Developing Your Career

Developing Your Career

A Personal Succession Plan: The Key to Individual Career Mobility

By James Greenway on March 12, 2014

Are you thinking about what the future holds for your career? How are you planning and preparing for that next step? If your goal is upward mobility—or simply a lateral move into a more interesting or challenging position—a personal succession plan can provide you with the foundation and direction needed to realize your goals.

A recent Careerbuilder survey reports that 21 percent of full-time employees are planning to change jobs in 2014—up from 17 percent in 2013. In addition, approximately 10,000 Baby Boomers reach retirement age every day. These shifts will open opportunities for both internal and external candidates, many of whom have been disheartened by a lack of advancement opportunities over the course of the recession and slow recovery. Do you have a plan in place to take the reins of your career and shape your own future?

Here’s how to get started on your personal succession plan:

  • Find your path. What is your ideal position either inside or outside your organization? Review a job description for that position (or a similar one), uncover the gaps between your skills and the competencies required and set about filling the gaps. It could be that the position you want is not your next move, but one or two away from where you are. Careers paths don’t necessarily follow a straight line. Still, small steps can take you where you want to go.
  • Networking works. Even if your desired position is a few jobs in the future, internal and external networking will speed the process. Through networking, you can identify decision makers, conduct informational interviews and gain the inside track on open positions. Increasing activity on social networking channels offers the opportunity to increase your visibility with potential employers and enhance your professional image through active participation on key group sites.

You own your future. With opportunities on the horizon, a long-term personal succession plan can guide your career mobility by positioning you within the talent pipeline and keeping your professional growth and development on track.

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