Do you know where your career is headed in the next year, 3 years, 5 years? Most people don't. They live day-to-day and don't do any serious long-term planning. 

You might get lucky and get hired by your dream employer, who gives you work you love and takes care of you until you retire. But the odds are that won't happen. 

The fact is, it's getting rare for someone to stay with one employer for 20 or 30 years like our parents or grandparents might have. It's much more common for people to be with a company for just a few years, often with extended periods of unemployment or underemployment in between jobs. 

You never really know when your current great job will suddenly end, due to economic factors, automation, or a change in management. 

Millions of people have lost what they thought were stable jobs, even though they got great reviews and promotions along the way. It doesn't matter how big your last raise was if your company goes out of business or lays you off.

In the 21st century, you simply must take control of your career if you want to be safe and secure. Just getting a good job and staying there until something bad happens is not a good strategy.  

Regardless of where you are in your career, unless you're retiring in a few months, you need to start doing some strategic planning. 

Meet LaKiesha Tomlin

As a career consultant, speaker and founder of Thriving Ambition, Inc, LaKiesha Tomlin helps engineers become world-class leaders and advisor to companies looking for outstanding engineering talent. 

After graduating with a Masters degree from Johns Hopkins University, she quickly rose from entry-level engineer to a mid-level manager in less than 18 months and increased her salary over 37%! 

After this, she was recruited by a major technology company in Silicon Valley to lead a team as an engineering manager. This allowed her to pay off her student loans and travel to a new city every month.  

LaKiesha's expert advice on engineering careers, leadership and networking has been featured on Forbes, American Express, Diversity in Action Magazine, Technology Expresso Podcast, Saint Louis University and many more.