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Do You Own Your Career, or Does Your Career Own You?

By Joe Caliri

It’s an interesting question, isn’t it? For me, it’s a reminder of the importance of career planning. Career planning done right allows you to own your career. However, career planning isn’t a preset roadmap with turn-by-turn navigation that starts in one destination and ensures that you will get to another. It’s not a cookbook recipe that results in the perfect outcome if followed to perfection. Career planning is a living plan that you update frequently with your supervisor or mentor. The career plan changes as needs and desires change. Although your career values and goals are unique, recognizing the interests and needs of your company and customers can also serve to identify and shape opportunities for you. They work in tandem with you playing a key role in their success. Think of it this way: career planning as a three-legged stool.

  • The first leg is tied to your desired growth (training, certs, experience, etc.)
  • The second leg is tied to the company needs
  • The third leg is tied to your customer needs

All three guide your career and should work together to point out the mutual opportunities for you and those around you. Career planning isn’t just for the “upwardly mobile,” but also for the professional interested in just being a better version of themselves. Either way, professional development is the key to your career development and being ready for new opportunities and challenges when they present themselves. Ultimately, the most qualified person to determine the course of action in your career path is you. Never be afraid to ask for guidance, especially from your supervisor, Human Resources, your company councils, and/or leadership. They are all there to help. SimV employees who have walked the path of career growth shared this insight:

  • Be proactive. Your needs and desires are critical to successful career growth.
  • Do your current job well and take the lead whenever you can.
  • Help the company grow by active engagement and/or by being technically excellent in the eyes of your customer, team, and management.
  • Seek and complete training, related certifications, and mentoring (getting/giving).
  • Embrace (and own) the mistakes you make along the way and learn from them.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions and engage/partner with your manager and chain of command…let them know your interests!
  • Find joy in your job and what you are passionate about, be positive, and don’t focus on the negative.
  • Go outside your comfort zone, support learning events, attend council meetings, learn about what your company does across other groups, and support them.

It’s essential to make yourself aware of the possibilities within your organization and with your customer. What do they need? A healthy growing company like SimV will typically have more needs than they can immediately staff. For instance, SimV has several funded open positions. These are opportunities.

The customer’s “needs” also play a big role in your career growth. Companies like SimV strategize to align with customer needs. We then work to fill those needs with experts who deliver solutions and services. This creates new opportunities for our employees, opportunities for leadership, and increased responsibility that can result in significant career growth.

Therefore, work to learn your company’s needs, help connect to customer needs, and take responsibility for your growth. This way you are not just adding value to yourself, but also multiplying value for others!

Learn more about SimVentions by visiting our Careers page.