When was the last time you’ve thought about your career or next steps? Have you taken advantage of learning from a mentor or giving back in helping a young professional with shaping their career? How much time do you spend on professional development? Our BCM Career + Professional Development Report highlights that many Business Continuity professionals struggle in career planning, professional development, and mentorship. Individuals within the BCM profession are dedicated to keeping their organization resilient, but they seem to fall short in career resiliency planning. Here’s a New Year’s Resolution to setting career resiliency goals for 2023 and making it count!
Let’s dig into career planning first. Several professionals (33%) admit to giving career planning some thought but have never documented their career plan or made a conscious effort to work on their career goals. And while 41% try to focus on their career plan once a year, 12% have never defined a career path, and 7% only occasionally work on career planning when they get frustrated with their current role. With the New Year upon us, it’s an opportune time to reflect on your career and set future goals. Before you can look forward, though, you first need to understand where you are today. Let’s start off with documenting a self-assessment SWOT.
Be sure to review our BCM Career + Professional Development Report, which is available upon request. This report contains a skills self-assessment section in addition to a hiring manager skills assessment (what skills do they target when hiring), and an appendix listing out several general hard skills, BCM specific hard skills, and soft skills. What hard and soft skills do you bring to the table? How is each a strength, weakness, opportunity, or a threat? Remember, a skill can fall under multiple categories too.
Now let’s look to the future. Where do you want to be with your career in 2-5 years? What skills (including hard and soft) do you need to learn to achieve your goals? How does your current team, program, manager, or organization present opportunities or threats to your career goals? Once you have your long-range career planning goals documented, you can dial it back a bit by incorporating a SMART goal methodology. This would include short-term actionable goals to move your career forward in the next year.
Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant Time-Bound
Also, don’t forget to incorporate your personal life when career planning. Do your professional goals blend well with your personal life? The blending of your professional and personal life will likely change over time. Be sure to make updates as your priorities change, adjust, and replace with new target goals. It’s also important to think of your career plan as a living document and an exercise that should be revisited once or twice a year. Similarly, to keep your organization resilient, it’s important to take these steps to keep your career resilient and moving forward.
Professional Development: How much time do you personally spend on professional development each year? According to our BCM Career + Professional Development Report, most professionals (37%) spend 8+ days while 32% equally spend 4-8 days or less than 4 days/ year. Professional development can cover a variety of subject areas too, from public speaking, general management courses, an advanced degree, certification, as well as content specific to Business Continuity planning. As you grow your career, it’s important to remember that no one is born brilliant. Every successful person has been learning and growing with their skills for quite some time. Plus, technologies and best practices are always evolving, making it even more important for new and experienced professionals to continue to learn.
What do you want to learn next year? Here’s an opportunity to review your career plan that you just documented to determine which skills are most crucial to achieving your SMART and/or long-term career goals. What professional development or continual learning opportunities will help you in achieving these career goals? Fortunately, the Business Continuity world offers several professional development opportunities from industry specific certifications (some focused on continued learning), conferences, and associations to even participating in a workshop or webinar. Not sure where to begin? Perhaps lean on your network to get recommendations. Also, many organizations will encourage professional development to elevate and retain their current employees. Be sure to inquire with your manager or Human Resources department.
Mentorship: Next let’s unpack mentorship. Our BCM Career + Professional Development Report highlights that only 30% are either a mentee (6%) or a mentor (24%). Many professionals (22%) noted that it’s hard to find the time while 14% were not aware of any mentorship opportunities. Being a mentee or mentor provides numerous benefits. You both learn from each other, build your networks, and grow as professionals. For a mentee, it’s an opportunity to connect 1-on-1 with another individual, usually within the same profession or discipline, to support career growth, serve as a source of knowledge, help with goal setting, offer encouragement, listen, make connections, offer constructive feedback, and be a trusted ally. Being a mentor will boost your interpersonal skills, strengthen your own knowledge, develop your leadership skills, expand your network, help build your confidence, gain a new perspective, self-reflect, and provide a sense of fulfillment.
Many organizations are creating mentorship networks to help elevate and retain current staff. There are several mentorship opportunities across the Business Continuity profession too. I myself currently serve on the DRJ Mentor Program Advisory Board. Additionally, there are several associations/certifying bodies who provide mentorship networking channels, including individual chapters from the Association of Continuity Professionals (ACP), the Business Continuity Institute, the DRI International (Women in Business Continuity Management and Veterans Outreach Program), and the DRI Canada Mentorship Program, just to name a few. With so many mentorship opportunities, this is definitely a SMART career goal to set for 2023 and cross off your list!
Hopefully, you find these tips helpful. Just remember that career resiliency will not happen without you making it happen and investing time in yourself. Document your career plan/strategy, set up SMART goals for 2023, and make it count! As always, we are here to help you in meeting your career aspirations in any way that we can. Sign up for our BCM Career Alert notifications at https://www.bcmanagement.com/business-continuity-jobs to ensure you receive timely new career notifications matching your search preferences. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have. Arrange a complimentary discussion today at firstname.lastname@example.org.