The topic of career management is too often overlooked. People are so concerned about just keeping their jobs, that the idea of managing their careers and planning for the future is actually a scary concept. I wanted to do some research and write a blog that can somehow assist people who may be frustrated and scared for their futures. During the process of my research, I developed a list of what people think are important in career
management. There are hundreds of points that could be listed, but the ones below are considered by many to be the most important and the most valuable when actively managing your career.
1. Professional development – The business world moves faster than the speed of light. If you aren’t seeking to be ahead of the curve, you will fall back. In the past when the pace of work was slower, this wasn’t a big issue. Now, if you don’t seek to develop yourself and your skills, you can be forgotten and never found again.
2. Network inside and outside the company – We need to understand that networking isn’t about a job search; it’s a business tool that keeps you as a vital commodity to not only your company, but your profession. We are all, always being interviewed. Every business encounter is a “job interview,” you just don’t know it. Strangers are judging, evaluating, and classifying you every moment; so act accordingly.
3. Think of your career as public relations campaign and try to generate friendships and relationships as much as business results and cash. Don’t get so focused on the present situation and crises that you forget the bigger picture: chances are, you won’t always be in your present job, and you’ll need friends. One successful job-hunter said, “I create relationships; the relationships create the job offers.”
4. Set reachable goals. It’s a mistake to establish goals so high that they become impossible to achieve, then when you fail to meet them, you beat yourself up. That becomes a vicious circle. It’s better to set a smaller, reachable goal, reach it, and then establish a second reachable goal. That builds successful momentum. Goals are the stepping stones to your dreams, if the stepping stones are too far apart, you fall in the water.
5. Stay focused on your gifts, not your mediocrities. Do what you’re best at.
6. Listen 80%; talk 20% – Sometimes the best thing to say in a business discussion is absolutely nothing. Speak less and listen more.
7. Force communication upward. We tend to assume that if the boss isn’t saying anything, everything is okay. And yet, nothing could be further from the truth. Bosses are notoriously poor communicators. Your boss may be preoccupied and might appreciate your taking the initiative to keep things on track. Here are five useful boss-questions: a) Am I meeting your expectations? b) Am I focusing on the projects most important to you? c) Are you getting the kind of feedback you need? d) Would you like more documentation
or reports from me? e) How could I make your job easier? Remember, your boss is probably asking these questions to his boss, make sure you stay top of his/her mind.
8. Your Boss is always right – Get this mindset straight and follow this rule blindly. Never spoil your relationship with your boss no matter what the reason may be. You seldom succeed by battling your boss. If the boss relationship isn’t working, seek to fix it, transfer elsewhere, or leave the company. It’s not as bad as it sounds, at the end of the day your relationship with your boss is exactly that, a relationship. Like all of the other relationships in your life it takes work.
9. Don’t suffer an abusive employer any more than you would suffer an abusive spouse. If your job is hurting you, make plans to get out. You deserve the very best. With this said, ensure that you always keep doors open, the world is a small place.
10. Plan your career – Always plan your future, assess your short term, 5 year, and long term career plans and start working towards them from the beginning. Remember goals are the stepping stones to reach your dreams. Yes, it’s ok to have big dreams, just make sure you set goals to achieve them. Nobody else will do it for you!