What’s an agile career path? And how can you get one?

Long ago, in days of yore, a young dreamer would find a trade, train with an experienced practitioner and see out their days plying that trade near and yon.

Nowadays, the average UK worker changes job every five years and the idea of a “job for life” is pretty much dead. And since we no longer have our employers providing definitive career paths for us, we are far more responsible for our career success than ever before.

How to put yourself in the career driving seat

Taking control of your career requires two things – firstly, long term goals, or at least an idea of where you want to go and how you’re going to get there. Second, the flexibility to recognise opportunities when they present themselves.

Being agile in your approach to your career means being able to move quickly and easily in different directions. To be nimble and adaptable to change and to move course as the world of work changes around you.

Plan ahead – but not too far

To carve out an agile career path usually takes a bit of planning ahead. I recommend a two year horizon that’s constantly rolling. Two years is future-focused enough to keep you constantly moving towards your goals, while still enabling you to be agile enough to seize opportunities as they present themselves

Michele Norris, an American Journalist has a great perspective on this:

Spotting the value in opportunities

As opportunities arise, you’ll need to be able to analyse them for where they might take you and how they might help you get to your destination. In some instances, they’ll be small opportunities; the chance to speak at a conference or seminar, for example.

Medium sized opportunities might include a promotion within the same department of your existing company. The big ones might include a move outside of your comfort zone, either to a different employer, or maybe even a different country.

These opportunities might be unexpected and unplanned but present new options that you had maybe not ever thought about before. Considering each opportunity as it arises can help you feel in control. Never rule anything out until you’ve had time to really think about the implications and future prospects it may bring.

For more tips on creating an agile career path, watch out for my next blog, Does your future job even exist? And if you’d like my help in the meantime, give me a call on 07765 894040 to book a free chemistry session.

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