While job numbers, salaries and the general economic outlook are now healthy, there are many candidates who come to us feeling that they need a change for the better. This could be the result of many factors, from job responsibilities, the relationship with their manager, the relationship with colleagues, or the relationship with clients or customers.
For those in this situation, my advice would be to revisit your career plan. If you are not satisfied in your job or if your current role is holding you back from achieving your career aspirations then perhaps it’s time you made a change. Job numbers in the banking and finance industry are strong and career-advancing opportunities are available. This means you can look for an organisation offering the management style or culture in which you can flourish, with the responsibilities, opportunities and people that will help you become satisfied at work.
Career planning is essential to achieving success in your chosen career. Whether you are aiming to be a bookkeeper in a small business or the finance director of a multi-national corporation, you must know in which direction you are headed and what is required of you to achieve your goal.
Planning is a basic, yet key principle used by successful business people. Plans are formulated on a regular basis to control direction, make the best use of resources and measure progress or results.
Think of your career plan along the lines of a business plan. The key issues to cover are:
• What are my long-term career objectives?
• What will I want to get out of my job in the next five years or so?
• Do I need to study? If so, what for?
• What are my individual priorities?
These priorities and objectives may change over time and of course you need to check up from time to time to make sure you are on track.
So, to formulate your career plan, firstly you must set your long-term goals or objectives. For example -"In ten years time I want to be the financial controller of a large commercial organisation". To arrive at this objective, you must consider personal and professional aspirations. Aim high with whatever you set out to achieve, both personally and professionally, but be realistic as goals that are obviously unachievable can be demotivating.
Don't be afraid to set long-term goals. They can be altered or amended as your aspirations or values change. Indeed, it is quite likely this will be the case.
Once your long-term goals are in place, it is important to establish the steps you will need to take to reach those longer-term objectives. Again, these steps may need alteration where appropriate, but will be based on such considerations as academic qualifications, professional membership, technical experience and personal development.
With firm goals in place, you must obtain the right attitude. Enthusiasm is the catalyst to success. It makes your personal and professional experiences more enjoyable and satisfying.
One final note: Career planning or goal setting will only achieve its purpose if you adhere to the principals of measuring your progress and following the path you have planned. This means it is important to write down your goals. The process of putting pen to paper allows you to keep clear focus, check your achievements and make the necessary alterations when required.
Imagine you are planning an overseas trip and the amount of time and energy you would devote to it. Your career will probably span the next thirty years of your life so start planning now.
The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Asian Banking & Finance. The author was not remunerated for this article.
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Emma Charnock is the Regional Director in Hong Kong and China for Hays.