Planning and navigating your career

My mind is in a good planning mood today. I feel inspired, motivated and lots of ideas. But I needed to take some solid action, like putting my thoughts in black and white.

I want this year to be a good year for me, especially work wise. I want to map out which trainings I'm going to attend, any external conferences to join, any certification to achieve, and what are the great things I will deliver this year. Yeah..so that everything counts towards my year end appraisal and keeping my fingers crossed that I'll get a nice bonus.

I have been reading alot on personal development and planning your career. When I first started out my career path, I was naive in my thoughts and not sure where I'm heading to, or what could I do to go further. Few years down the road, you meet more people, read about stuffs, and you went through ups and downs, then you start to realise what are you going to do for the rest of your life? Then you start thinking...

I'm currenty reading How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. Though I'm still early parts of the book, but I think it's a good read for this new year. So far, I've learnt to take 100% responsiblity of your life, explore what is the purpose of my life and what I'll try to achieve.

Then yesterday I read about a senior people development staff in my company who wrote about navigating your own career. It got me thinking, apart of updating my resume once in a twilight, having appraisal and planning my development plan end of the year, I don't think I've done pretty much navigation in my career, much of it are probably lucky landings or call it timely opportunities if you must. So today I sat down and stared at a blank spreadsheet on my monitor... here's what I did...

I inserted a few tables into the spreadsheet with these headings:
Professional Trainings
1. Trainings/Courses attended
2. Professional Certifications
3. Conferences/Seminars attended
I listed out the above, with few details : types of training (classroom/online etc.), Organiser, and when attended.

Academic Background
I listed out my secondary till my last education level, including any special awards I received during those years.

Career Path
I listed out my career history till my present position, I also made a note of the salary I got for each position.

In this section I listed out what are the notable assignments I've handled. I included the assigment name, role description, duration, responsibilities/deliverables, achievements/track records, manager-in-charge, teams/depts.

I agree it is quite similar to your resume, but the difference is that this is going to be a very detailed resume for yourself. Think of it as your X-file, your ultimate information are to be in this file. And I plan to review this file monthly and keep the contents evergreen. Also remember to incorporate them into your new year resolutions.

I will tell you why this file will come in handy.
1. Good for work appraisals - just whip out this file, extract a fit-for-purpose profile and voila! Show it to your appraiser on your achievement over the year. This will save you alot of time and effort rummaging through old emails, or any reports you have. Speaking of which, I will add the compliments and feedbacks that I received into this file too. Trust me, words from other people sound more convincing eventhough you may think you have not done much. Everything boils down to EVIDENCE!

2. Navigating your career - when you have whole career path drawn out before you, you will get to see where you've came from, your progress, your gaps and your strengths. Use this for your own SWOT (strengths, weakness, opportunities, threats) analysis. Then you will know where your next step/position should be. When you know where you want to be, then you will also know what you need to develop, and how to build your people network/relationships.

3. Ever ready to apply for a new job - enough said.

This is just my personal realisation and thoughts which I've chanced upon and read about over the years. And I hope this will help your planning in whatever way possible.


stubborn-daydreamer said...

:o i have the same book!

Amidrin said...

wow! this is quite a good detail planning a head of improving and organizing things - career wise. I am sure those planning strategies will help provided if we are not lazy to do it. hehehe... Thanks for sharing it!

Amidrin said...

oh! by the way, why you never do any of the tags that I pass down to you? You don't like doing any tags is it? Let me know ya, so next time I won't bother you about this again...

Hmm... I wonder if you would like to do this ---> http://amidrin.blogspot.com/2008/01/new-year-resolution-tag.html

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