Are You Career Ready?

Where do you want to be in five years' time? When employers ask the question, what they really want to know is have you thought seriously about the career path ahead of you and what you are able to achieve. Planning a realistic career path, starting with the job you do now or are applying for, will help show your commitment and determination.

So what can you aim to achieve within the next five years? You’ll find that some employers set out the opportunities in the Careers section of their website. You can also develop ideas by talking to professionals in the field and by using the websites of relevant professional organizations and recruiters. For ideas on career opportunities in IT service management and Project management, explore our Career Paths section.

Set Short-term Goals

Looking to the long-term gives you something to aim for, but keep in mind the perfect vacancy can take a while to arise. Try taking your long-term goals and breaking them down into smaller objectives that will get you started on the journey. These are the milestones that you can measure your progress by.

Being career ready in a fast-changing economy requires adaptability and a commitment to updating both your skills and knowledge. As well as thinking about where you want to take your career, you should also think about development needs for your current job. Building transferable skills in areas like consultancy, communication and planning will expand your career options because these capabilities have broad appeal to potential employers.

Career goal: Become a Project manager

In the next six months:

  • Talk to your manager about opportunities to get involved in project work
  • Arrange to shadow a Project manager
  • Research the skills and experience that employers want
  • Keep track of relevant accomplishments and skills.

Career goal: Get promotion to Business relationship manager

In the next six months:

  • Research the skills and knowledge that you will need
  • Enroll for a relevant certification
  • Find a mentor who can help guide you through career transitions
  • Update your CV/personal profile.

Focus on three to five realistic goals

Be realistic about what you can achieve in terms of time, your current workload and commitments. Think about how you could improve your skills in a specific area, what courses you could attend or what certifications you could achieve. Don’t make the goals too big. What can you achieve today or tomorrow?

Set yourself three to five goals that you think are attainable within the year, and make a note of them.

  Objective

  Success criteria

  Target date

  Achieved?

  Pass PRINCE2® Foundation examination

  Achieve certification

  1 October

  Yes

 

Building your skills and knowledge doesn’t necessarily mean formal training.Certlifications undoubtedly help but there are many things you can do to improve your skills without having to spend a lot of money. For example:

  Objective

  Success criteria

  Target date

  Achieved?

  Pass PRINCE2 Foundation examination

  Achieve certification

  1 October

  Yes

  Shadow a Project Manager

  Better understanding of role

  1 June

  Yes

  Complete tutorials for project management software

  Able to create a basic project plan

  1 November

  

  Join and online community group

  Find out about topical issues.

  Today

  Yes

 

Each activity should move you one step closer to achieving your overall objective.

Keep a Record

Employers need to know what you will do for them, but recalling details of projects and achievements can be difficult. Get into the habit of recording what you’ve done, the results you've been responsible for and any formal or informal professional development activities you’ve undertaken. As you try out new things, ask for feedback, and keep any emails, documentation or performance reviews that you can use as evidence of your performance and achievements.

Having a ready list to hand means you can react quickly when you spot an opportunity, and can concentrate your effort on tailoring your approach so it presents you in the best possible light.