For the Life of Your Career, Not Just the Job You're In
ARE YOU PROACTIVELY MANAGING YOUR CAREER?
Have you assumed responsibility for your career? Are you letting your employment situation dictate your focus? Or do you simply tell yourself you’re too busy to add anything more to your schedule? If you’re not proactively managing your career don’t be surprised when you’re not promoted or considered for vacancies. Professionals too often rely on their organizations to manage their careers. Yes, feedback and professional development opportunities from your work environment are extremely valuable. They can serve to align your efforts, leverage your strengths, and improve your weakness while helping you maintain or exceed performance expectations. You may be doing your career a disservice if you rely on such feedback and professional development opportunities in isolation.
Global competition, technological progress, and the pace of change influence the evolution of organizations and ultimately employment. Consider the effect that technology has had on working professionals in just the travel and music industries. The evolution of industry and the creation of new markets and opportunities will continue from additional advances in technology. When such advances combine with social, political, or environmental forces, major industry shifts occur and workforce needs can change drastically.
Early in my career I was employed at a customer service call center. The center was responsible for taking and servicing orders for compact discs, video cassette tapes, and DVDs. Needless to say, the call center closed years ago. Industries and companies evolve and so should your career. You (and your employer) could most likely benefit if you upgraded your skills and kept pace with change.
BEGIN TO PROACTIVELY MANAGE YOUR CAREER TODAY
You can begin to manage your career by knowing yourself. Knowing yourself begins with understanding what positions you to be the most content and productive. This can help you decide where to invest your time and money in your professional development. If you realize you are not in a field that you can remain in, it may be necessary for you to discover what you’re truly passionate about and good at and match these with potential fields and positions.
Decide what you want to do and set your goals. Then determine what resources you will need to help you reach your goals. This may involve you doing research to fully determine if your goals are realistic and appropriate. Once you’ve set the goals and determined you can resource them, decide the timeframe for your goals. You can then decide what actions you’ll need to take to help you achieve your goals. Responsibility for your career resides with you so consider starting to proactively manage your career today.
The key to goal setting and fulfillment is to be realistic and flexible – your goals can and should be challenging and you should be adaptable when setbacks occur that prevent you from progressing as you’d planned.