30 Career Management Tips — Separate career management from a company

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This month, I’m going to provide a career management tip-a-day (along with other posts) to help you trigger your own career management activities.

Today’s tip: Separate career management from a company.

If you work in a larger corporation, one of the human resource initiatives is usually to have some tools that will help identify skills of their people. Usually called “career management” tools, they really are a way of allowing the management teams to determine who the best people are for the right positions in the company. If they really pay any attention to them, but that’s another blog post.

But don’t be fooled: the tools are not about you, they are about the company.

Here are four reasons you should separate your career management from your company:

  1. Your company will lay you off in a heartbeat. Not meeting budgets, corporate goals, or simply cutting expenses to meet profitability targets will result in layoffs. Companies don’t care about people’s career management goals, they care about their own. Managers may care about your career, but that doesn’t matter if your manager has been told to cut staff by 50%.
  2. Your company’s needs are not your career management needs. Companies want people in positions that meet their needs so it can meet objectives. That has nothing to do with your career management needs, or, if it does, it is sheer accident.
  3. Companies are bought and sold all the time. This can significantly change the dynamics and your career is not about company dynamics.
  4. Your company constantly reorganizes. Many corporations consistently reorganize — the “2% unemployment rate, 75% corporate churn rate” phenomenon — and the reorganizations look at your skill sets and the slots available. Not whether your career plans fit into the slots.

There are many useful tools for managing your career that are actually about managing your career. Support the company in their assessments of their skills. But remember that your career management is about YOU.

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