WHERE WILL YOU BE IN FIVE YEARS?

Survey Says People With a Career Plan Are More Successful; Expert Offers Tips for Mapping Professional Goals

MENLO PARK, CA -- Having an answer to the question, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" will do more than impress an interviewer, suggests a new nationwide survey. Eighty-two percent of workers polled believe people who truly have a career game plan are more successful.

The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in highly skilled administrative professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 720 men and women, all 18 years of age or older and employed.

These findings are part of OfficeTeam's Success by Design: 2005TM project, which examines the subject of career planning. The results coincide with Administrative Professionals Week, April 23-29, which recognizes the contributions of administrative and support staff nationwide. OfficeTeam is also hosting a monthlong series of webcasts and live chats continuing on April 19 and 26 at www.officeteam.com.

Survey respondents were asked, "In your opinion, are people who develop a career plan ultimately more successful or less successful than those who do not develop a plan?" Their answers: 

Much more successful   38%
Somewhat more successful   44%
Somewhat less successful   4%
Much less successful   2%
Don't know/no answer   12%
    100%

"Constant shifts in technology and the workplace have created greater professional mobility and placed more responsibility for career advancement on the individual versus the employer," said Diane Domeyer, executive director of OfficeTeam.

Domeyer notes that planning ahead is especially critical in the administrative field. "Technical advancements have opened the door to new responsibilities and expanded paths to promotion for support staff. Taking advantage of these opportunities can lead to increased visibility, financial rewards and recognition."

Based on the results of additional survey research commissioned by OfficeTeam, Domeyer offers five tips for developing a five-year career plan:

  • Record your goals - While the majority of workers polled believe a plan is important for success, only 23 percent actually keep a written list of career goals. Domeyer notes that putting things in writing is critical: "Recording your goals allows you to make revisions and track progress more easily." 
     
  • Consult with others - When asked who has had the biggest impact on their career development, one-fifth of survey respondents mentioned a parent, closely followed by a current or previous manager (18 percent) and co-worker (17 percent). 
     
  • Read - Keeping up with general business news and technology trends sounds simple, yet a surprising 33 percent of workers say they don't spend any time at all reading about these issues. Domeyer recommends building at least 10 minutes into your schedule for your daily "newsfeed" to keep current on events impacting your industry or profession. 
     
  • Reward yourself - Taking charge of your own career development means you are the only one gauging - and acknowledging - your success. Less than half of workers surveyed (48 percent) reward themselves frequently for career accomplishments. "Giving yourself regular pats on the back will increase your drive to succeed," Domeyer said. 
     
  • Be a career diplomat - Knowing how to navigate office politics tactfully and professionally has a direct impact on your career advancement. You can test your skills in confronting common workplace dilemmas by taking OfficeTeam's Career Diplomacy IndexTM.

OfficeTeam is addressing the topic of creating a five-year career plan in a series of webcasts airing every Wednesday in April at 8 p.m. Eastern at www.officeteam.com. Each segment is followed by a live chat on the CareerPath web site (www.careerpath.com).

Administrative Professionals Day is Wednesday, April 26 and is sponsored by the International Association of Administrative Professionals.


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