Key questions to ask yourself in your quest for career clarity

Key questions to ask yourself in your quest for career clarity

By Robert Kyte, 27 April 2018

My career – My future

How many times have you been advised in the course of your career to date that the only person who can realistically manage your career is YOU? There is a reason for the regularity of this advice – it is true! Sure, your manager can assist you in facilitating ongoing professional development and provide you with new opportunities as all empowering managers should. But the reality is that it is your individual responsibility to be the primary custodian of your career, not someone else’s duty.

So, how do you find time to manage your career and its future direction and success when you are already running hard to meet all of your existing operational and strategic responsibilities? Sometimes, it is important to take some time to think about your career and not just your current role. Annual leave is a brilliant time to do that, as are weekends. The time taken to crystallize your career goals, and to think about the work culture that you thrive in is time well spent. It is also worth thinking about the steps that need to be taken to attain your goals.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself in conducting your search for career clarity:

  1. If someone gave me an opportunity to design my own ideal position description, what would my primary responsibilities be and with which company would I be working?
  2. What are my own individual list of priorities? Rank culture, remuneration, flexibility, level of responsibility, career progression and anything else that comes to mind in order of importance to you.
  3. Which educational qualifications am I likely to need to have completed to attain my ideal role? Am I willing and able to spend the time and money to achieve them?
  4. Does my existing employer offer roles in the existing company restructure that I aspire to, or would I need to secure employment elsewhere? 
  5. Who do I know and trust enough to have an open and honest career discussion with?
  6. What is my timeframe? It is useful to build a career plan and plot achievable milestones on it which can be reviewed as circumstances change and opportunities emerge.

As with anything in life, knowledge is power and the more information you have access to in relation to your career options, the better the outcome is likely to be. Mentoring can be very useful, and it is not the preserve of the inexperienced – many senior executives have mentors and work/life coaches who assist them in honing their skills.

Good luck in your financial services career journey, and always remember – it’s your future!