Having a long-term career plan is critical. If you don’t have a plan you don’t know where you’re heading.
Many of the top people in any walk of life tend to have a long-term career plan as to where they want to get to. If this is career focused, then it will likely be a staged process with certain “milestones” achieved, perhaps by a certain age. One common target we hear is “I want to be a Director by the time i’m 40.”
Irrelevant of what industry or profession you work in, to optimize your career and maximize yourself you need to plan your career. This doesn’t have to be detailed; it can simply be an overall target which is then broken down into key stages or “milestones”. For example – if you aspire to get to Managing Director level by a certain age; it’s unrealistic that this is going to happen if you have no man management experience 5 years before your target – so make sure you get to manage people in good time to gain the requisite experience.
In many sectors it’s relatively straight-forward to find a “sideways move” to another similar company doing a similar job. Where the need for a career plan comes into play is if you are looking to make a career progression move, perhaps moving into your first “management” role.
As executive recruiters, we find that many hierarchical organisations have tall, multi-layered centralized structures with 1 leader at the top, <10 in the next tier down (usually senior management), then down into middle management and into the bulk of the organisation where the output of the company is produced.
So – the further you move up an organisation, the fewer jobs there are and therefore finding the right job becomes harder.
More senior roles take longer to find, require more patience and therefore we commonly see good people waiting up to 2 years for the right job to come along. This patience and focus waiting for an upward move to materialize can be very hard, but it can be one of the most efficient way to progress your career.
Good advice is to buddy up with market leading recruitment firms in your specialist field, and work with them over an extended period of time to find the right job. Be selective and don’t be tempted to make sideways moves for the sake of moving. Patience is the key.
If you’re thinking you need to progress your career, Wynne Consulting can help. We are the “eyes & ears “ of many top performers in the market sectors we service. They are passive job seekers, who rely on us to make them aware of interesting career opportunities. They are happy to wait for the right role to appear, safe in the knowledge that it’ll be worth the wait.