Career development: Experts on how to set expectations and exploit opportunities..

Career development: Experts on how to set expectations and exploit opportunities..

Employees need to think strategically, plan carefully and take responsibility for their career growth. Brinda Dasgupta has suggestions from experts on how to set expectations and exploit opportunities to progress towards leadership roles.

1. Have a Clear Vision
The first step in thinking strategically about your career is to have a clear idea of where you see yourself in the next five to 10 years. “It is important to internalise the importance of long-term career goals. Unless you are very clear about what you want from your career and where you want to see yourself down the line, you cannot really start to work towards your goals,” said Swapnil Kamat, CEO of Work Better Training.

2. Take Complete Ownership
Don’t outsource your responsibility to develop your career to your employer; take complete ownership of what you need to do. “Find your strengths, match them with your areas of interest and arrive at a personal development plan. After that come execution and course corrections,” said Aditya Narayan Mishra, CEO of CIEL HR Services.

3. Write a Plan
Write a career development plan, beginning with an overarching statement of purpose or a primary area of interest. “The plan should also go deeper into long-term plans which are timebound and specific. Also, it is prudent to identify threats or challenges that you might encounter so that you can work on ideas to mitigate possible risks,” said Mishra.

4. Plan for a Role
Kenneth Lean, vice president at Mercuri Urval India, said that it is important to distinguish between a role and a designation. “Always plan your career for your aspirational role and not designation. Speaking to someone who has been successful in such a role will certainly help,” he said.

5. Make Investments
You need to invest in yourself to take your career where you envision it going. “Investment in a mentor or a coach is very valuable for effective career development – such a person can give you not only industry insights but also required connections,” said Lean. Kamat said that depending on your career goals, you may also need to learn new skills or enroll in a professional course.

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