The average person starts working at the age of 25 and retires by 65. Our careers span more than half of our lives. The right question to ask is not if I need a strategy for such a substantial part of my life; it's how could I not have a strategy for my career.
Through my interactions with colleagues, clients and friends, I have observed some peculiarities about career strategy. First of all, less than 30% of them have thought about their career strategically. Even among those who have given it a thought, it has been a reactive rather than proactive thought process. My inquiry about career strategy usually gets one of three responses:
I have a career plan. Isn't that enough?
Absolutely not. Strategy and planning are not the same. Strategy is about understanding your environment and capabilities, and deciding what needs to be done. Planning is about making choices about how you will take the actions to achieve the goals set in your strategy. Strategy, thus, defines your frame of reference for planning. It typically consists of evaluating your strengths, passions and environment (Skill-Will-Market dynamics evaluation), setting specific goals and putting all your energy behind achieving these goals.
Won't my career evolve on its own?
The choice is between letting your career shape you vs. you shaping your career. Careers, like anything important in life - be it health, fitness, relationships or raising a child - require constant monitoring and nourishment. It is important to identify your strengths (competitive advantages) and your weaknesses; and make sure to play to your strengths and convert weaknesses into opportunities.
I am successful. Why do I need a career strategy?
Great. A positive frame of mind is ideal for strategizing. This is the right time to focus on evolving your skills or sustained success and thinking about how to put your career on a steeper trajectory.
Here are some questions to get you started thinking about career strategy:
- What is my competitive advantage? What can I do better than anyone else?
- What is my career goal?
- Is what I am doing now aligned with my goal?
- What has been the pace of my career growth? What would I like it to be in the future?
How would you answer these questions? What's your career strategy? Let me know in the comments below or drop me a line.
At ProLaunchpad, we believe that career strategy is a critical first step for those just starting out, evaluating career growth or planning for a transition.
I will be using this blog to post my thoughts on career transformation, covering a wide range of subjects in five categories:
- Career Strategy
- Market Readiness
- Up Skilling
- Coaching and Mentoring
Keep an eye on this space for more to come in the future.To know more about us, do visit us at: www.prolaunchpad.in or you can also follow me on LinkedIn: