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Career management – keeping your career on track

Once you’ve chosen your dream career – don’t stop there. Career management is essential in ensuring the continued rise of your star. After all, your career is a life long journey and the end point of that journey is a function of how well you drive it.

And whether you’re a formula 1 racing driver or just content with a leisurely drive in the country, you still need to manage your career for your own personal satisfaction and happiness.

Career management involves the following:

Get skilled! And stay skilled.
In this IT savvy world, the days of unskilled labour are almost gone. To have any resemblance of a successful career, you need to have skills. And for your chosen career, there will be a suite of skills and training available to you.

So for good career management it’s important that you stay up to date with this training – avail yourself for courses and be a sponge! Aim to be the best in your field through continuous improvement.

You can also stay up to date with developments in your career by selected ‘reading’ of trade related magazines and articles and attendance at conferences.

And it’s not just the skills needed for your particular career, it’s also those vital “Self-Management Skills” that all employers value so highly – time management, planning, emotional intelligence and communications – develop these skills too and promote your ability to manage yourself.

Review your progress - regularly
You need to review your career goals regularly to make sure you’re still heading in the right direction.

You can review your own progress by considering what you’ve achieved and how this measures up as progress towards your career goals, and you can also seek and thrive on feedback from your peers and your supervisors.

Most employers have a formal system of performance reviews – use these as a positive step in career management and document the outcomes. It can also help to seek out a mentor.

Visualise your successful career
The power of positive thought and visualisation is amazing – so use it to your advantage. It’s a bit like the placebo effect where a doctor gives a patient sugar pills, but tells them it’s a cure for their ailment. And what do you know, the patient gets better! This is an example of how your brain can take control of your body just by the power of positive thinking.

If your brain expects something to happen, it happens. So visualise and imitate your success so that you can strive towards it and so that your brain expects it.

It also helps to identify a suitable ‘successful’ role model and observe and emulate how they dress, behave and act. Learn their success secrets. BUT – be yourself too!

Be a leader
Being a leader isn’t about always being top dog and barking orders – it’s about being able to influence people. And you can do this as the lowest ranking member of your team.

It’s a well known fact that people who display leadership perform better than those who don’t. So actively develop your leadership skills and take every opportunity you can to lead - good career management comes from career leadership.

And the fastest path to increased leadership effectiveness, and extraordinary leadership, is to make yourself better at what you’re already good at. Lead with your strengths. Discipline and dedicated practice makes the difference between good and great leaders, and not innate ability.

Networking isn’t about sucking-up to the company hierarchy – it’s about building relationships with your team, your clients, your peers and your management. And networking is a vital part of career management.

Know your boss, your staff, your peers and the company you work for – listen, respect and be patient in your dealings with these people.

Networking is also about being seen and about participating. Remember that first impressions DO influence the way people think about you, even if only initially. So always make a good first impression in the way you dress, speak and conduct yourself. And leave a good lasting impression too!

Making a Career Change
Whether you’re recovering from a major career roadblock, or planning a return to work after a lengthy absence, or just stuck in a rut in your current career – there are times when you may want to re-evaluate your career choices and set-off in a different direction.

And it’s times like this that the goal setting process outlined in the FREE “Life Planning Workbook” really helps, by getting you to focus on YOU and what really matters.

But it maybe time to re-evaluate your career - is it the ‘job’ or the ‘career’ you want to change? What did you like about your previous job or career? …and what didn’t you like? What are your interests? What really makes you happy? What skills and qualifications have you obtained from your previous career? Are any of these still ‘interesting’ to you or applicable to other careers?

If you do decide to change jobs or careers, make sure you resign from your current job with dignity and whatever you do – don’t burn any bridges on the way out! You never know when you’ll run into your current work colleagues again.

Explain your reasons for wanting to move on, express your appreciation for the opportunities and experiences gained from your current job and ask for a reference.

And don't be afraid to get professional advice on career management - it could mean the difference between getting stuck in a rut or super star performance.

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We are not certified financial planners or advisors. The information in this website is general information only. Always consult a licensed financial planner before making any finance or investment decision.

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