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To not want a 5 year plan at work?

25 replies

Whatsnewwithyou · 04/11/2018 13:35

I'm happy with my job and salary and work life balance. I have no desire to advance as I don't want to work harder than I do now and I don't want more responsibility as I would find it stressful. I'm doing fine, I manage 5 people and do a technical job I enjoy. Moving up would mean doing a lot more project management and being responsible for the delivery of large projects with tons of politics, meetings to lead, visibility, etc. I just am not interested.

My boss says I need to put together a 5 year plan. What do I do? Ideally he would want me to move laterally around to different roles (none of which I want to do as they involve lots of travel) and then move up. So what do I put on the plan that has me doing the same things for the next 5 years and on into retirement in 15 years? What do I tell him?

OP posts:
Glumglowworm · 04/11/2018 13:38

Can you put developing your staff into other roles/promotions/upskilling they?
Improving processes you’re responsible for?
Professional development, any courses or qualifications you could do?

I agree it’s a crappy management idea, but you’re not going to convince them of that so might as well play along.

epicclusterfuck · 04/11/2018 13:39

Is there some other way to progress on the technical side of your role?

shakethatass · 04/11/2018 13:39

Have you told him you aren't interested?
He might see potential in you and has assumed that you want to unlock it. Some people don't understand those who don't want to progress... I'm like you. My kids are young and I have zero interest in taking on more at work. My boss knows this and my progression plan is centred on maintaining excellence in current role

MacosieAsunter · 04/11/2018 13:39

I'm with you on this. I've been there/seen it/done/designed the t-shirt and now I've taken a step back. I have no will to have objectives and performance goals. I want to go to work, do my job, and forget about it until the next day. I have absolutely no desire for advancement.

EmpressJewel · 04/11/2018 13:58

I feel like this as well - I have just been enrolled on a developmental programme and I just can't be bothered.

I work in HR, so we are supposed to love this sort of stuff...... I think there are a couple of reasons for this.

  1. I want to do a good job at work, but I want to be able to leave work at home and save my emotional investment for my family.

  2. as a HR person, I am seeing more and more ill mental health at work and I think this is partly due to to people being defined by work.

  3. I know the theory behind this stuff!!!!
ileclerc · 04/11/2018 14:02

I have rewrite my 1-3 year plan every year so I feel your pain.

Just so it, you don't have to follow through with anything in it.

sixtyeleven · 04/11/2018 14:02

oh god tell me about it, I'm supposed to have plans and all that but really all I want to do is go to work, do what I do well and have that acknowledged, then come home and do something more interesting. YYY to not being defined by my job. I've been here 8 years and am getting a bit of pressure to do stuff I don't care about and will be crap at.

Sowhatifidosnore · 04/11/2018 14:04

Just play along and write the bullshit bingo key word 5 year plan. I do one about every 18 months which then becomes obsolete at the strategy changes, or a new boss comes or people get laid off. It’s the way some managers justify their salaries...

Sparkingfizzing · 04/11/2018 14:07

Gah. I hate these things. They don't account for people who are happy where they are. They suggesr that concentrating on doing your current job well is a bad thing.

Be honest- say that you love your current job and enjoy x abput it and think your skills in y are good for it so you hope to stay in your role long term.

Consider where your weaknesses are and how you plan to address them.

Where is your role going? How can it do things better, how will you do that? Think about what your role will look like in 5 years. How can you prepare yourself for that?

What training do you need/want?

How do you negatively impact on the team (don't use the word negative though!) and how do you need to develop to address that?

I think you need to show growth and development in yourself and the role. There is a danger that it can seem like you are stagnating (even if you are not).

FinallyGotAnIPhone · 04/11/2018 14:07

Just do it and make it a paper exercise..,

Sparkingfizzing · 04/11/2018 14:09

If done well - these exercises can be really helpful and a way to get better/stay good at what you do.

NotMeNoNo · 04/11/2018 14:16

I have this. I am nearly 50, have two teenage children with additional needs one teetering on dropping out of school, I am the main wage earner, spent most of last year on a phased return from time off due to stress (mostly family related). If I can get to work 5 days a week and get some way through my inbox and keep my team busy, that's a result for me. I can't see more than a few months ahead let alone 5 years. I really cannot get management to listen to me on this.

TBH the best development would be to get my team upskilled so I have less to do...

AmIRightOrAMeringue · 04/11/2018 14:21

Widen your technical knowledge?

Go on courses or secondments close to you so no travel?

Make it about developing other people or helping the company achieve its goals for your team rather than move jobs?

IWriteCode · 04/11/2018 14:22

It really depends on what the company's culture is. I worked for a couple of big corporations where it was "up or out", and when I transitioned from a technical role I loved doing to a political program management one, I was miserable as fuck. In the end, I quit and started contracting and it's fab. I go in, I do my job, I drop the pen at 6pm. No politics, no admin work, no bullshit.

Maelstrop · 04/11/2018 14:33

I was asked to do this and it was ridiculous. I mean, the plan was to increase results, ensure the department was fully resourced, recruit sufficient staff to cope with a growing department.

What pp said about it becoming obsolete and pointless after every update meeting is so true. It’s utterly pointless so write one but if management require one, then write it. Be careful telling your boss you’re not interested in progressing, they will see this as a lack of ambition and may not want that attitude in their organisation.

SerenDippitty · 04/11/2018 15:20

It ‘s like that where I work. The pressure to advance is huge. If you’re happy at the level you’re at, and your performing well/satisfactorily in your job, what else matters?

ThistleAmore · 04/11/2018 15:26

@IWriteCode - totally agree. I've just left my job and gone back to contracting because of all this 'culture' and 'development' sh*te.

I've been doing what I do for quite a long time and I'm good at it, but my specialist skill set is niche. I'm not averse to doing a bit of training or mentoring on the side, but I have no interest in management or 'people wrangling'.

My day rate is high, I get to leave at 6pm and I don't have to get involved in politics. Result!

BrokenWing · 04/11/2018 15:35

I can see it from both sides. You are happy what you are doing in your comfort zone, don't want the stress and it fits your work life balance.

He doesn't want someone stagnating the same role for 15 years and blocking progress opportunities for those that are ambitious and potentially have longer term value to the company.

Thinking you will get to sit blocking the same role for 15 years until you retire is unrealistic, so it might be better to think about what you want to do within that company before you are pushed/reorganised into something you definitely don't want.

OldBean2 · 04/11/2018 15:35

I was asked this at my interview at a new company... I only answered, "Retired and living on a canal boat." I was high fived by the CEO's PA... but I should probably explain that I am 60, and this is why I said it!

nokidshere · 04/11/2018 15:41

Back in the 90s I was always being asked for my 5 yr plan at staff reviews and interviews. I just repeated that I was happy where I was at and wanted to do the job that I was currently doing to the best of my ability and beyond that didn't have, nor did I want, a plan.

It's an extremely irritating question if they aren't prepared to listen to your answer. Not everyone has, or needs to have, a plan.

MrsStrowman · 04/11/2018 15:43

Will you not be bored doing exactly the same job for the next fifteen years? The other issue is when people stay in middle/lower management jobs for too long they are blocking progression routes for other more junior staff, this is common in the public sector

ShalomJackie · 04/11/2018 15:48

It is perfectly ok to say you want to stay doing what you are.

They are succession planning. In fact it will make it easier for them that you do not want to be promoted. They will then know who they need to recruit eg. It may be ok to hire at a higher level or same level but also to explain to a same level that they are not being blocked so to speak from being promoted going forward as you want to remain in your role. They will be able to plan properly going forward.


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Walkingdeadfangirl · 04/11/2018 16:02

I imagine the company is not interested in people sitting in the same role for decades, not progressing and blocking routes for other people to progress. I imagine in 5 years time you will be overpaid and over experienced for the role you are doing now.

If a companies staff dont progress then they stagnate and the company stagnates and possibly withers.

Whatsnewwithyou · 04/11/2018 18:06

I take the points about blocking a position, however there's no limit to the number of people who could be promoted to the same grade as me within the team - it's just that at the moment I'm the only one so am the manager almost by default. And I am known for being very good at helping others develop, but I was only promoted myself a year ago.

I will think of a couple of roles that wouldn't be so bad and put them on my development plan but won't put down any wish for another promotion. And then will hope it all gets forgotten quite quickly Smile.

OP posts:
Cherries101 · 04/11/2018 18:41

Most companies aren’t interested in people just line managing or doing technical jobs in the UK. That’s only ever a career option in cheap offshoring destinations. So if that’s the main part of your job you really do need a development plan because when you are made redundant you might not find a new job.

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