A decade’s worth of career phenomena(part 1)

May 5, 2015 2 mins read

This is an article about career planning based on my own work over a decade. I interviewed an average of about 150 senior professionals a year. The professionals generally had 8-15 years of work experience.

In my contact with friends, most of them born in the 1980s, career planning is a very common topic. From graduating from college into your thirties, you have ample opportunities to get to know the community, and reflect on your own growth during this period.

You have to face 3 issues in your thirties:

1. Family Commitments

Most people with at least 10 years of work experience will be at a stage where they have to consider their family issues. You need to know how to become a competent husband if you are married, and father if you have children. our career development will face more pressures, which will probably hinder you in seeking a better development.

2. Matching of competence and age

In my contact with some professionals, a mismatch of competence and age is rather difficult to handle. Many of them have worked for 5 or even 8 years, but they find nothing much has changed compared to 3 years ago, The most important factor resulting in this is their frequent job-hopping, resulting in no deep accumulation in any fixed direction, and we can also assume that they quit their jobs just before promotion.

However, some of them are impressive. They joined a company as management trainees, but many have become directors in less than 8 years, so team management experience is probably their biggest deficiency as far as they concerned.

3. Building and enhancement of knowledge structure

Most senior professionals with 8 years + of work experience have been team leaders who easily know how to deal with specific operational issues, but their thinking often becomes blunted when confronted with a systemic or strategic issue.

The higher your position is, the closer you are in the hierarchy to your boss as far as communication is concerned. You get more opportunities then to deal with your boss and understand how he or she thinks. Maintaining a high degree of synchronization is a major challenge for your promotion.

Marlon Mai's picture
Marlon Mai
Managing Director, Greater China