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Samuel Akinlotan @SamAkinlotan
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I have received a few messages enquiring about developing a career strategy.

I sincerely can't respond individually as it would take more time and I'd rather share about this at 1pm.

At 1pm, let's talk about developing a career strategy that aligns with your career vision.
What is a career strategy? #CareerTalkswithSam
Having a career strategy isn't a nice-to-do, it's a must do - if you expect to gain maximum success from hours you invest in work.

You are likely going to work for your entire adult life – which spans about 20-50years.

Why not make the best that you can create of these years?
Each time you confront a career challenge, you run a great risk of making a short-term decision with long term consequences that might not have been fully explored.

But with a strategy in place you reduce the risk of short-term emotion that can steer you from your aspirations.
Strategy isn’t just for the organization you work.

It’s for you as well.

With a strategy in place you can establish long term goals, make informed resource allocation decisions, and identify the networks and relationships you must have in place to run the business called YOU!
Having a career strategy goes beyond your current job or the next promotion that you'd like to receive.

It focuses more on continuing to grow skills and experience and adding value to your career.
A career strategy is any behavior, activity, or experience designed to help a person meet their 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.

Your career direction and vision will determine your career strategy.
Research on the effectiveness of various career strategies suggests that developing a variety of skills and having a diverse number of work experiences significantly improves one’s chances of attaining career success.

This prioritizes skills development and career moves.
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.

Therefore, a career strategy is not a one size fits all.
Past research identifies at least seven general categories of career strategies that can be used to enhance an individual’s chances of career goal fulfillment.
The seven strategies are;

1. Attaining competence in the current job
2. Putting in extended work hours
3. Developing new skills
4. Developing new opportunities at work
5. Attaining a mentor
6. Building one’s image and reputation and,
7. Engaging in organizational politics
These strategies are basic career moves some of us have undermined.

You need to understand that a combination of these are required for career success.

I will expatiate further on each, so as to bring more clarity on what I mean by each and making these moves!
1. Attaining competence in the current job is a basic career strategy.

It focuses on being very good at what you do - probably the best!

This strategy gets you promotions due to your competence and performance - and also means you have some exceptional skills.
The skills acquired/honed for this strategy will most likely be essential for performance in another job either with one’s current employer or with another organization.

This concept focuses on being employable for current and future opportunities.

2. Putting in extended hours either at the work or at home is a popular career strategy, especially in the early career, when an employee is proving himself or herself to the company.

Working beyond normal hours can enhance performance in one’s current job - exuding commitment.
This can signify to the organization that one is committed to the job and capable of taking on more work & responsibility - a promotion tactic!

However, putting in extended work hours can also result in negative consequences; as it affects work-life balance.
3. Developing new skills is a career strategy that involves the acquisition or enhancement of work abilities that either improve performance in the present job or will be required in a subsequent position.
Developing new skills can involve on-the-job learning or through classroom learning. You can also develop skills by acquiring additional responsibilities on your current jobs, working with an experienced colleague, or volunteering.
4. Developing new opportunities at work includes a number of more specific strategies that are designed to increase one’s career options.

This is a form of self-nomination.

Where you actively communicate your accomplishments, aspirations, and desired assignments to superiors.
This should be considered if you know you're very competent and considered a talent by your coy.

Self-nomination is intended to enhance one’s visibility and exposure to those in more senior positions within the organization, which can bring recognition and special assignments.
5. Attaining a mentor as a career strategy has received considerable attention in recent years. Mentoring can be defined as relationships between junior and senior colleagues or between peers that provide various developmental functions.

A mentor can be a PEER!
Attain a mentor that can provide coaching, friendship, sponsorship, and role-modeling to you.

Having a mentor help you foresee career challenges and how you can deal with issues you might during your career.

This is often good as an additional strategy - not a focal strategy.
6. Building one’s image and reputation is a career strategy in which the individual attempts to convey an appearance of success and suitability.

For example, participating in social activities & dressing properly can provide a positive public image that can bring career rewards.
Image building has a high value to career advancement.

Image building starts from the quality of your work, communication, and appearance.

Thus, a focus on building a strong work reputation can improve a person’s employability regardless of the employer.
7. Engaging in organizational politics is tricky, as it covers such diverse activities as agreeing with or flattering one’s supervisor, advocating company practices, not complaining about rules or regulations, and forming alliances or coalitions with others in the organization.
More extreme & often personally unacceptable political practices can include sabotaging another person’s work or spreading rumors about a colleague.

In many organizations, becoming involved in organizational politics is a career strategy that is necessary for career advancement.
Although certain behaviors might be viewed as unethical/reprehensible.

Nonetheless, regardless of the personal acceptability, engaging in organizational politics is a career strategy that is used regularly - often yielding results.

Stay smart & diplomatic using this strategy.
Each of us have a certain number of years to invest in working and making a living.

Having a job is fine, but creating a viable career strategy will maximize your opportunities for success.

To have a successful career requires that you pursue career strategies like these.
A successful career doesn’t happen unthinkingly or by happenstance.

It needs planning, tending, and frequent review.

Are you ready to pursue these career strategies - and align them with your long term career visions?

We can talk. #CareerTalksWithSam
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