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In a recent survey, we discovered the top factors that determine whether or not you feel you are in the right job. Note how many of the following you could put a tick next to:
- Confidence in senior management
- Using all your skills
- Having the opportunity to seek promotion
- Being intellectually challenged
- Having a line manager that encourages your career development
- Having an HR department that encourages career development
- Having no fear of redundancy
- Being set clear, realistic yet stretching career objectives
- Having a structured career path
- Being able to work flexibly (including location and/or hours)
- Being remunerated fairly
A great way of developing your thoughts and ideas is Mind Mapping. This makes you assemble a wide range of thoughts and can help to realise priorities. Try:
- In the centre of a page write the words “My Career” and draw a box around it.
- For all the major factors that you think play a part in this whole discussion, draw lines out from the centre box and circle them.
- For thoughts and ideas relating to any of these headings, create sub headings and sub categories to demonstrate which thoughts belong where.
- Any independent idea or a brand new category – draw a new line and put the idea in a circle of its own.
- Ideas and thoughts that develop any of these headings can be written on lines drawn out from each relevant circle.
- What you have now is a whole load of ideas and thoughts – in no priority order.
- Make it fun by using coloured lines to mark ideas and thoughts that are interrelated, or dependant on each other.
- Then think seriously about which categories and headings are most important to you and order these to give you a sense of priority.
- Try it – you’ll be amazed how much more detail you’ve come up with compared with starting to write a list on an A4 sheet!
Once you have taken stock of where you are in your career master plan, schedule some time with your manager to discuss things – show them that you are thinking ahead and keen to take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way because it is part of your plan.
They’ll be impressed that you are taking control of your destiny. After all, this shows a sense of ownership and determination. If your boss doesn’t know what your ambitions and expectations are, they may well not meet them; far better to involve them directly in your future so that you and your organisation benefit from your talents if possible.
This approach should help to generate trust and respect between you. If your organisation is not able to offer you the opportunities to advance your career, it will be a much easier discussion to have.