Are You Effectively Managing Your Career?

career management

I read today that Citigroup plans to lay off 11,000 of their workers nation-wide, which is a bit alarming as to their reasons and their timing.  It makes me wonder about their employees right now and how unsettled they all must be feeling, wondering if they will receive a pink-slip or not.  But I also am wondering how prepared they all are for their next opportunity, should the slip wind up on their desk.

If these employees have been effectively managing their careers, they would be able to pick themselves up (once they have grieved a bit) and go after their next assignment.  Managing your career should be the main priority in your career path; it is the one way you have total control over what happens to you, the type of work you do, where you do it, how you provide it, and how satisfied you are.  YOU are the one in charge of your career – so paying attention to it, nurturing it and taking appropriate action are necessities in having a long and fulfilling career.

Here are some steps you can take to gain control of your career now (you can also decide if you have been doing things well):

1.  Create a career portfolio – gather and write down all of you accomplishments, outcomes, skills, talents, awards, jobs and positions held, demographic data, references, etc. and put them into a binder or a folder.  This will help you to uncover and validate your areas of expertise and what you bring to the world of work.  Keep adding to this every time you perform a new task, function, etc.

2. List your job goals – this is where you state what type of position or job function you want to be in; what are the skills needed, what is the title or the money, what type of tasks are you performing.  Match these against you current state to determine if you are on the “right” path

3.  Have your resume current – this should be in agreement with what you have listed in #1 & 2; having it updated and current will keep you opportunity-ready, whether you seek out those opportunities or they come to you.

4. Be current on your references – have a current list of 3-5 people who can vouch for you and your skills, character, and work ethic.  Be sure they are aware and agreeable to endorsing you.

5. Be aware – always be aware of what, and how, your are doing in your present job; pay attention to current trends by reading or attending professional association meetings; keep up on your personal development; don’t dismiss any rumblings you hear within your company – be ready for action

Taking the time to invest in your career management will result in a positive outcome: you will feel more in control and feel more empowered to work at a higher performing level and you will not feel helpless if you circumstance in less than favorable.  You will also be ready if the pink-slip does come!

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