Typical career from graduation to retirement takes 40-50 years. Rarely a straight line, instead filled with ups, downs, and side-steps.
It's very rare to sit in the same cubicle and do the same work for the whole 30, 40, or 50 years career...
Career steps and phases
Many of these don't always fit into your employer's short-term targets, but they might be crucial for your own long-term goals:
- Learn a new language or a technology
- Stay home with kids for a year
- Become a contractor or a freelancer
- Work in a foreign country
- Launch own startup
- Work part-time
- Work remotely from home, or some warm country over winter
- Go back to school, how about a Ph.D.?
- Take a year off and travel around the world
In real life, a typical career is also not only love and happiness but can also include:
- Mistakes, failures and bad career moves
- Getting fired, either company bankruptcy or different views with your boss
- Un-employment periods (yes, that can happen also to the best, 40-50 years of career is a looong time!)
- Getting too stressed or burnout from work
- Personal life problems
- "Soul-searching", what to do with life and work?
Role of HRM?
Traditionally Human Resources Management is the function in a company to help and support employees with all the above mentioned positive and negative career steps and phases. Ideally, that would be enough and work, but we're not living in an ideal world.
HR, the same way as the business/line management, is working for the company. If there's a conflict of interests, let's say between the company and employee, the HR will ultimately be on the company's side.
That's their job, so nothing bad about it, but who's on the talent's side when the s**t hits the fan?
Experienced engineering manager on your side of the table. Someone who has seen already all the above career steps and phases, either personally, or from colleagues and friends.
Long-term view, 10+ years, going through different career steps and phases, both ups, and downs.
With an incentive to help you, you are the boss.