Oct 24, 2011

Plan Your Career By Looking 2 Jobs Ahead

How strategic are you when planning your career?  Three months ago when my best friend declared, "I want to be CIO by the time I'm 45.", we sat down and analyzed what it would take to get there.  An assessment of  his experience and current skill set revealed that CIO is just 2-3 jobs ahead.  Take a moment to look at your career path.  What position is 2 jobs ahead for you?  How is your current role preparing you for that future role?  Not sure?  Here are a few tips to help you identify where you are on your path:
  • Locate the job description or job posting, then review the responsibilities and requirements.  
  • Identify any gaps between what is needed for the role, and your current knowledge, skills, and experience.  
    • Conduct informational interviews with people currently in that role
  • Identify specific resources than can help you to close those gaps:
    • Education or training 
    • Working on special projects/assignments
    • Working on cross-functional teams
    • Ask for feedforward
    • Volunteering
  • Identify a mentor who can help guide you
Your final step is to determine if opportunities exist, at your current employer, that can help you close those gaps.  Or, will you need to get the experience somewhere else.  If your decision is to move on, you now have a clear idea of what you want learn in your new position.  This makes your job search much more focused.

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