Career Planning: Looking At Options

Sections of this topic

    career optionsWhat’s your best move?

    Once you have completed a review of who you are, (see prior post) then focus on what’s next for you. Many people think if they’re not finding career satisfaction in their present job then their only choice is to change companies or careers. That’s not the case. Before jumping ship explore these:

    Four Realistic Career Options

    Enrich your current job – Grow in place
    Look for ways to expand or change your responsibilities to provide you with greater challenge, visibility and skill building. Here are some options to grow in place. Be part of a task force on a pressing business problem; handle a negotiation with a customer; supervise product, program, equipment or systems purchase; do a project with another function; research and report on cost cutting measures.

    Change your job – Go for a promotion
    Vertical movement usually is achieved as a reward for excellence in your current position and as a result of having demonstrated performance required for a higher level position. However with today’s flattened organization structure, paths may not open up as quickly as you would like. So don’t limit yourself by thinking only about upward movement. Take a look at these other options.

    Change your job – Go sideways
    Explore the possibility of a lateral change in job position within or outside your functional area. I’ve seen marketing people do a stint in product development and visa versa. A lateral move can provide you with new skills, experiences and expertise which could be critical to your success later on. It can also help you test the water in a new career.

    Change your job – Move down to move forward
    Realignment can be an effective option if you wish to move back to a more satisfying position, alleviate current job related stress or bring balance to personal live. It can also provide the appropriate experience to test out a new career. Up is not the only way to thrive and be satisfied.

    Two Other Career Options

    Cutting loose– Move out
    In situations where you job no longer matches your current interests or you cannot find opportunities within the organization, then look into the option to see growth or better fit opportunities elsewhere. Be careful though of not going from the frying pan into the fire. Moving out requires careful examination and planning. Check out the November 4th post on Is It Time to Stay or Leave.

    Make no changes – Stay put.
    Reviewing you obligations and commitments, you may decide that this is not the right time to be making changes in your life or career and the plans for the future need to be deferred for awhile. Whatever the reason for opting for no change, it should be a positive and conscious decision instead of one arrived at from feeling “but I have no choice.”

    What’s Next For You?

    What do you see yourself in the short, medium and long term? Remember, different career options will be best for you at different stages of your professional and personal life. Take into consideration not only where you are but where is the marketplace and how is it changing. My next post will look at how to develop a plan and take action.

    Do you want to develop Career Smarts?