Career plans don’t always go exactly to plan. With a strong vision for where you want to be and a stepped out plan on how to get there, you may be presented with unexpected obstacles you need to overcome in order to keep on track. For example, you might not land the job you knew you were perfect for. You might take a role and move on sooner than anticipated. You might even make a ‘bad’ career-move decision, or leave because the culture didn’t fit as well with you as you thought it might.
Don’t worry. Career plans move and change, as do many things in life. The key is to remain focused on your goals and keep sight of the bigger picture. It’s like driving down the road and being presented with multiple road signs to the same destination. Each will offer something uniquely different along the way, but still get you to your final destination. If you’re adaptable and think strategically, these kinds of situations can deliver “career gold” and position you perfectly for your next long-term, full time role.
Learn to flex
Take the example where full-time opportunities are elusive. Think laterally about your situation and which road may lead you to where you want to be, albeit from a different direction. While you’re networking, utilising social media to build your profile, meeting permanent recruiters like Firebrand, and keeping an eye on the end game - consider a contract, temporary or temporary-to-permanent opportunity through agencies like Aquent and Vitamin T. These opportunities come in many forms – maternity leave, project, and interim roles. They are generally several months in duration and in some cases, lead to full-time employment with the company you’re contracting to.
Find the opportunity
Don’t waste the opportunities these kinds of roles afford you. Use the time to assess your career plan and goals, gain some new or complementary skills, or refine those you already have. Importantly, while the pressure is off and you’re fully engaged, take the time to get to know the right people and recruitment firms and map out what companies you’d really like to work for and what you can offer them.
You’re in the enviable position of having time on your side, as you don’t need to jump into anything as your contract role provides a welcome buffer.
Utilise all available resources
Career plans are almost always subject to change. They’re organic in nature and should therefore be malleable just as you should be with your job search. Flexing with your plan, seizing the unforeseen opportunities that may present themselves along the way, utilising your networks, and developing relationships with key recruitment firms will put you in the very best position for securing your next full-time role.
About the author
As a business leader with a marketing focus or conversely, a marketing leader with a business focus, I've been fortunate to have a career that's crossed multiple categories, geographies and cultures in both private & publicly listed companies.
I've enjoyed helping businesses improve their performance, align & realign strategy, integrate, grow, expand & embark on change programs from commercial, operational & marketing perspectives through leadership of cross-functional teams.
My broad marketing experience extends to a deep interest in the people component of marketing and branding and how, just like consumer brands have value propositions, so too do employers.
My contributions here take a look at the employment and recruitment space through a marketers lens, exploring the inter-relations between cancdidates and the experiences they have with brands.
My personal blog provides a forum for sharing my experiences, understanding, views and insights.