Career Planning Within Your Own Company
A good time to do this is at your performance review.
Discuss with your manager their plans for you and compare them to your
goals to see if they are in sync. Only disclose as much as you feel safe
doing, without hurting yourself. Sometimes you will need to go to other
safe contacts within the company to discuss your opinions. Many times,
the Human Resource department can help in this situation as can other
managers. Remember, you have to ask for what you want. If you
want a different project, less hours, or more opportunity, ask for it.
But also understand the possible consequences and ramifications before
you do: weigh the risk vs. the return.
When To Change Companies
Do this when it is clear that you will
not be able to meet your goals at your current company. You should
certainly keep an eye out for the type of position and company that not
only improves upon your current situation but moves you along toward
your specific goals. Using a good recruiter as your eyes and ears can be
invaluable in keeping you informed of the ideal positions as they come
up. If you decide your future is elsewhere, understand it is difficult
to change the type of position you have and change companies at the same
time. Most companies will want to hire you for the skills you already
have, not those you hope to learn.