Time for a career plan

14 February 2012
Rebecca Ellinor, managing editor, Supply ManagementIt is around this time that many 
people are thinking about fresh starts and new horizons – certainly there are a fair-few job moves in this issue. But if you want to maximise your chances of getting that dream role, what do you need to do? First, know what you want and plan how to get there. As new columnist Nicola Bromby from BAA says, “you wouldn’t go into a negotiation unprepared, 
so why take that chance on your career?”. She offers a range of advice and since the topic of careers has come up in recent conversations I’ve had with a number of CPOs, I wanted to pass on some more. Senior buyers – often the ones on the other side of the interview desk – suggest: know what you want and make it clear. If you tell your boss what you want to do at your company in future, it makes your intentions obvious (and hopefully helps them to consider you if such an opportunity comes up). It also gives you time to prepare because if your manager thinks you’re not ready for such a post, you can ask what you need to do to be ready and focus on achieving it. And just doing the day-to-day stuff probably isn’t going to be enough to get you noticed – what extra value are you adding? As Norland CPO Rachel Lee told me (the full interview of which will appear next month), she’s been really disappointed with CVs she’s seen of late. “Let’s not promote ourselves on our CVs as just doing cost savings. What else have you done?”

Bosses also caution: don’t just concentrate on the urgent at the expense of the important. It is the long-term goals, the strategic, value-adding work you do that will define you and advance your career.

And finally, don’t get distracted, as Brodie Smithers says in this issue’s Students column. Have a strict plan. And stick to it.

And on the subject of recognition, one perfect way to get noticed is the CIPS Supply Management Awards 2012, which are now open for entries. Remember to get your application 
in by 13 April.
Central London and Cheltenham
Salaries: Central London: £38,656 - £43,186/Cheltenham: £35,736 - £40,011
Central London and Cheltenham
Salaries: Central London: £48,305 - £56,163/Cheltenham: £45,341 - £53,023
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