Actively managing your career progression and career track is critical to your career success. It is ultimately up to you to take control over your career direction and take personal responsibility for your career success. Consider these ideas and suggestions for actively managing your career.
Career Management Ideas:
Keep Your Resume Up-to-date - Keep your resume current and up-to-date. Sounds simple, but in reality, very few professionals do it. Highlight your latest achievements, include the latest industry jargon and terminology, update your contact information, and ensure your presentation is in alignment with your "next step" career interests. It is much easier to keep your resume up-to-date in real-time than it is to have to compile it from memory later.
Keeping your resume up-to-date will also facilitate your continuing reflection on your career track and future direction.
Stay In Touch With Your Network - Your business, professional and personal network will ALWAYS be your best source for future job position referrals, but only if you maintain ongoing contact with these individuals. Stay on their radar screen through frequent communication - holiday cards, birthday cards, notes of congratulations, kids' birthday remembrances, etc. Also consider writing an informative newsletter for distribution to your network. Send articles you find which might be of interest to your network contacts.
Staying in touch with your network will definitely pay huge benefits to you in the future.
Be a Subject Matter Expert - Develop an area (or areas) of subject matter expertise that you become known for. Drill down deep in that area; keep current on the latest thinking in that area. Position yourself as the "go to" resource or specialist in that area at your company, in your community, in your profession and/or in your industry.
Your area of subject matter expertise lays an excellent foundation for establishment of your personal brand -- your unique value proposition that gives you competitive advantage and puts in you in high demand.
Build Upon Your Key Strengths - Know your areas of key strength and continue to build your proficiency in those areas. Your areas of key strength are those things that strengthen you when you're doing them. Some people are excellent public speakers, others are excellent writers, and others are excellent teaching others. Understand your areas of passion and commit to ongoing mastery of those areas.
Promote Yourself - Keep a log of your achievements on a real time basis -- write them down. Summarize your achievements on at least an annual basis. Share that information during your performance evaluation with your manager. Publish your accomplishments on LinkedIn or on other online networking platforms.
Manage Your Personal Brand - Google your name from time to time and review the information you find on yourself "out there." Ensure what you see is consistent with your personal brand and how you want to be viewed by others. Actively manage your publicly available information, or at least maintain awareness of what others will be able to read about you.
Keep Your LinkedIn Profile Current and Compelling - As a huge fan of LinkedIn, I highly recommend joining LinkedIn and keeping your profile update-to-date. Also ensure your profile promotes your subject matter expertise and areas of strength. Keep your LinkedIn profile information consistent with your resume, as the two will likely be compared by prospective employers. Request recommendations from network members through LinkedIn and ensure those recommendations are posted on your LinkedIn profile. Include a link to your LinkedIn profile in your email signature; a great way to promote yourself.
Know Your "Next Step" - You ALWAYS want to be able to explain in 30 seconds or less -- with crystal clear clarity -- (1) exactly WHAT you currently do and HOW you add value and (2) exactly what you want to do NEXT in terms of career step. Item (2) is particularly important if you are seeking something new to do in the near term -- whether at your current employer or somewhere else. Others WILL and can help you with your next career step but ONLY if they know HOW to help you -- i.e., knowing WHAT you want to do, WHERE you could do it, and HOW YOU want them to help you.
Andy Robinson, Executive Career Coach
Co-host, Career Success Radio Show
A leading authority on career success; 15-year executive coaching veteran
Contact: Andy@CRGLeaders.com, 239-285-5575