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5 Tools for Intended Career Building

Posted at March 12, 2020, 7:32 am

When traveling a long way, it is helpful to have markings. A career journey is no exception. Here are some practical tools that will be useful when you need to stop and think — "Am I moving in the right direction?"

 

SWOT analysis

This strategic planning tool helps to identify the factors of the internal and external environment. It is also used in career planning where:

  • Strengths are the specialist's benefits (profile education, experience, valuable knowledge, and skills, as well as personal qualities that is useful to succeed in the profession).
  • Weaknesses are disadvantages, areas of employee development, something that is lacking for further career advancement (outdated knowledge and lack of experience in completing tasks at the level of complexity).
  • Opportunities are labor market opportunities (areas where there is potential for realization, high demand for services).
  • Threats are external restrictions on the labor market that may be hampered (such as over-competition or loss of relevance of the profession when additional training is required).

 

Career Anchors

A tool by American psychologist Edgar Shane to identify motives that encourage people to try to advance their careers. According to this concept, there are 8 career anchors, considering the different knowledge, skills, purposes, and values ​​of a person:

  • Professional competence. A specialist who is extremely interested in a particular profession seeks to develop in it, feels the need to be part of the professional community. If this is your anchor, you will be happy to be able to study regularly, solve difficult tasks, and receive recognition from colleagues.
  • Management. A career progression motivates such people, and thus management of subordinates, as well as high rewards and status.
  • Independence. Professionals need the ability to work in their style and mode, and the only guideline to make a goal. They can feel uncomfortable working continuously in a team and the traditional corporate hierarchy. So, it can be necessary, for example, minimal control, personal responsibility for one's job, flexible hours, or remote work.
  • Security and stability. These people seek balance, including professional activity. Working for a large company will be felt in a long-term project with a minimum of surprises and risks.
  • Entrepreneurship. Often, such people start their businesses. And if they work as a team, they are still looking for ways to implement creative decisions and innovations. Therefore, they can only be involved and loyal in those companies where there is such an opportunity. In particular, at the stages of project launching and branch opening.
  • The desire to benefit. If the profession itself does not envisage the opportunity to help people, you should look for a company that has programs for corporate social development (for example, participation in charitable projects).
  • Challenge. These are people with a high level of intrinsic motivation, and they need to complicate the professional level. They can be precious for complex, diverse, and risky projects, but ineffective in routine tasks.
  • Lifestyle. It is crucial for people who have this career anchor to maintain a life balance, to take care of other areas of life besides work. A company should choose one that respects this right and gives more opportunity to devote time to family and personal interests.

 

After Action Review

This tool is borrowed from the experience of the US Army and is used to analyze mistakes and make conclusions from a specific "operation". In the context of a professional summary for a career change, it may be a bad interview, a failed negotiation, or a project that is at risk of failing.

It is crucial for learning and error correction, so it should be worthwhile for a specific project (which is also a job search). Usually, this tool is used in a group, but also useful for introspection.

The structure is simple and provides answers to four questions:

  1. What was going to happen?
  2. What happened?
  3. Why are the actual events different from those planned?
  4. Why can I learn?

Sincere answers to these questions reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the circumstances and explain conclusions for the future.

For example, if you chose the company and you were planning to get job offers but were not well prepared for the job interview, next time, this experience would motivate you to take more responsible preparation.

 

Disney's creative strategy

This tool can be used not only by representatives of the creative professions but also by anyone who wants to find a non-standard solution to the problem and make plans. To do this, you should try different roles: the dreamer, the realist, and the critic, who participated in the creation of incredible animated films of the studio.

For the dreamer role: why is this goal so important, is it inspiring? What will I feel when I reach it? What exactly will it teach me?

For the role of a realist: what do I have to do to achieve my goal? What is the precise algorithm for achieving the goal? How long will it take? What resources should be attracted?

For the role of the critic: is it possible to implement this plan? What is missing in it? What are the risks and limitations?

 

The GROW Model

Another tool that lets you ask yourself the right questions and develop your career consciously:

  • G (Goal):

What do I want? What will be the best result? What is a meaningful goal? How will I know that I will achieve the desired result? How will reaching the goal affect other areas of life? It is vital to define and formulate the target as precisely as possible. It will not only set the goal but also start the path to it more carefully.

  • R (Reality):

What is it now? What's going on? On a 10-point scale, where 10 is the goal, what level am I at now? What do I feel that excites me? How does this affect other areas of life? What resources are already available? Who else, but I influence the result?

At this stage, there is a risk of engaging in self-criticism, so you should be careful and keep a balance, so you do not lose motivation. It is essential to answer your questions openly, such as admitting that fear or laziness is a success and an excuse to reconsider behavior. However, it is important to specify all the answers — it is easier to overcome the difficulties?

  • O (Options):

What are the options? What can be done to change the situation? What are the options? And are there alternatives? What is Plan B? What resources are there, and what else is there to attract? And who can I contact for help? It is essential to get the maximum amount of ideas and options, without criticism and evaluation.

  • W (Will):

What to determine the first step and algorithm of action? When to do it? What should be considered before starting the journey? What support, resources are needed? What are the obstacles where they can be found? And what will I do when I face these difficulties? How confident am I that the plan is realistic (on a 10-point scale)? What prevents you from marking 10?

"Will" is the keyword: "I will". It implies determination and desire to change.


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