When OD is well thought out, it can improve the efficiencies within a company. OD is usually driven by the executive team or the HR department, but the most astute career planner can become a master of understanding OD principles and use their skill set, experience and ambition as the solution needed to fill organizational gaps, and accelerate their career at the same time. To do this, you need to interpret the current state of the organization, identify how it needs to shift to meet its business goals, and then execute your own action plan supporting growth and positioning yourself for your next promotion.
As VP of Finance and Corporate Controller of Network Appliance, a $3B data management and storage company, Leslie Paulides had the opportunity to build a finance organization from a small team of seven to over 300 people. This required a deep understanding of OD principles. Not only did she find it personally gratifying to spearhead this expansion, but she learned a thing or two about being proactive in career advancement applying basic OD principles. Below she shares five great ways to be proactive in your career planning.
Know where you want to go
Be specific when describing your next ideal position, include a date as to when you'd like to be there. Identify the pains experienced by the organization and notice how your skill set and experience can be the solution. At times, a new position may be created for you! Communicate your vision for career advancement with your manager and ask for their feedback.
An ideal mentor is someone "in the know" who is willing to help you align your strengths with the direction of the company and who expresses candid feedback, including areas to improve.
Devise solutions for the areas of inefficiency
Seeing yourself as the solution for the inefficiencies in an organization can be your golden ticket to a great career. In fact, the more knowledge that you obtain about your company's goals and the gaps related to these goals, the greater control you acquire over your career advancement.
Keep learning and developing
Know what kind of training and development is required to move to the next level. It is far easier to obtain a new position that requires new skills within a company that already knows you.
Be courageous enough to know when it is time to move on
Decide upon a timeframe to explore all options available at your current company. If there is no room for growth, then network with individuals who can help you identify your next career step and can help you get there. This individual could be a mentor, a trustworthy recruiter that has high ethical standards, or an industry professional.
The more you know about yourself, where you would like to take your career, and where you can ease the pains of an organization, the easier it will be for you to grow in your career path.