PROGRAM FOR - THE LIVING ROOM (RCS) “The Career Coach Is In”

Week 5: Monday 19 June 2000, 1015 – 1100 Topics for Today: 1. Planning Your Career Development Path Two very interesting famous quotations: Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart give yourself to it. Buddha Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Confucius The very best way to relate to our work is to choose it. Unfortunately, since we learn early to act on what others say, value & expect, we often find ourselves a long way down the road before realising we did not actually choose our work. Marsha Sinetar, Author: Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow.

These quotes lead us to look at two basic models for career pathing: 1. Do what you want to do – identify your loves and create a path of work to reflect that – do what you love. 2. Do what others find best for you – obey your parents or the new economy or anyone else but your inner-self and become good at what they say you should do. Love what you do. These are the two basic models or explanations for defining career paths. What about the rest? I have left out those who just meander into and out of various jobs and careers. These wanderers are not creating a career path as such. They are stuck in the exploration stage fearing to make a commitment to one thing or another lest they lose out on their next opportunity. These people rarely progress very far in any one job, so they are not career planning since they are not progressing. Career planning is not for everyone. You can lead a horse to water… I am also not referring to those who were born into family business, some stay and some leave to begin their own, for example the great shipping magnate YK Pao. Many claim to progress without having a clear plan.

What are the benefits of career planning? - Improve the match between your personality, career anchor, your suitability to your job - these will improve your happiness at work, your productivity and your salary. You are much more likely to be recognised and promoted if you are happy and productive in your work. - Planning allows you to tell your company what are your expectations – they can respond by offering training support, specific job assignments and other development activities to get you where you want to go. Even if your immediate boss seems to be a block, you will be more resilient to such pressure if you have a strong match between you and your work. - Career planning allows you to look outside at education opportunities, professional memberships, networking and other forms of expression of your work ideals. - Career planning allows you to plan your progression There are three types of progression here: upward, horizontal, and lateral or towards the ‘inner circle’ of the company. Let’s look specifically at what is recommended for you to do to plan your career path: STEP ONE: ASSESS YOURSELF, EXPLORE YOUR OPPORTUNITIES Know thyself (if you want to do the work you love) or know what the job market wants (if you only want to love the work you do).

Explain sources of info: thyself = suitability and career anchor; market = your company, your vocation marketplace, Singapore or regional marketplace, trends in advertisements, Labor market statistics – came out this week for S’pore. Let’s look at the market: Hot jobs in Asia Survey attached STEP TWO: SET GOALS So, you want to plan a career path. Recall that this means you want to progress in some way? Plateaued and tired of the same view everyday? Then change it! Set yourself some goals: either things that you really like doing and want to learn more about or things that you see your company or your skills market place needs. Your goals should be as specific as possible for example: Try defining a five year career path that includes at least two promotions or transfers into different fields. These may even involve change in vocation in those special cases where you are completely mismatched to your job or the job doesn’t exist anymore. STEP THREE: TAKE ACTION Lets now look at the important factors in progression: Deeper knowledge of certain job skills – more practice under a mentor or senior member of staff – do you know the steps for forming mentoring relationships and how to

be a good mentee? (Next week?). Volunteer for a special project or even suggest one your self that’ serves both your interests as well as your company’s interests. Scout around and talk to your colleagues about your ideas – be proactive, find a long-term problem that you know about and try to solve it, do it with a small team of friends not just on your own. Wider job skills – Like the above but know consider moving in to areas that you are less familiar with – try some new functions ask your supervisor for a transfer or some wider exposure – formulate a joint plan with your manager to get you this exposure. Do it today or in the next few days. Remember try to meet your own needs for development or fill the companies needs for development. This is being smart! Network with anyone you know and everyone you don’t know who can help you to get what you want. That’s right – don’t wait for your bosses to do it for you – take charge of your own career development no matter which model of your career you use. Networking means colleagues, friends, church patrons, family friends, universities and colleges, school parent teacher associations. Rules for this include: if you don’t ask you won’t get the answer, try to ask those who you know by past experience to be safe. Even ask others you already know about those you don’t know. Build links to other people. The purpose here is to build a store of support info to help you to plan and reach your career progression. Flexibility = the need to adapt yourself your goals and your skills to your environment without compromising your values and dreams in the longer term

Resilience = coping with changes in your career path not chosen by you, but continuing to build towards your dreams. Some have many dreams giving greater flexibility. STEP FOUR: REVIEW AND ADJUSTMENT For nearly everyone the external dynamics of business is changing. This effects jobs and career path planning. So at least you should have some milestones planned, put them on a calendar at home or where ever you will see them regularly. Check you progress in terms that are important to you: salary, study progress over time, job experience, exploration progress, meeting that prospective new employer, talking to that headhunter or career coach. Mark off and celebrate your successes. Build success and celebration into your career path planning. Alter and renew your plan every year or more frequently if you are in a more dynamic vocation. Remember you are not just what your current employer says you are – everyone has potential to influence and control his or her life. The results will be a stronger sense of meaning to your life.

Questions for listeners: - And what about the increasingly border-less world where boundaryless careers are a growing phenomenon? - What support is out there for you? Next week what can companies do to help develop careers and why should they?

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