The first wave of impact from growing competition and ever changing business models is often felt by the employees, for better or worse. Navigating and managing one’s career in such a dynamic environment is critical to long term growth and development. Little wonder career management is undergoing a paradigm shift.

Earlier, the onus was on the company to manage the career and professional aspirations of its employees. Organizations laid out pre-defined processes, developed plans and provided guidance on how an employee’s career would take shape in the years to come. 

This scenario is fast changing with a steady decline in the average tenure of employees, growing demand of flexible work structures and global deployment of opportunities. These factors are forcing the management to adopt a more hands-off approach, letting employees take more control of their career paths. 

Here are some key steps that can help you remain employable in the future and take your career to new heights:

define your goals and metrics:

A clear understanding of your current role, future goals, and metrics is the first step to taking charge of your career. A detailed discussion with your line manager is essential to charting out your career goals and ensuring that you have an ongoing dialogue to monitor progress.

continuous feedback

Top performers always seek out feedback on all aspects of their role, assess weak areas to focus on, and align their personal goals with business goals. At times, managers may not give adequate feedback, simply because they don’t have a full understanding of their team member’s aspirations or they are too busy. In such situations, you need to be more proactive in seeking feedback. 

visibility with execs

In order to create a continued and successful growth path, you should strive to take on activities that go above and beyond your core role. This could take the form of volunteering to lead a company initiative, community activity or charity event. This can help you in gain better visibility with top executives and lead to more opportunities. 

gain expertise in a skill set or technology of future

To remain employable in the future, it is important to identify a skill set, tool or technology, such as cloud, additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence or analytics, which could be your company’s future focus area. Once you pinpoint the skill set, enrol in training programs or opportunities offered within your company or externally by edtech firms. According to the Workforce of the future report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, 74% of millennial respondents are ready to learn new skills or completely retrain.

identify a mentor

While managing career goals, having a mentor to guide you through the ups and downs of your career can help you get a better perspective. A mentor-mentee program is quite popular today from a career development perspective. Interacting with a senior leader and seeking their advice in the field you want to pursue is a great way to course-correct or avoid stumbling blocks.

Whether your company has a defined learning and development plan or not, taking charge of your career is important to remaining employable in the future. Bottom line: a clear understanding of your own goals, using a metric to track your milestones, seeking out mentors and being assertive are some ways to accelerate your career development.