Formulating the career strategy

The appraisal of performance should identify the strengths and weakness of an individual; this identification can be the starting point for a career plan. The personal strategy should be designed to utilize strengths and overcome weakness in order to take advantages of career opportunities. Although there are different approaches to career development, it is considered here as a process of developing a personal strategy that is conceptually similar to an organization strategy.

Preparation of a Personal Profile:

One of the most difficult tasks is gaining insight into oneself, yet this is an essential first step in developing a career strategy. Managers should ask themselves: Am I an introvert or an extrovert? What are my attitudes toward time, achievement work, material things, and change? The answers to these and similar questions and a clarification of values will help in determining the direction of the professional career.

Development of long-range personal and professional goals:

No airplane would take off without a flight plan including a destination. Yet how clear are managers about the direction of their lives? People often resist career planning because it involves making decisions. By choosing one goal, a person gives up opportunities to pursue others; if an individual studies to become a lawyer, she or he usually cannot become a doctor at the same time. Managers also resist goal setting because uncertainties in the environment cause concern about making commitments. Furthermore, there is the fear of failing to achieve goals, because the non-achievement of objectives is a blow to one’s ego.

But by understanding the factors that inhibit goal setting, one can take steps to increase commitment. First, when the setting of performance goals becomes a part of the appraisal process, identifying career goals is easier. Moreover, one does not set career goals all at once. Rather, goal setting is a continuing process that allows flexibility; professional goals can be revised in the light of changing circumstances. Another factor that reduces resistance to goal setting is the integration of long-term aims with the more immediate requirement for action. For example, the aim of becoming a doctor makes it easier to study boring subjects that are necessary for the medical degree.

How far in advance should one plan? It states that planning should cover a period of time necessary for the fulfillment of commitments involved in the decision made today. Therefore, the time frame for career planning will differ with the circumstances. For example, if a person wants to become a professor, it is necessary to plan for university studies of time span is much shorter. At any rate, the long-term aim has to be translated into short-term objectives. Before this is done, however, it is necessary to make a careful assessment of the external environment, including its threats and opportunities.

Analysis of personal strengths and weakness:

For successful career planning, the environmental opportunities and threats must be matched with the strengths and weakness of individuals. Capabilities may be categorized as technical, human, conceptual, or design. The relative importance of these skills differs for the various positions in the organizational hierarchy, with technical skills being very important on the supervisory level, conceptual skills being crucial for top managers, and human skills being important at all levels.

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