It’s Time to Trash the Long-Term Career Plan

In a world filled with constant chatter about the speed of change, the ongoing disruption of industries, and the need to be nimble: does building a traditional career plan still make sense?

Said another way: Should we always know the perfect answer to the “Where do you see yourself in five years?” question?

Alec Ross recently published his new book,Industries of the Future, where he advises parents and young people on entire industries and job titles that don’t even exist yet. The premise is simple:

How can we make long-term career plans when our dream career may disappear in the next decade? How do we find our way… when it seems we’re too often lost?

There are, however, basic steps you can take to ensure your career is headed in the right direction – even if you, like the rest of us, are unable predict the future. Here’s how:

Know Thyself

First, make sure you really understand who you really are:

  • What skills have you mastered so far?
  • Which skills will you develop over the short-term?
  • What are your personality strengths and weaknesses?
  • What difference will you make, and to whom?
  • To the point it doesn’t feel like work when you do it, what interests you most?
  • What are you really, really good at? And who will pay you to do that?

This is where having a mentor, an in-tune colleague or past manager who knows you well can really help. Ask them these questions about you – and be ready to actively listen to the answers.

If you need even more help, Richard N. Bolles’ gives extensive advice on how to find fulfilling work in his classic book, What Color is Your Parachute? So does Carol Christen in What Color is Your Parachute? for Teens.

Planning for and Embracing Change

Change happens. And that has never been more true than today. In fact, 12 of the top 20 career fields for 2016 weren’t even heard of in 2006.

continue reading… YouTern

by Mark Babbitt


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of The HR Gazette or its team members.
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