Career planning in uncertain times

Career development
Related to the Me Mindmap for personal development, this is a simple model I’ve used to define what I want in my professional career and especially to evaluate job opportunities.  The weighting of each factor varies per person and also depending on what stage of your career you find yourself at, but at least those are the three main things to keep in mind.

  1. Tasks and expertise: Usually the only thing a job description will contain.  If you don’t like your job or you are not particularly good at it, you will not enjoy it.  Standard stuff.
  2. Team and environment: Depending on the job and the person this might be more or less important. As I am a very sociable person and I have seen what a noxious work environment does to you eventually, I tend to value this quite highly.
  3. Future development and match with own life plans: As said, not everybody wants to “go up in the organization ” (or would be good at it), so your position needs to match that.If there is an area of expertise you want to develop, make sure you can do so in/with your job.

The interesting part is then really listing all the possible influence factors for these three areas and then assigning priorities for each. While it sounds straightforward, it should help you understand what are the things you value professionally to make sure you are happy and perform in what you do.

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