Things to think about when deciding how to manage your career:
Your career will in all probability be your biggest financial resource!
- Career Management is the combination of structured planning, conscious career choices and active management of your own professional career. To succeed you have to take charge of your career yourself!
- Goals: Define and prioritise your short-term and long-term life and career goals.
- Understand your own Behaviour, Strengths & Weaknesses: You must assess and evaluate yourself objectively and realistically identify your marketable features. Assess your skills, temperament, aptitudes, likes and dislikes. Like a successful business wins customers by developing a unique selling proposition so you need to decide on what your USP needs to be. It helps to analyse what other employees in your field are offering. A good start to understanding your behaviour is the DISC tool at http://www.discusonline.com/
- Passion: Identify your passions. Take a look at the things that you really loved doing through your life and then break them down into the reasons why you loved them to uncover what you really like doing.
- Understand Employer Requirements: Study recruitment websites and to familiarise yourself with the current requirements of employers and list the benefits and results can you offer employers.
- Skills Development: Determine what additional skills, learning and professional development you need to develop to make yourself more marketable.
- Regular Feedback: It is important to receive constructive and regular feedback. Check in with superiors and colleagues appropriately for this feedback.
- Attitude: Your accomplishments are the basis for future opportunities. Try to contribute something substantial and measurable progress every single day.
- CV: Market yourself well. Your CV should be kept up to date and well formulated so that you can take advantage of opportunities that arise. Employers are want team-players and problem-solvers so give evidence in your CV of specific accomplishments.
- Make Career Moves Intelligently: Identify what thread will connect the moves in your career. A career builds on itself over time. You want to avoid jumping around to different unrelated jobs with no good reason. Changing fields, industries, or functional specialties can be very difficult and very damaging to your career if not well thought out.
- Develop your People skills: People skills are as important as Technical skills because even in very technical jobs you have to work with others. It is better to be a people person with average skills than to be an difficult expert who wins at others expense.
- Manage your Emotions: Be careful about expressing your emotions too strongly in business. It is most times better to communicate your feelings quietly and diplomatically.
- Build your Network: Your friends, colleagues and the people you meet are your allies in your life and in job hunting. Use networking platforms and tools to create an extensive list of your business and personal contacts.
- Spend time with the right people: Spend time with positive and successful people that will influence your thinking in the right way.
- Balance: If your career is your whole life then you risk major disappointment and burnout and no employer wants burned out people.
- Outcome: The outcome of successful career management should include personal fulfillment, life balance, goal achievement and financial security.
- Give away your expertise and help other people along the way.