on. Internalize all the different reasons or list of advantages that we have shared above and you may just avoid the sometimes debilitating effects of a midlife existential crisis and/or just the utter boringness of doing the same thing at work for the rest of your life.