By Jose Ruiz
Jose Ruiz serves as Alder Koten’s Chief Executive Officer providing vision, strategic direction and the roadmap for the firm’s future. He is also involved in executive search work focused on board members, CEOs and senior-level executives; and consulting engagements related to leadership and organizational effectiveness helping clients create thriving cultures.
To be a successful executive, managing your career well is imperative. While many executives rely on their employers to manage theirs, taking charge of your own future should be done strategically. You’d need a well-kept record of measurable milestones and goals. You’d also need to continuously upgrading skills and updating knowledge and information.
Now, the question is: what is the most effective way to do so?
There is no singular way to answer this question. Every individual approaches things differently and every situation must be dealt specifically. However, you can start with creating short, medium, and long term career management plans. For each term, ask yourself what your goals and requirements are. Take a good note of them.
The short-term career plan is designed for the next two years. Start with identifying the career goals. For example, you can write “be promoted to Lead Supervisor” position. To achieve this goal, you’d need to achieve goals set by the company and obtain certain skills on your own.
Write down those two goals down in a notebook or an apps. Set the steps required to accomplish each of them. Be as detailed as possible. Write clearly on what you’d be accomplishing every month. This way, you can see clearly where your career is heading.
The medium-term career plan is created for the next two to five years. It can be anything from developing a larger professional network, pursuing a Master’s degree, to becoming a director in the company. If the goal can be planned with deadlines, such as obtaining a Master’s degree, start a timeline.
The timeline should include the dates when you’d need to prepare for the GMAT, take the exam, start the application process, and start the semester. If you’re saving up for the tuition, include a timeline of how much you’d need to save every single month. Be realistic and as detailed as possible.
The long-term career plan is developed for the next five years and beyond. Still it is still far away and things can change, it will be less specific. However, it should clearly include what you wish to accomplish. For instance, it can be anything from starting a second career, opening a business, writing a book on small business management, to investing in commercial real property.
Develop a timeline using one-year blocks for the fifth, the sixth, the seventh, the eighth, the ninth, and the tenth year. Writing down long-term goals will help you understand where you’re heading and what will be required along the way. This way, your subconcious mind will start working on achieving those goals.
Last but not least, career management involves more than managing a career. It requires a clear vision on what the future you’d love to have for yourself and identifying the skills you’d need to have to achieve it. This way, you can keep track of the goals and milestones, which are in alignment to the long-term plan. Revisit your career plan from time to time, so you can adjust and revise the goals as needed.
About Alder Koten
Alder Koten helps shape organizations through a combination of research, executive search, cultural & leadership assessment, and other talent advisory services. The firm was founded in 2011 and currently includes 6 partners and over 28 consultants in 4 cities. The firm’s headquarters are located in Houston and it has offices in Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Mexico City with partner firms in New York, Boston, Chicago, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and United Kingdom. We know where to find the executives you need and how to attract top talent to your organization. Our approach to executive search is based on a thorough understanding of the strategic, cultural, financial and operational issues our clients face. Our executive search engagements are targeted and focused on the specific requirements of the position including industry and functional experience, skills, competencies, cultural fit, and leadership style. Our process is rigorous. We take a disciplined and structured approach to identifying potential candidates that meet the position requirements including subject-matter, functional and regional expertise. We use our high-level professional networks, industry knowledge, and internal research resources to achieve results in every executive search engagement.