Helen Pitcher advises HRDs to take a structured approach to career planning in 2017

By Helen Pitcher for HR magazine

January is as good a time as any to reassess life and career goals. However, as with nearly all New Year ‘resolutions,’ it is important to ensure it is not a seasonal ‘flash in the pan’.

What is more conducive to effective career planning is a six month rolling review of whether you are achieving your stated goals. This however implies that you have taken time, soundings and articulated your stated goals in the first place! And that you do not review your goals achievement in isolation, but use a trusted mentor, coach or experienced friend to walk through progress and obstacles.

Ask yourself: do you have a plan, or are you operating the ‘pin ball wizard’ approach to career management and ‘pinging’ off to wherever life takes you? As we know from ‘pin ball,’ while there are successes through purely random movements, experience, skill and practice pays dividends.

There are now many more opportunities for HR to take a broader career direction. These emerge from a number of trends: a more educated HR population, degrees, Master’s degrees, MBAs, a more open career field especially for women, and the emergence of HR as a mainstream business player and increasing area of focus for the board.

At the highest levels of organisations, the below areas of HR are becoming increasingly important:

  • Integrated and coherent remuneration strategy
  • Diversity
  • Top team development and strategy, including the oversight of the leadership pipeline
  • Behavioural cultural oversight for the board