Companies continue to transform how they acquire and retain talent. Skills shortages increase in certain sectors while other areas are oversaturated. Hybrid workforces are becoming the norm, some employers prefer contract workers to full time-staff. So much going on that could directly impact your employability. There is plenty to consider when setting your goals, if you do not factor in outside influences when planning, you are most likely not going to be able to attain all your goals.
Factors that could directly or indirectly hinder your plans include economic, technological, lockdowns, scarcity, political, and business performance. However, most of the power sits in your hands, external factors affect everyone disproportionately and there is very little we can do about them, you still can directly impact the trajectory of your career.
WHAT IS IN YOUR CONTROL
Be aware of what is happening around you
A lot is changing and this includes how tasks are performed. Some things that companies historically relied on humans for are now taken care of by software programmes, this has a direct impact on many careers and you should be fully aware of what is changing in your industry that will impact you. Don’t be caught off guard, some changes will take time to implement, some will be immediate. Before you register for a course or update your career development plan, check if your career path has a promising outlook. If it doesn’t, now is the right time to explore other options and to begin equipping yourself for a potential career move.
Be reactive at your own risk
Some people prefer not to stress about what may be and just go where the wind blows, there is nothing wrong with this approach if you are willing to deal with the risk of being unprepared. When vacancies become available and you do not meet all the requirements because when you had a chance to upskill you didn’t use it, or when your role becomes redundant and you did not see it coming because you were busy going with the flow, understand that is the price of being reactive rather than proactive. Even if you are happy and secure in your current role, know where you wish to grow to and see what you can do at present moment to equip yourself. Always have your CV fully updated, do not wait till you need it.
You have options
Most professionals have succeeded in taking full ownership of their careers by becoming independent consultants and others have chosen to remain in traditional employment as the security of a salary far exceeds the freedom and earning potential that comes with rolling solo. Whatever direction you chose, effective planning is essential to achieve your career goals.
What’s going to be different this time around?
Your resilience and sheer determination are what will help you stay on track when things get tough or plans get derailed by factors outside your control. You may have made plans in previous years that you did not manage to achieve, don’t be too hard on yourself, 2022 could be the year you pull it off.
TIPS TO HELP YOU PREPARE
Be optimistic but realistic – There is nothing wrong with wanting to double your salary but is it really attenable? If so, how do you plan to do it, remember companies are not likely to change their policies to accommodate your dreams or needs. Do not be afraid to plan BIG, just as long as you have a clear, realistic path of how you will get there.
Have a check list – Have a list of things you will do to work towards your goals, read through it daily/weekly and tick off the things you’ve already accomplished. The best way to guarantee success is to have a lot of tiny goals/milestones as opposed to one huge goal.
Perform regular progress reviews – Have weekly progress checks to see if you are making headway and act swiftly if things are not moving along as they should. This will also help you stay on course as it is easy to get side-tracked if you do not keep your eye on the goal.
Have a plan B – One thing we all learned by now is things happen, big things, unforeseen things. If you are no longer able to pursue your original plans, what is your fallback plan? It is always a great idea to have a contingency plan, rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it!
Beware of the domino effect – Sometimes things happen that hinder our plans, we get discouraged, fall ill, get preoccupied with other parts of our lives, whatever the case all these have consequences and breaking one part of your plan can affect the rest of your plans. If there is something you planned to do and can no longer continue example completing a course, beware of how it will impact the rest of your plans.
“Never quit. It is the easiest cop-out in the world. Set a goal and don’t quit until you attain it. When you do attain it, set another goal, and don’t quit until you reach it. Never quit.” –Bear Bryant