A decade or two back, when a person joined a company with the first job, he/she could quickly figure out the ropes. One could see how various people have progressed within the company, and in general if people did well, they progressed well too. Some would be better and move faster and those became your role models. People wanted to be on their teams, seeking opportunities to learn from them and in the process advance yourselves. The career was a natural progression and people tended to stay long in one company.
What has changed today?
I regularly get a chance to talk to executives at mid and senior levels in multiple companies and almost everybody agrees that the organizations are in constant flux. Every year, if not earlier, they change strategic directions, there are mergers, acquisitions, technological transformations, organizational transformations, organizational restructuring or realignments.
You may have a new Boss every year. You end up losing all the history and credibility that you built by working hard and excelling over last year. Can you build from scratch again? Only to be reset at the end of the year?
Should you change your game?
As is evident, one may not be able to change the environment or change the rules of engagement as that is beyond an individual. All you can really control is your own self. I guess the answer lies there. You must change the way you play so that you can win in this new environment. If you are a mid or senior level executive and want to move up in your career, you must change yourself.
So, what must you change?
The most important thing you need to change is take charge of your career path. Do not let it flow in somebody else’s hands only. Create a success path for yourself. Here are a few more tips-
- Create your visibility within a larger circle at work
- Create your brand the way you want it to be seen
- Create your learning strategy
- Find the gaps – and learn what you need to
- Align your goals to the Organization/Business Unit goal
There is no career ladder anymore, you must create your own career web. Plan and take action!