Is Career Planning Possible in 2019?

The nature of work as we know it is changing almost faster than we can master our current roles. The rapid advances in technology and its impact on both the job market and the economy have made it more difficult than ever before to confidently map out career advancement.

When you don’t know which jobs will even exist in five years, how can you strategize to get ahead? Despite the obstacles though, career planning is in no way dead. Instead, young professionals need to adopt a new method of career planning. The very components that make modern career planning possible are oftentimes those that are also invaluable within the current and future job market: flexibility and adaptability.

Don’t Rely on Experience Alone

Traditionally, experience has been the foundational piece of career planning. You put the time in on lower rungs of the career ladder, and that allows you to move up. But modern professionals would be remiss to simply rely on their level of experience. In a world where things are changing rapidly, roles have to be filled by individuals who don’t have direct experience.

Research has demonstrated that one’s propensity to career adaptability is a primary indicator of one’s likelihood of success not only professionally, but also in other areas of life. To ensure you’re doing all you can to remain competitive within you field make sure you are:

Stay informed: While you may not know exactly where you want to land down the road, you should still be making an effort to stay informed and up-to-date within your industry. Read publications, watch other companies, and ultimately, don’t lose the handle you have on the direction and priorities of your industry.

Unlearn the old: A recent survey found that the primary concern of employees is that their job will be obsolete in the near future, and half believe their specific skill set will be unneeded. The key to dealing with that reality is to be willing to let go of the former methods and processes that got you where you are when they become antiquated.

Refine your skills: The career planning master is also a skill refining master. Knowing what’s coming next for your industry and unlearning the old is only the beginning. There’s value in pairing experience in your field with insight and a clear understanding of where the future of your industry as a whole lies.

Remember Your Connections

In many fields, networking is a fundamental part of getting the job you want. In a pile of cover letters, having a connection can be the only thing that gives you a competitive edge. As you consider your networking connections there’s value in seeing two, distinct sets of relationships.

The Old: The pre-existing connections you have are likely to be swept up in the changes of the marketplace right along with you. In that case, there’s value in continuing to build the relationship, even if you shift directions.

As the president of the New York Stock Exchange told Fast Company, “It doesn’t matter if someone is inside or outside of your industry, if they are interesting and influential, be willing to commit time and/or resources to meet, connect or help that individual.”

The New: What is equally important in the rapidly evolving professional climate of today is that the connections you have are also evolving so that they continue to be a helpful component of your career planning. If your connections aren’t refreshed they will fail to accurately align with your interests and priorities.

Thus, there’s value in networking in the area you’re hoping to head. When doing so the business professionals at Rutgers University recommend, “If you don’t have experience in an area, expertise with a particular type of software or other qualification, don’t try to make it sound like you do. Being truthful about, both your weaknesses and strengths will prove that you are willing, to be honest, and humble and can communicate a host of attractive characteristics to a potential employer, partner, or contact.”

Constantly Reassess

As we noted at the beginning, a key to success as we move into the future will be fostering adaptability and flexibility and leveraging them to move into new positions. There’s value in proactively making sure that your skills, experience, and connections all work together to give you the best possible chances of achieving the career goals you plan.

Additionally, it’s crucial to constantly reassess your progress and use that information to steer your career in the right direction. Are you doing what you can with the understanding that the things that have gotten you where you are, are unlikely to get you where you want to go?

If there are areas of your career development that are growing stale or lack any recent changes, brainstorm on ways to foster growth there.

Lastly, in the interest of a reassessing your competitiveness in relation to your plans, actually set goals. Make plans for the next quarter, year, and three years and reassess your progress and attitude towards those goals on a consistent basis.

Certainly, the day when seniority meant you were essentially a shoo-in for the corner office is gone. Today rapid changes in technology are impacting virtually every industry under the sun, and the jobs that make up those industries are evolving at rapid rates.

However, the key for young professionals seeking success is not to allow themselves to be drug along by the rapid advances, but to proactively participate in them. The new age of job creation and retention has provided new opportunities. Because there’s often a need for people who don’t have direct experience, the individuals who land the jobs are often those who worked hard on what may have traditionally seemed like secondary things like relationships, soft skills, and flexibility. The good news is that those things are there for the taking.

Keeping Your Millennial Workforce Happy

Guest post by Faith MacAnas

hi-five

One of the key features of the millennial generation is their focus on job satisfaction and life fulfillment is a lot higher than their predecessors. Happier employees have a better and higher quality output; this has made the necessity for employee satisfaction strategies more important than ever. These following examples are just a few areas where adjustments can be made that will motivate your millennial workforce and optimize your business.

• Flexibility

For the first time, young workers are prioritizing their work-life balance over their paycheck. They want to be able to travel, balance their family and social life or pick up side projects. While full remote working conditions are inadvisable, providing some level of flexibility is a great tactic. This offer could come in the form of career breaks or simply the opportunity to work alternate hours from home on occasion.

student-with-mentor-on-computer

    Crisp Technology

Millennials have grown up at the forefront of technology; they have always had the latest editions and expect their technology to be in good working order. Companies that can’t afford the latest pieces now allow staff members to work on their own devices. While this can save money, it does also require ensuring the security of confidential company data on machines that will leave the office. You can guarantee protection by investing in a company-wide Virtual Private Network program for all staff members to use or by creating an internal system where work can be shared exclusively.

    Career Paths

Today’s young workers live in a shaky economy, and they know it. While they worry about the promise of work, they also will quickly jump ship if their jobs don’t appear to provide them with the opportunity to progress. Give your millennial workforce a voice; allow them input into innovation ideas and company policy. Ensure feedback channels are open, and offer opportunities for training courses or department transfers. Show that you are willing to invest in them, and they are much more likely to invest in you and your company.

woman-holding-money

    Cash Incentives

If all else fails, then there’s one language everyone speaks: cash. Nothing gets motivation going like the promise of a bonus, and there are none who don’t relish the opportunity to make more money. However, there are both pros and cons to this strategy. If, for example, you set a goal for workers to achieve to secure the bonus, and they do not succeed, it’s possible to disenfranchise them further. It’s wise to set goals that are both realistic and progressive.

Millenials are some of most forward-thinking workers around today. They naturally possess crucial knowledge and hold to the key to the future. If you haven’t already implemented strategies to ensure you keep them motivated and dedicated, then now is the time to start doing so!

About the Author: Faith is a blogger and marketing and strategy expert. She specializes in internet security. She enjoys sharing what she’s learned with other business owners online.

The #1 Reason You’ll Leave Your Job

career_lightbulb

The #1 reason why you’ll leave your (current) job is: lack of career development a.k.a. growth opportunities.

From first glance there’s an assumption that includes a promotion, but not necessarily. The need for career advice is on the rise because most people don’t know what they want to do and/or they change their mind often. Blame social media or a plethora of options, but regardless its reality. Let’s start from the company’s perspective:

Why should we invest professional growth resources into employees who might end up leaving?

First response: efficiency. Back in 2008-09 when the recession started, the first thing to go was “luxury” items such as training. Jobs were being cut drastically and our economy went in the tank. The only job that was safe was: sales (gotta make money to stay in business). If you want people to perform better, they have to be trained. Some companies take the shortcut by hiring “experienced” workers then throw them in the fire. That’s one approach, but even if they know the skill set to accomplish the work, the culture is still a mystery. The reason most leaders micromanage is because they never train people under them properly. Part of career development is training on the job (feedback included) and figuring out if the role is a good fit. If it’s not, here’s the perfect segue into the next point.

Second response: saves time/money. If you’re concerned about pouring into an employee, then having them leave, don’t. If you had someone working for you and they didn’t want to be there wouldn’t you want to know earlier than later? Hopefully this gets caught during the interview process, but if it doesn’t training only reveals it. If you’re working for a company who invests in your professional growth, wouldn’t you be more motivated to work harder for them? This may sound too altruistic, but most people’s performance starts to decline (outside of personal issues) when they feel undervalued/under-appreciated. Practically speaking, helping people navigate their career path will provide clarity for the individual as well as the company.

In simplistic terms, here’s the equation: if my company takes care of me, I will take care of their customers.

Great customer service = brand loyalty = higher profits.

The most direct way to take care of people is invest in their career growth.

This is not a futuristic concept. This is current.

Retention is tied directly to career development, or lack thereof.