THE GQ CA­REER COM­PASS

GQ (Australia) - - INC -

Keep check­ing in quickly and of­ten

Ac­cord­ing to War­wick Peel, CEO of Fu­ture Directors In­sti­tute and Startup Board­room, a ca­reer plan needs se­ri­ous re­flec­tion at least twice a year. Min­i­mum. Ide­ally, once ev­ery quar­ter. And for this, there’s no bet­ter time than dur­ing July, when com­pa­nies are talk­ing EFY and re-eval­u­at­ing strate­gies — and most em­ploy­ees are pop­ping Co­dral and hi­ber­nat­ing, along with any im­me­di­ate ca­reer plans. With the rest of the of­fice set to au­topi­lot mode, it’s a good op­por­tu­nity to spin the wheels of ca­reer de­vel­op­ment. “You set aside monthly com­mit­ments on your fi­nan­cial plans,” says Peel. “Ca­reer plans are no dif­fer­ent.”

Keep in mind you’re at the tiller

To con­tinue the di­rec­tional theme, con­sid­er­ing that we spend more time, on av­er­age, at our desks than asleep, you’ll be much hap­pier if your ca­reer progress is in your con­trol – and not the HR depart­ment’s. “If you are leav­ing your ca­reer plan in the hands of HR or hir­ing man­agers from within your com­pany, you’re be­holden to what’s best for the com­pany,” says Peel. “And that’s not nec­es­sar­ily what is best for you.”

Keep goals ver­sa­tile

Avoid the set-and-for­get ap­proach where you cre­ate goals and leave them to col­lect dust on your (hope­fully) metaphor­i­cal vi­sion board. The key is in main­tain­ing tar­gets that are ac­tive and adapt­able. A ca­reer plan should be fluid and al­ways evolv­ing, and not a dis­trac­tion that gets in the way of kick­ing goals in your current role.

Keep your port­fo­lio up to date

By up­dat­ing your Cv/linkedin/ port­fo­lio ev­ery 12 months — min­i­mum — you can take stock of achieve­ments. Look at the skills you’ve de­vel­oped, both tech­ni­cal and soft, and make sure you’re mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion. Does your or­gan­i­sa­tion have a per­for­mance review ev­ery six to 12 months? Per­fect. In­stead of clos­ing your eyes and think­ing of Eng­land, use the review time to doc­u­ment how your ca­reer is track­ing and what you’ll achieve for the re­main­der of the year.

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