Sunday, June 9, 2013

Are you just “working” – or achieving leadership in your career?

"Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others". —Jack Welch

This is a tough question to answer for most. The day-to-day of your job or your business consumes you and often doesn’t provide the time for you to pause and reflect on where you have been,  and most important, where you are going in your career. In today’s employment market, it is critical that you put yourself first and not just work – but actively manage your career. Think of yourself as the CEO of your own company – You, Inc. This is the reality of today.

All too often I meet a new client who has just had the rug pulled out from under them – they lost their job, and it was unexpected. Others come to me with careers that, to the outsider, seem like they got it made, but I find out that they are bored, not feeling valued and not learning. 

The rare few come to me fully engaged in their job and seeking a plan to manage their career – not simply going to work everyday – but managing their future. Managing one’s career is like managing your finances – you establish a plan, routinely monitor your results and make adjustments as the market changes to get the best return on your money. The same goes for your career – you establish a plan, timetables and measures and adjust your plan as the market or opportunities change.

To better understand what career management is, the following description accurately describes what career management is and is not. The last line is so important:

"The ability to actively manage one’s work life, make choices and career decisions in a rapidly changing environment.  It is accepting responsibility for the strategic and proactive management of your career and being career-resilient and in control your own career actions and satisfaction. Career management is not job hunting – job hunting results when one does not manage their career.

Over the past few years, I have seen a significant increase in the number of professionals & executives who are not looking for a job, but rather seeking help with outlining and managing a career plan. In the past few month, I have seen even more interest in career management planning as the economy does it’s ups and downs.

Developing a career management plan is an essential tool as you navigate your way through opportunities and challenges. The plan outlines your goals and establishes planned and measured actions. For example, it could be as simple as:

·          Work with specialist to update resume 1/1/00 and 7/1/00 and update career journal

·          Attend one networking event and establish three contacts monthly

·          Meet with career specialists twice yearly to discuss plan, strategy and opportunities.

·          Passively monitor job activity in my chosen profession

Some of my clients will not be pursuing a new job or business opportunity for 1 – 2 – 3 or more years, but they are planning now, creating a career journal (accomplishments, successes, what you learned and of course, what didn’t work) and using me as their guide and face to the market, so to speak. They are truly in control of their greatest personal economic resource – their business or their job.

Commit to developing a career management plan today --- and be ready for those opportunities that may be presented. Call me if you need assistance.

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