Many people expect that their companies plan their careers for them and everything is set and clear. However, in today’s environment, this is not the case anymore. You should watch your back and plan your own career. If not, then, no one else would do it for you.
During job interviews, many people ask if the company has a career path. They ask this because they assume that a career path is an automated process and is the same for everyone. For example, you start an analyst position and work for two years and you get promoted to a senior analyst. Afterwards, you work for three years as a senior analyst and you get promoted to a manager. Unfortunately, a career path doesn’t work like this. There may be levels for this path but certainly, it is not going to be the same for everyone. What people forget is that organizational charts in companies are like pyramids. There are hundreds and sometimes thousands of employees at the bottom but only one at the top. Therefore, not everyone will be able to promote to the top.
It is certainly great to work at an employer where there is a career path but you are responsible to climb this path. Your employer is not required to promote you every couple of years. If you plan your career and work towards your goal and show your employer how determined you are, there is no reason why you cannot get promoted. However, the key is always being enthusiastic on what you do. If you don’t like what you are doing right now, you won’t be able to put all of your energy into it since you don’t enjoy it. Therefore, you won’t be able to get promoted.
First, you should find your true passion in order to become successful in your career. Second, you should keep developing your skills. This will help you stand out among your peers as well as be more marketable if you need to change your job. Especially, try to learn the skills which are currently hot in the market and can be translated into other departments or even other industries. This way, when you find yourself in an unexpected situation such as a layoff or company downsizing due to recession, it will be much easier for you to find a new position compared to someone else who can only do the same type of job.