Career Planning - Is It Important?

Apr 11, 2016 10:01:17 AM

I have taken on a new mentor role recently and when I was deciding who would be a good fit, I looked through the list and found so many people requesting career planning help.

In my opinion, career planning isn’t something that should be done in too strict a way.

I’ve come across many people who have a 'successful career', but when you ask them how they got there, they say that they didn’t really do anything specific; they just 'fell' into it. They can then look back at the decisions that they made and find a link, but it’s obvious that the intentions of those decisions as they were made aren’t the reason why they’re where they are today.

You have other people who are deemed successful and they have climbed the greasy pole, doing all the right things in all the right places. They may well have had to make some tough decisions to make the steps they made and they have probably endured quite a bit of jealousy and backbiting in the past. 'Success' in this form is often done in industries /companies /departments where it can be dog eat dog.

Others yet again have such single-minded intentions that it is quite obvious that they will get to where they want to go; they are clear on their intentions and for them, there is only one path that they can take. 

What type of career planning is best for me?

You might not fit – or be comfortable – in any of the ‘career planning’ scenarios that I mentioned above. And that’s fine.

The most important thing when it comes to thinking about your career is to know yourself. And I really mean *know*. What makes you tick, what do you enjoy, what makes you forget time, what do you hate, what do you try and avoid, what would you pay all the money in the world not to do, what would you do for free if you could? This list is long and you can add many, many questions. 

What the list doesn't ask is, what is the most that you can get paid, which jobs do you like or not, what is a proper job, what will make my friends jealous, what will give me access to the newest [add your desirable product here], what do my parents/lecturers/family want me to do?

The first set of questions will find you something that will be an enjoyable 'career'. The second set will likely find you fitting in and selling out. 

Rather than fitting into a plan, how about you enjoy the journey of learning, creating, experiencing? Let your strengths guide you and help you find the role that fits you and makes you happiest. 


Find out more about our guest blogger Ghilaine Chan

Ghilaine is passionate about allowing people to do their best work and delight others

Ghilaine helps people to operate fast growing businesses in a productive and streamlined way, keeping an eye on time and money, whilst increasing motivation and improving customer relationships in a fast paced, changing environment. She brings order to chaos and creates scalable processes around the business, empowering them to delight their customers.

She works with tech based or enabled companies who are looking to disrupt their industries, but know that people are at the centre of their success and helping them manage their teams to: 

  • Do their best work and delighting others
  • Create some boundaries, but not cages
  • Know they are acting for a purpose
  • Determine which part they play, that what they receive enables them and what they produce is useful
  • Have autonomy over how and when they produce

She has over 15 years' experience in scaling international business functions for technology companies, within their support and consultancy organisations.

Ghilaine is a graduate of London College of Fashion (now part of University of the Arts: London) with a degree in Product Development. She is a Mentor with Microsoft Ventures,UpRising and Outbox Incubator as well as an Approved Business Coach with Growth Accelerator, now part of Business Growth Services. 

Want to know more? Connect with Ghilaine on LinkedIn, follow her on Twitter and visit her website, Ghilaine & Co

What do you think?

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