After over 15 years of working in recruitment, I have rarely found individuals who have had smooth transitions in their jobs along their career path. Some have worked in one or two companies all their lives (lifetime employees) and missed out on opportunities. Others have moved from one job to another with no clear path or logical transition (random jobseekers).
Why is this so? It is not a common practice to plan out how careers would grow or develop. Nobody knew exactly what type of work one wanted to do in the beginning, and new graduates merely grab whatever is available, as soon as they get out of school. They get comfortable in their first job and the moment they become unhappy, check out what is available in the market and jump in. This cycle continues until mid-career, when they wake up to see the difficulty in competing with younger applicants. Then reality hits hard. They have been boxed in; they cannot wiggle out of it without financial sacrifice or emotional toll. “How would I make a change or transition to another career from here?”
The same thing happens with new immigrants. They take whatever job they can find when they land here and they get comfortable in their survival jobs. After five to ten years, they become dissatisfied and long to get back into their old profession or career. But employers look at the last five years of experience as basis for qualification. Then they lose out on opportunity to get to the job that they really want.
Almost everyone sees this situation as normal and naturally happens to everyone. What they don’t realize is that career planning could have saved them from this conundrum. Planning out what job to take–or to say no to–as they go along the job changes could have made a lot of difference. Having a clear strategy at the outset could have saved them so much agony and trouble. Yes, it is not a cure-all and might not get them the best job in an economic recession. But having a clear career path and a rational career plan makes a lot of difference when on a job search. Hiring managers can discern applicants with a game plan from random jobseekers.
Career strategy what? Say that again?