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Successful people - what does your career path look like?

(18 Posts)
Hoolet Fri 08-Jul-16 20:22:24

I mean, in terms of it's shape.

Did you stay in the same workplace after graduating and work your way up? Did you train; move; train; move? Did you specialise, or get to know the whole industry?

I'm really interested to know how you did it.

SummerSazz Fri 08-Jul-16 20:27:55

I graduated, did 3 years of professional exams - stayed 6 years in 1 area (2 promotions) then 10 years in a specialist area (2 promotions and 2 kids lol). Took voluntary redundancy and contracted for 3 years before dc both at school.

Then got PT senior role in specialist area (negotiated from advertised role ft 2 grades lower) for 3 days a week on same salary as lower ft role.

Hoping for promotion this year. Dc now 9 and 7.

SummerSazz Fri 08-Jul-16 20:29:45

Forgot to say, moved 150 miles 5 years into 10 yr stint (internal office transfer) and went pt for last 3 of those (after dc 1)

Hoolet Fri 08-Jul-16 20:38:27

Thanks, that's really interesting to hear.

The reason I'm asking is that the senior staff at my firm have all been at there forever. My instinct is that moving around to other firms would be good (different workplace cultures, etc) , but the evidence seems to point the other way.

SummerSazz Fri 08-Jul-16 20:41:44

My boss, same age as me and FTSE100 senior director level moved around to climb the ladder and I think I now settled. I agree if you want to get to Board level by early 40's you need to move a few times

Oly5 Fri 08-Jul-16 20:47:28

I'm fairly successful in what I do (quite niche) but have been at the same firm for 12 years. Promoted three times

WipsGlitter Fri 08-Jul-16 20:50:02

Mine is all over the shop!!

Voluntary work
Employment scheme related to what I wanted to do
Job not really related to what I wanted to do
Job to get management experience (hated this job!!)
Another job that I shaped towards my skills and what I wanted to do
Maternity leave
Back to job
Maternity leave
Redundancy while on mat leave (fuckers)
Great job but only mat cover sad
Six months unemployed
Good job - learnt loads and really updated my skill set, shite pay though
Current job - interesting, senior manager, good money but dysfunctional management!

EBearhug Sat 09-Jul-16 00:28:44

We've got a right mix. We've got some people - particularly in the US (American company) - who have been there pretty much their entire career, but that doesn't mean they have stayed in the same division or location all that time. One of the VP roles here is used for people in the US to get two years overseas experience; it's a role where they'd have a lot of travelling round European sites, so it is great experience, but they move on every two years like clockwork, and they go back to something back home...

Other people have far more mixed backgrounds. We've got a former chef who came into customer service and has moved up that way. Others have move sideways to get particular experience. Others have been forced to change through redundancy.

I think it's good to have a mix - people who have long experience with the same company through different areas, and also those who've gained experience from other companies, other cultures, other countries. It's important to have different perspectives.

daisychain01 Sat 09-Jul-16 06:46:54

My shape has been zigzagging around. Mainly, taking a few risks, each time I have moved roles I have always bitten off more than I can chew and felt out of my depth.

In general terms ....

Holding your nerve, being prepared to fail and learning from those moments is the best way to do well. Each time that happens it makes you more strong and resourceful. It is tough because it's a gamble, especially if you are a major breadwinner, but the rewards are there.

Being as indispensable as possible, making the job your own, so it is a hassle for the company to find a replacement.

However......I find myself having to repeatedly say, like a mantra "if you can keep your head when all around are losing their's and blaming it on you...."

Lighteningirll Sat 09-Jul-16 06:53:14

Always grab opportunities, if necessary pretend I can do it til I've learnt, do every training with a totally open mind and be the best I can be at all times. I did a traditional education to degree level but never fancied working for anyone so set up my own business and adapted it til it worked.

contortionist Sat 09-Jul-16 07:03:39

Successful people I know have generally moved (internally or externally) every two to three years until they get very senior.

I'm not sure being indispensable is a great strategy in the early stages of your career - if you're indispensable in a particular role, you can't be promoted or take internal opportunities.

daisychain01 Sat 09-Jul-16 07:11:15

Yes fair enough re being indispensable but it's a double edge sword, you need to have a strong track record so some of that is down to building a great reputation. Otherwise how can you differentiate? it entirely depends on your company, mine encourages internal moves and promotions, I've only been blocked once in my career and that was a secondment, (because they'd lose my headcount!)

daisychain01 Sat 09-Jul-16 07:14:04

And part of successful moves is making sure you build your own exit strategy ( but always according to your own career timetable i.e. Do it to them before they do it to you smile. )

BikeRunSki Sat 09-Jul-16 07:23:23

A levels, BSc, MSc, bottom of the ladder job in my field. PhD. Slightly further up the ladder, but getting my hands mucky job -2 years; changed companies for a promotion - 2 years; changed companies for a promotion - 2 years. Moved to public sector - have been there 12 years; have had 3 different roles in that time.

DrLockhart Sat 09-Jul-16 08:27:24

Always grab opportunities, if necessary pretend I can do it til I've learnt, do every training with a totally open mind and be the best I can be at all times

^^ this

Opportunities present themselves in strange ways - grab them

Big companies offer training all of the time, if you ask! Make sure you accept the development opportunities on offer.

Most learning throughout your career is through challenges on the job (70%); feed from other is 20% (coaching,mentoring etc) and learning from formal training is only 10% of your learning. Therefore opportunities nearly always come up if you challenge yourself in your existing job or project.

I've worked up the career ladder in my sector, quite quickly (quicker if I didn't have my DD) and am on track to be on the Board before I'm 40 (within 5 years).

PridePrejudiceZombies Sat 09-Jul-16 17:05:31

I like to think I'm reasonably successful, and hope the best is yet to come. Am in a niche area, have moved around a lot. That's the nature of the sector I'm in though. Been in the sector, broadly, basically since beginning my career, though a couple of slightly adjacent roles during that time.

I've done quite well out of covering year long maternity leaves for people as well. Can be a great opportunity to get a role/salary/working pattern you don't necessarily have the experience to command in a permanent context. If you're willing to do this, it can be worth the relative lack of stability.

PridePrejudiceZombies Sat 09-Jul-16 17:06:06

Also I always apply for everything. Sometimes they take a punt on you.

GetAHaircutCarl Sat 09-Jul-16 17:18:30

Grab opportunities by the short and curlies. Don't over analyse.

I've had a very varied work life which has been hugely interesting and lucrative.

I'm currently involved in a project for which I'm woefully inexperienced. I'm having to learn as I go along, minute by minute. I'm watching and keeping notes and doing my best. People seem reasonably ambivalent about my lack of experience actually. Which is handy grin.

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