No Job Plan: Why Long-Term Career Plans Fail

No Job Plan: To increase your income, do you plan to change jobs every three years?  On the other hand, do you plan a career at the same company?

No Job Plan: Why Long-Term Career Plans Fail

Are you basing your career on changing jobs every three years to increase your income?  On the other hand, do you plan to build a long-term career with the same company.  Plans are great.  You can’t know how to reach a destination without knowing where you are going.

But the world changes.  Industries change.  Career opportunities and options change.  What should you really be doing in a world of career uncertainty?

Are You Risk Averse?

If you are risk averse, setting up a job plan to reduce risks is smart.  You find a company that has stability.  The company has guidelines that reduce the uncertainty of your job requirements.  You love what you are doing.  Furthermore, you feel safe.

What Are the Risk of Playing It Safe?

However, playing it safe can also lead down blind alleys.  For example, you develop a specific set of skills for a job with a well-established company.  Then, another company buys your company and outsources your work to another country.

You will find that playing it safe has created anything but safety.  Playing it safe can leave you with a limited set of marketable skills in a world where job skills change often.

What Are the Dangers of Job Hopping for Income?

Frequently, I read articles that highlight the income advantages of changing jobs every two or three years.  The idea is that you get a larger pay raise through a job change than you get through merit raises with the same employer.

There are several problems with this theory.  One, you are giving up increasing benefits that come to long-term employees.  Furthermore, you are creating a resume that shows that you are less reliable than people with career stability.

No Job Plan

Everybody has a plan.  Sports team have a plan to play against other teams.  Consumer companies have marketing plans to compete in the market place.

To quote Mike Tyson, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

What the “no job plan” means is the flexibility to make changes to your career as conditions change.  If you have stability at your current job and continue to learn new skills that make you more marketable over the long-term, changing jobs for a pay raise is a mistake.

Furthermore, if you find that you are in a job where you are overqualified, you can begin to explore new jobs that match your skills and pay you for those skills.

The important thing is to remember that career assessment is an ongoing process.  You don’t focus on a plan.  Rather, focus on the changes conditions and adjust to make the most of the conditions that will help you throughout your career.