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Career Planning Within Your Own Company

A good time to do this is at your performance review. Discuss with your manager their plans for you and compare them to your goals to see if they are in sync. Only disclose as much as you feel safe doing, without hurting yourself. Sometimes you will need to go to other safe contacts within the company to discuss your opinions. Many times, the Human Resource department can help in this situation as can other managers. Remember, you have to ask for what you want. If you want a different project, less hours, or more opportunity, ask for it. But also understand the possible consequences and ramifications before you do: weigh the risk vs. the return.

When To Change Companies

Do this when it is clear that you will not be able to meet your goals at your current company. You should certainly keep an eye out for the type of position and company that not only improves upon your current situation but moves you along toward your specific goals. Using a good recruiter as your eyes and ears can be invaluable in keeping you informed of the ideal positions as they come up. If you decide your future is elsewhere, understand it is difficult to change the type of position you have and change companies at the same time. Most companies will want to hire you for the skills you already have, not those you hope to learn.

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