In my last blog post, I said that you need to focus on yourself and your ambitions and you need to get to know the REAL you. But, it’s not all about you. To successfully manage your career, you also need to think about the organisation and the industry in which you operate. Aligning your career goals with the needs of your organisation.
Take the time to understand the company’s goals and the trends in your industry
How could your picture of future success fit into your current organisation? Does the role you want to develop already exist, at least in part, within the organisation? If not, how could it add the most value to the organisation? How could it help the
organisation achieve its vision, deliver its goals or respond to the key trends in the
What do you need to prove to be considered suitable for the type of role you want? Look for examples where others have done this before you. What skills or specialist knowledge did they show? How did they behave? How were they seen by the organisation?
Track down people who have made the progress you want to make. Talk to them
about the strategies they used.
Determine if you have the skills to match their needs
Pay attention to how your role in the organisation is developing. If you’re not sure
what skills are in demand, ask your manager what he or she sees as necessary for
your job and for the organisation’s success. If you’re clear on your strengths and passions, it will be easier to see where your interests match up with those of the
Begin with the end in mind. Thinking about your picture of future success, what
knowledge and skills do you need to gain? What experience and behaviours do you need to show? What relationships do you need to develop?
Make sure your manager is aware of your goals and willing to invest in your
development plan. This will serve as a signal that you are interested in growing with the company and ensuring its success.
Invest in your learning and development
Once you have identified the skills you need, you can be more assertive about
chasing development opportunities. While formal training may be an option, it is
worth considering other options. Seek on the job training and work experience. You can also volunteer for projects that will help you develop a skill.
Find mentors and sponsors to support you. Mentors can be an invaluable source of advice who will give you the benefit of their experience and their contacts. Take
some time to identify those individuals who could help you in some way. Find a way to tell them of your ambitions and career goals and ask their advice on how best to make progress.
Raise your profile in your organisation by making the best and the most visible impact you can
Learn the art of self-marketing and develop your “personal brand” making sure that you communicate three key messages:
- What you do well;
- How you make a difference;
- The kinds of challenges and projects you’d like to take on so your career will
Take opportunities to get known for the area you want to specialise in. Ideas include presenting at conferences or running a lunch and learn session. You might write papers or blog posts. You might volunteer for special projects. Or you might get involved with your professional body.
Strategically network within the organisation and build
People make decisions based on personal experience and relationships. We want
to know, like and trust the people we work and partner with. So, people will rely on
their own experiences with a person and the references of those they trust. Your challenge is to take advantage of this situation by getting connected and expanding your network.
In conclusion, your career is not only about you – but it is also about the organisation’s needs. If you want to make an impact, you need to align your career goals with the needs of the organisation. Evaluate what’s happening around you. Organisations have strategic objectives and plans for growth that determine the long-term direction. To make a lasting impact, figure out how you can help drive these goals and realise your career ambitions in the process.
Our Virtual Career Labs have been designed to enhance the employee experience. They promote dialogue by providing exercises, tools and guidance for career development. As a result, the Virtual Career Labs can support all employees in their career planning.