Effective career planning requires you to answer a number of key questions about your goals, capabilities, work experience, and self-advocacy. While we are very encouraged by the growing number of people who are thinking through their career plans on Whomi.com, we've noticed one interesting trend: some people are building their entire plans without asking for any help! That is a missed opportunity!
The two keys that we have learned from the behaviors of highly successful people are that:
- They have a career plan
- They get feedback from people they trust
When you write down your career plan entirely on your own, you miss the chance to broaden your thinking, demonstrate openness to input, and build advocates who can help you. We believe everyone should be getting feedback, even if you believe you know exactly what you want to do!
Let's take an example from a recent Whomi user. We'll call her "Emily."
Emily wanted to move from a mechanical engineering job in aerospace to a role in consumer electronics. She had clear priorities and a concrete goal. But when it came to the top 3 requirements that hiring managers would want to see, she only had a general idea based on her experience in a different industry.
Instead of filling out Step 2 of her career plan by listing the top 3-5 capabilities she believed hiring managers would want to see, she decided to ask for help. She looked up alumni from her university that were in the consumer electronics space in engineering roles. She reached out to 10 of them simply saying:
"Hi - I'm an alumni from your university interested in moving into an engineering role in consumer electronics. I see you've had some great experience in this space. Could you possibly share with me the top 3 things you think a hiring manager wants to see from someone applying to be a staff mechanical engineer in your company."
Her question was simple. The answers were simple. Her contacts could respond with 3 bullets with seconds or a minute of their time.
She did not ask the contacts to become ongoing mentors for her. She did not ask for a 30 minute open-ended informational interview. She simply asked for the contacts to respond with 3 bullets that would help her think through her plan.
Within 48 hours she had responses from 6 of the 10 people she had contacted. Many of them confirmed her original thinking. But she broadened her perspectives and made some adjustments.
More important than the specific answers, she also now had 6 completely new contacts, working in the field that she wanted to join, who were aware of her and had some small vested interest in her future. As she moves on to Steps 3 and 4 of her Career Plan, she will have more people she can ask to look over her resume, make introductions, and suggested other contacts in their network.
This is just one example, but as we mentioned in our last blog, leveraging your trusted inner-circle network and your extended relationship network are a key part of achieving your career goals. Do not go it alone!
So go back to your career plan and look through it slowly from the top. Did you take the opportunity to get feedback at each step? Whether you get feedback on Whomi in a Private Advisor Room where your advisors can work together to help you, or through offline email, conversations, and messages, be sure to get feedback... even when you think you already know the answers!
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels