Giulia has 10 years of experience in several HR functions and projects, mainly spent in the FMCG industry in Europe.

Currently based in Singapore, She oversees the Regional HR function for Asia, Australia and Africa at Barilla Group.

Passionate about all Human Resources topics, industrial and manufacturing processes, change management and digitalization.

Many organizations strive to develop the most sophisticated and bullet proof career management system that engages people and helps them advance quickly: but how can HR help employees to take the lead in this process? What else can they do to design and drive their own career strategy?

In the current job market, being your own boss when it comes to career management is no longer an option: great careers don't just happen. In the same way that entrepreneurs create a prosperous business, an exciting and rewarding career is achieved with effective modeling, planning, and execution.

Think like an entrepreneur!

PERSONAL GOALS: Evaluating career opportunities as entrepreneurs assess business opportunities

A good evaluation of an entrepreneurial opportunity starts with a deep assessment of your personal goals: what kind of goals do I have? Do I aspire to reap rewards or take more risks? Do I want to be rich or a king? Do I strive for something more or something else than money? What are my ethical and personal criteria for success? What are my values?

If we consider a career opportunity to be a business opportunity, these questions are crucial to begin developing your career strategy: what are you interested or even passionate about─ your current position, your colleagues, or your organization? What responsibilities would you enjoy that you don't yet have? What type of future role would you be motivated to work toward? Do you prefer to manage people or resources, or to develop a technical career?

Your career strategy should be driven by your values as well as your dreams. By identifying your top values, aspirations, and short/long term objectives, you will likely depict a coherent strategy to obtain your goals. Too many professionals end up in the same role they were originally hired for, all the while thinking that they could have achieved much more. Identify your dreams and understand what motivates you. This is the first mandatory step in building the strategy that gets you to where you want to go.

Team and the Ability to Execute

Here, the "team" is the combination of the individual, the company, and the network. The more these factors are aligned to the end goal and the strategy, the higher the odds are of winning.

Let's start from the Individual: analyzing your own strengths helps you to understand what you excel at, and which skills have allowed you to shine. Conversely, a self-reflection of your weakest skills and the tasks you find more difficult is necessary for the 360° picture of your profile and to run a gap analysis. If we apply the entrepreneurial concepts to career management, it is also important to analyze the experience you have, your key success factors, the key resources you possess, and your specific know-how to ensure that they are aligned with the available opportunity and goals. 

Next, take into consideration the Company: is the company aligned with your values? Is the opportunity in the company consistent with the tasks, projects, or roles that you imagined as part of your ideal career? Are there any other challenging tasks that you could do to develop your skills according to your ideal career strategy? Are there other companies out there that can offer you more consistent opportunities? Will your key success factors allow you to succeed in a specific opportunity? Is there any upcoming project that would allow you to showcase your value to get what you want? 

Whether you can see opportunities in your company right away or not, there may be many chances for growth and advancement in your organization, and in your current industry. It is important to stay up-to-date with what the organization can offer you.

“By identifying your top values, aspirations, and short/long term objectives, you will likely depict a coherent strategy to obtain your goals”

Finally, think about your Network: networking is a crucial asset when it comes to creating a career strategy and evaluating potential opportunities. You can only be supported if people know who you are, and it is crucial that you get to know the people who can help you achieve your goals. Networking can be a significant accelerator and represent your “strategic capital”. It can be achieved through multiple channels: colleagues in different functions, suppliers, and professionals in other organizations or industries. The ultimate goal is to increase your reputation and gain other’s trust. The reputation that you will be able to build will have significant power for your career growth.

ECONOMIC VIABILITY: here we talk about numbers!

Explore the distinctive factors of the surrounding environment or“The Market” that you are going to play in. Analyze the political, economic, socio-cultural, and technological trends that might affect your career.

Decide to face or to avoid any market challenges. Likewise, identify potential areas of growth and opportunities. Can I access this market? Is there an unsatisfied demand or too much offer in the market? Is there any niches or hidden opportunities? Is the opportunity seen as valuable by other companies, industries, or the labor market? What do the current beneficiaries of a specific opportunity look like? These are some useful questions to begin to contemplate.

Reflecting on timing is also essential. Is it the right time to take the opportunity? Does the opportunity match your personal needs? Assess your readiness to face the challenge.

Also, look at the competition and your competitive advantage: how many candidates are suitable for the opportunity? Do you have all the requirements? What makes you unique? How can you sustain and defend your uniqueness?

Identifying your competitive advantage is key. These are the things that you can do uniquely well, compared to others around you. An advantage, strength, skill set, or a unique attitude that will add value above others.

Lastly, consider the potential profit: just as an entrepreneur evaluates business opportunities, professionals always need to think one step ahead and predict what is likely going to happen in the future. When assessing a career opportunity, it is fundamental that you analyze your next move. Think about what kind of levels/jobs/industries the opportunity will give you access to, what capabilities you will develop, and how much these capabilities will be worth on the labor market.