Career anchors will help you up the ladder

Career anchors will help you up the ladder

Education is a vast segment and just having a professional degree will not take you places in the present scenario which is seeing a cut-throat competition. Even students who secure jobs from campus placement drives may not necessarily be satisfied with their job roles or career growth. The need of the hour is to stay relevant and upgrade skills as per the requirement of the industry. A whole lot of emphasis is being laid upon demonstrable skills rather than theoretical knowledge. Therefore, students and professionals need to think out of the box and enhance their skills through various courses available. 

What next and how do you know that you are struggling in your career, and what is the way ahead? Mid-career crisis can be faced by anyone, even a professional with two years of work experience can feel stuck in his or her profession. This is when career anchors will come into the picture.

But what is a career anchor? It is a combination of perceived areas of competence, motives, and values relating to professional work choices. Once an individual’s career anchor is identified through self-assessment exercises, he or she will become unstoppable in achieving what they want.  

Know your job

Identification and importance of career anchors in the fast-paced work environment are requisite. Often people tend to select a wrong career due to the lack of choices or personal liabilities. This leads to a loss in productivity because they find their workplace incompatible with their true values. Therefore, in an effort to come out of the situation of confusion and chaos in one’s career, it is important that a professional identifies career anchors. 

For example, there are project leaders who have been writing codes for many years. Because of their work experience, they are promoted to the next level of a project managerial role. However, project management includes both technical and marketing skills, which is when things will get obsolete for an individual. Here, the role of hidden anchors to exploit options for mid-career transition will come into role. In this particular case, the career anchor that would give mileage to this individual’s career would be a upskill course in product leadership. 

Career anchors will help in identifying a clear path ahead for professionals having a mid-career crisis. It will help accelerate career growth by tapping into an individual’s core competencies.

Make right choices

How do you identify career anchors? The answer is to have a personal assessment on a regular basis to gain a better understanding of who you are and then determine your professional goals. It is much easier to get where you need to go if you know where you are starting from and what you are working with. Once you know what you want to do, you can take a leap in your mid-career and upskill on the basis of what the career anchor identified. These insights will underline the hidden anchors and inspire professionals for a mid-career transition, which could become the foundation of their corporate journey. 

How does one self- assess? Technology now enables real-time assessment and makes learning personalised, adaptive and scalable. It is helping employees chart their career path by drawing from psychometric evaluations and pulse surveys to motivate them, reduce turnover and let them own their own development.

 For which professional is the identification of career anchors a need of the hour? It has been seen that professionals with over five years of work experience in the technology or product industry usually suffer from a mid-career crisis and are looking for a transition. These are the professionals who are seeking for that extra push in their career. Also, senior professionals seeking executive skills and frameworks to get to the top, entrepreneurs and start-up teams seeking frameworks and knowledge to put their enterprise in high gear can use career anchors to enrich their experience and maximise efficiency.

(The author is with Institute of
Product Leadership)

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