Level up: Brief Career Planning
Adam Smith
Certified Professional Career Coach
July 25, 2022, 2:14 pm

Level up: Brief Career Planning

Sometimes you realize that you come to the understanding that a career needs to be planned. It is important to note that everyone comes at a different time. Here are a few directions, which could help to clarify your career directions.

Complex development

A career is a conscious path in which there are no random responses to a vacancy and no hasty decisions. A conscious job is the planning of every step in your professional development, knowledge of the labor market needs, and existing options for self-education. A conscious career is a regular and ongoing working process. 

When planning professional development, it is crucial to understand that career has two main types: 

Horizontal. A horizontal career involves in-depth development. At the start of your career path, it is vital to determine the specialization in which you would like to succeed. Think about what causes the most considerable interest. Als think of what is in demand on the market now and in the future. After that, begin the uninterrupted path to your expertise. 

Read books on professional topics, attend thematic events, subscribe to opinion leaders in your industry on social networks, be a member of targeted forums and actively discuss relevant issues, and always stay up to date with all the events and changes in the industry. So, by continually increasing your expertise, you will still be an indispensable employee.

Vertical. What if you plan to enter the labor market and look for a new job while striving to move in the direction of horizontal career growth? Take a look at employment sites and study two aspects: which companies' job positions are now open and what requirements these companies put forward for candidates. 

Having studied the expectations of employers, you can determine the areas of your development. But remember, do not study for the sake of learning. The process for the process has never brought a good result. 

Upward movement

Now we move on to a vertical career, where the professional path means moving up. It means that from the position of subordinate to the leader, first the middle level, then, if possible, the highest. Your role is to conduct with subordinates. For this, you also need to know each of the areas entrusted to you: both theoretical and practical basis. 

Gradual vertical growth involves the acquisition of soft and hard skills. So, working as an ordinary specialist, for example, all in the same HR department, you can start your career with a recruiter and engage in staff recruitment for a certain time. At the initial stage, a career acquires a more parallel development, as you become a specialist in personnel selection.

Then you begin to develop vertically and become the deputy head of the personnel selection department. Here new competencies come into play: leadership qualities, people management, and emotional intelligence. 

After being promoted to the Head of the Recruiting Department, you will need: 

  1. strategic thinking 
  2. adaptability
  3. knowledge of global trends 
  4. relevant methods of digitalization 

and other skills that you have not previously encountered. 

At the same time, you will need to receive practical knowledge in these areas to efficiently and constructively manage subordinates.

In such a situation, we advise you to take the following steps:
  • Communicate with the leader and directly state your plans. To say that you want more tasks and responsibilities, you want managerial experience, and you want to move up and develop.
  • Ask colleagues to share difficulties in their work in which you can help them. 
  • Analyze business processes in the company, see areas for improvement, and present your vision and ideas. 
  • Take responsibility for the performance of a task. 
  • Take an additional training course in a specialty that will help you complete more tasks and influence the performance of the department more widely. 
  • Read additional literature, and specialized websites, perhaps subscribe to targeted magazines, and share useful information with colleagues.

In other words: to be more active, do not afraid to take responsibility and act. Do not be scared of mistakes, and consider them as experience. Believe that the initiative is not always punishable, and your enthusiasm and efforts can bring you to a new stage in your career.

If the path is still closed

You should be prepared for a not-so-favorable option for the further situation. For example, a manager may declare a lack of growth opportunities for you. 

There can be many options for the development of such a dialogue, and the result is one. In essence, you either decide to remain in the same position as a specialist in this company or enter the labor market in search of a leadership position. As in the situation with a horizontal career, an essential step in finding a job is collecting information and analyzing it.

There may not be enough managerial experience and knowledge in other areas. Narrow-profile education is now given by various additional courses, where, in addition to theory, you can also develop practical skills. 

Find a Mentor

There is one more universal piece of advice that will be useful to everyone who plans career growth, no matter horizontal or vertical. And it sounds straightforward — find an example to follow.

It may be your colleague who has already reached results that you still have in your plans and prospects. Take a look at such a person. What values ​​and vision does he possess, what are his professional competencies and skills that set him apart from others, what books does he read, and what events does he attend? It is the model of behavior and its components that are worth striving for you. 

If you have the opportunity to talk with this colleague, just do it, and find out his professional secrets and tips. Do not be afraid to be sincere and ask openly — if this person is not your competitor, he will be happy to help.

At the same time, remember that you are a person, and therefore you should not copy everything in a row. Ask yourself the question "What responds in me and what is not, what is close, and what is not mine."

Scenarios for career development can be varied, but by checking your every step and professional change, you consciously plan your career, which means you will always see the direction of growth for your professionalism, whatever it may be: vertical or horizontal.

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