A 4 Step Guide To Managing Your Own Career
You are ultimately responsible for your career and most of the time will be the driving force behind career developments. The theory of career management is very simple. You need to develop an understanding of yourself, decide where you want to be, formulate a plan to get there and take action.
1. Gaining understanding
You need to identify and understand your own career and personal motivations, priorities, strengths, skills and values. Having a better understanding of yourself and being able to talk positively about yourself is vitally important, both at the CV writing and interview stage. Identify what it is that you want from a job and match this to your values and skills.
Next, review your achievements including projects you worked on, specific skills you acquired and significant career achievements. These evidence your competence and skill at the moment. They also give an indication of your potential for future success. There are any number of psychometric tools to help you understand your personal drivers, skills and attributes which will support you to recognise your unique brand and allow you to effectively present yourself in a business environment. Depending on your level of self knowledge, a career coach can help.
2. Setting goals
Career goals should take into account your aspirations for your whole life. Again, a career coach can be useful at this stage. Some of the key issues that need to be considered are work–life balance, lifestyle and work environment. Also, think about what your career challenges might be for example finding another role in your organisation, earning more money, changing career direction completely.
3. Developing a plan
Developing a plan to achieve career goals can be difficult because the road ahead is never straight forward. However, there are things that can be done, e.g. training to acquire new skills, seeking opportunities that may lead you in the right direction, and building a network of people who can help provide beneficial introductions. Identify immediate (up to a year), medium term (up to 3 years) and longer term objectives. Use SMART targets to ensure that your objectives are achievable and realistic with a view to staying flexible should an opportunity present itself.
4. Taking action
The final step of taking action is never as easy as it sounds, but, with the right support, careful planning and commitment, it is possible to move things forward. You must be able to market yourself effectively in order to increase your visibility within and outside of the organisation, and set yourselves apart from the rest.
There are a number of tools you will inevitably need in order to manage your career successfully:
- An up to date CV that can be tailored to a specific job description or vacancy advertisement
- A covering letter that helps highlight the your motivations and suitability for the position
- Interview technique for you to effectively sell yourselves to the organisation and check that the job will really meet your requirements
- Networking skills to help keep up to date with the job market and industry requirements. Also to help you market yourself and gain access to the hidden job market
For more info on career planning, development and career coaching please visit us at www.careerswithconfidence.com
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