Career Management – Part 3: You own your career!

In April I published Part 1 of this series about career road mapping, an innovative approach that I offer to corporations and professional societies using one page career maps of successful professionals within a targeted functional area as a way of providing career guidance and ideas to junior employees. Here is a link to that blog. Then last week I published Part 2, a blog on five career management principals. (Link to that blog). Now I would like to expand on one of those five concepts – that each person owns his or her own career.

Good companies will provide guidance, tools, education, career path possibilities and encouragement to their employees to assist with career growth and development. But ultimately, each individual needs to take full ownership and responsibility for his or her career. Only each individual knows deep within themselves what really excites them about their job and career and what they want to be doing. These are some of the questions each person needs to ask themselves as they plan their career:

• What is really important to me in my job? higher pay? Becoming an executive? Intellectually stimulating work? Better work / life flexibility? Enjoying the people I work with?
• What do I really excel at? How can I build on what I am best at to deliver business results and enhance my career?
• Do I enjoy being an expert of a certain function, or would I prefer to leave the details to others?
• Do I enjoy continual movement between roles and jobs and being challenged with new things?
• Do I like breaking new ground as an innovator, or do I work better in a familiar environment?
• Do I have interest in working in other countries, and does my personal situation support such a move?
• During my career, do I want to be a “people manager” or not?
• Do I thrive on executive interaction and exposure, or do I prefer “back room” analysis?
• Am I a “spreadsheet wizard” and love working with numbers, or do I prefer marketing and sales concepts and processes?
• Do I like to make presentations and explain things to people, even those in other countries or other functions?