Who Will Manage Your Career?

Amongst surveys of young managers (and not so young ones too!) most will say that their career is important to them. Yet career planning is something that few managers seem to be taking into their own hands.

Many labour under the belief that their company will manage their career, or their career will manage itself for now. Yet as with any other part of life, a proactive, planned approach significantly improves the chances of success. Who will manage your career? Nobody but you, or at least, nobody else will do it properly.

Most companies don’t invest sufficiently in their human capital

Our research suggests that only a minority of companies invest in the development of their people, and that most individuals feel that they are getting insufficient developmental support. Yet there are many resources available to everyone. Arguably there are too many resources to choose from, and the choice can be overwhelming.

Active career planning not only puts your destiny in your own hands, but it also makes it a lot easier to focus on the development you need to move towards your goals (rather than someone else’s).

Career planning is no longer a priority for employers

There may have been a time when corporations did a reasonable job of career planning for at least some of the people who worked for them. In the days of ‘jobs for life’, corporations expected new recruits to stay with them for the long term, decades, potentially to retirement. Employees were therefore an asset to be invested in, to nurture and grow, because these individuals would add value to the corporation in the long term. Companies could benefit from career planning efforts. Training and development plans were created, and a privileged few were assigned mentors and coaches. But that was then. These days the average tenure at a company is much less. Young managers feel less secure and are also keen to experience new things: one corporation is less likely than ever to be an employer for life.

In turn, employers therefore focus on a short term return on their human capital. If an individual is likely to stay for twenty years, then let’s focus on the value over that time. If they are likely to stay no more than a couple of years, why invest in value which will take longer to accrue? Today employers who focus on training and development (and many don’t) now look towards much shorter term returns. These interventions may or may not be in the best interests of the individual being developed.

Career planning - Take control of your own career – now!

As a result in changes in the workplace, and the relationship between employer and employee, it is more critical than ever for individuals to take control of their own career: to plan it and manage it as you would any project in life. Over the comings weeks we’ll explore a number of elements of career planning, from setting goals, deciding what actions to take first, to identifying resources to support you as you move forward in your career. To ensure you don’t miss out, sign up for our beta program now.


Mike Anthony

Mike is founder and CEO of engage. A pioneer in shopper marketing, Mike Anthony is a passionate practitioner, speaker, and trainer who has helped countless businesses discover new opportunities and achieve better brand returns. After a consumer goods career spanning 17 years and three continents, Mike redirected his energy and enthusiasm toward founding engage, a global management consultancy that leverages the power of a unique vision of shopper marketing and customer management to deliver better brand returns. As the firm’s CEO, Mike has worked with the world’s leading consumer goods companies, such as Nestle, GlaxoSmithKline, Kimberly Clark, Electrolux, Johnson and Johnson, Sara Lee, and Unilever.