A career strategy is any behavior, activity, or experience designed to help a person meet career goals. A career strategy represents a conscious choice by an individual as to the type of investment he or she is willing to make in attempting to reach career objectives. Ideally, people pursue a particular career strategy based on the expectation that it will result in the greatest chances of achieving personal and professional success.
Research on the effectiveness of various career strategies suggests that developing a variety of portable skills and having a diverse number of work experiences significantly improves one’s chances of attaining career success.
Other research has found that the use of strategies such as self-nomination and networking contribute to an individual’s career success. The usefulness of a particular career strategy is dependent on a number of factors, including the nature of the job, the type of the industry, and the culture and norms of the particular organization. Indeed, a career strategy that might be successful in one case might not work in another.
Developing a career strategy is an individual process that includes:
- Focusing on the development of Critical Skills – PORTABLE Skills that can travel with you from job to job.
- Careful development of a meaningful Skill Mosaic – a “skill picture” of you that defines who you are in terms of what you do and are capable of doing.
- Anticipating and effectively dealing with inevitable Career Crises.
- Developing confidence in yourself and strong mental fitness that can intercept and mute the saboteurs that hinder your performance and happiness.
- Understanding the need for balance when making the tradeoffs between self, career, and family.
- Demonstrating competence in your job and your chosen field of interest.
- Focusing on doing what you are both “good at” and “like.”
- Understanding how to evaluate new job opportunities and avoiding making unwise job changes.