Your Career Lasts A Long Time
Although it’s a simple concept, when coaching others on making good career decisions, this is the very first, most basic thing I tell them. I emphasize it because I come across too many candidates who join companies or take positions with just the short-term in mind, and without considering the future value that a situation today will offer them.
Many end up changing jobs every 1-2 years only to find out after a few years that they’re backgrounds are no longer attractive to employers. Many choose positions or companies because they offer the most money, but later realize they aren’t building the skills or experience that will help them capture better opportunities later on. Or they end up feeling trapped or frustrated in a situation they don’t enjoy or care aboutmuch, but still face many more years of doing.
To avoid such situations, remember that every choice you make today impacts your ability to reach your future objectives. Your decisions to enter an industry, join a company, or take a position can determine whether you’ll enjoy your work, how successful you’ll beat your job, and how many aspects of your career and life will turn out. So when considering a big career decision, ask yourself, “Does this opportunity/situation bring me any closer to my overall career objectives?”
Successful companies approach key business decisions by considering their short-, mid-, and long-term objectives.So should you when making key career decisions. While it’s natural to pay more attention to your immediate needs, concerns, and realities, the future is alsoa reality that you need to consider as well.
The fortunate thing is that with the continuous expansion of so many companies and industries, the future comes very fast in China. So whereas the mid-term usually means 4-5 years from now in mature markets like the US, it’s more like 2-3 years here. And while the long-term may mean 8-10 years from now elsewhere, it’s closer to 4-5 yearshere. As proof, just notice the relatively young ages of those in many senior management roles in China, which are often 4-5 years younger than in other markets.