Career plans: should your employer lead yours?

Posted on Posted in Career Strategies

The shortcomings of an employer led career plan

In the current economic climate, some people feel happy to just have a job and are quite willing to go along with the direction and career path that an employer provides them with. You can see why others might take this approach but because you are determined about forging a career path that will leave you feeling satisfied and challenged, there is a need to be more proactive when it comes to your career.

There is also a lot to be said that merely following the career path or instructions of your employer will be of greater benefit to them than it is for you. There are some progressive companies that realise that allowing employees to develop and prosper is as good for them as it is for the individual, but the majority of companies want employees to fit into a predefined result and generate expected results. How much time can a business really spend on developing unique career plans for every employee? Instead they might focus on department goals that people can work towards.

There are some benefits of an employer led career plan

This is no bad thing for a business and it can be a positive thing for employees at times. This approach ensures that employees have the necessary skills they need for the roles that they are expected to carry out. If a company has a career development plan and builds towards internal promotions, an employer led career plan can be of great benefit.

There are shortcoming of an employer led career plan though, including:
 A drop in employee morale as individuals will think that their role is not specific to them

 A removal of personal goals and aims in favour of company goals

 An inability to address personal needs, issues or shortfalls

These shortcomings can leave employees feeling unwanted and can lead them to look for other roles and work with other firms. This will ultimately have a negative impact on the company.

If your company isn’t looking to push you on, you need to be proactive in developing a career plan. If you are waiting for your annual career assessment or performance review to suggest changes or highlight the impact that you can have on a company, you are unlikely to achieve the development you are looking for.

There are examples of employees taking the lead with their career path Anyone that is looking for inspiration in how to be more proactive while still working within the expected framework of their employer will find that there are plenty of role models to be found online. Whether you look on LinkedIn, on company blogs or on individual’s social networking pages, there are employees highlighting the impact that they have at their place of work.

This is positioning themselves as key players in the industry but it also emphasises the great work and success that is being achieved at their place of work. Two great examples include the postings of Patrick Agese who is an Energy Specialist at Anesco and Lea Mikus, who is involved with People Operations at Alpha Sights. These two employees are proactive in shaping their career, developing a path that challenges and develops them while allowing their business to achieve success.

There is a need for employers and employees to realise that that they are not competing against each other. Career plans which helps to develop an individual will often bring about a positive return for their company. It can be difficult for a company to buy into this sort of situation en-masse, which makes it something that individuals should be looking to undertake themselves or bring to the attention of their bosses.

If you feel that you could be doing more at work or moving on a different career path, be proactive and bring it to the attention of your supervisors. Showcasing examples where people have benefitted themselves and their employer is a sensible way to highlight the mutual benefits of individuals developing their career path within the framework of their employers aims and overall strategy.