New year, new job? Create a career plan to land the best opportunity
New year, new me? If you’re looking toward the new year with a role change in sight, then you need to create a plan, Stan. A career plan, in fact.
Creating and maintaining a career plan helps you understand where you want to go with your career next and what actually needs to be done, so you can get there. The more purposeful you can be with your move, the better the long-term payoff.
Here are 5 steps to help you make a worthy career plan.
Step #1: Self-reflection
You’ll want to start by thinking about where you are now and where you’d like to be.
● What are my values and am I living them?
● What am I good at (skills & strengths)?
● What do I enjoy doing?
● What interests me that I can talk about it for hours?
● What do I dislike most about my current role and workplace?
● What do I wish I could do better (and why)?
● What’s important to me long-term?
Step #2: Set a few goals
Have a think about your small and big picture goals, so you can map out your steps in between.
What’s your end goal? E.g., CIO for Employer X.
What are your micro goals? E.g., Solutions Architect lead for a big 4 consultancy within 2 years.
Are these steps going to be lateral or sequential?
Step #3: Determine your career must haves
For most of us, Covid-19 has reset our expectations of work and work-life balance. So, when you think about your ideal next role, what does your day-to-day look like? What most attracts you to a role? Is it a natural progression from your current role or a new role all-together?
Just as we do when buying a new home, you’ll want to make a list of your non-negotiables and the previously regarded ‘perks’ that don’t carry as much value for you, now.
Step #4: SWOT your life
This exercise is critical if you’re changing careers or disciplines, but still valuable for any desired role change, so you have a clear path forward in your career plan. Explore the skills and traits required for your dream roles, the type and quality of work offered in these industries or roles, and employer reviews to get an idea of your ideal employer.
And then, work through the following:
Strengths e.g., critical thinker, experienced in software development and client service
Weaknesses e.g., dislike managing budgets, no leadership experience
Opportunities e.g., in-demand candidate market, fast-evolving industry
Threats e.g., Big 4 is still ‘Who you know’, difficult to cut through
Step #5: Develop your career action plan
Now that you understand yourself, what you want to do, and what you expect from an employer, you can dig into your goals and develop a career action plan. Break these down into short-term actions and long-term actions to remain realistic… and make them SMART.
For example, you may need to:
● get to know people already working in the team you want to join
● express your desire to pursue a role in a new field/team
● find an industry mentor
● enrol in some online (or employer provided) training courses to develop your understanding and skills
● volunteer internally or externally, where you can practice your new skills
● freelance on the side to take on projects that test your new skills and develop your resume
● transition to the internal tech team at level (short-term or long-term).
It’s a candidate’s market and opportunities are ripe. So, if you’re planning to leave a stable role for greener pastures, be strategic to ensure that you’re making the best move in these conditions. Whether you’re changing career paths or roles, creating a career plan will help you get where you need to go.
On the move?
Due to some high-demand roles, we’ve partnered with our clients to identify opportunities for skill and career transitions. Check out the roles we have available to find your next move!