Making time for Career Management

Career management is a lifelong process and yet most of us only actively work on it when we are changing roles. In this blog, we will explore the benefits of active career management as well as some simple strategies to continue to manage your career even when you are not on the lookout for a new role.

Lifelong Career Management

The world is constantly shifting, and jobs are continuing to evolve. Perhaps career transition hasn’t happened to you yet, although I am certain you know people in redundancy situations or those who aren’t happy anymore in the job they are in. Perhaps that is you? When that moment happens, we then decide to act. However, if we are constantly evolving our careers, then those changes are much easier to deal with and move through. 

Let’s look at some simple yet powerful strategies to keep things moving along: 

Your LinkedIn brand

Keeping your LinkedIn profile up to date is so important as potential “buyers” can see who you are even when you are not looking for a role. Key areas include:

  • Have an up to date photo.
  • Ask for testimonials from people who know you, and you work with regularly.
  • Comment on relevant posts related to your job and areas of interest.
  • Share content, for example relevant articles or your own thoughts relevant to your potential audience.
  • Give others testimonials when you see great work.

Your CV

  • Have a “master CV” which contains all your personal information – as and when you want to move roles you can then use this to create a bespoke CV for the role you are applying for.
  • Consider keeping an up-to-date personal summary – a few lines that describes the value you bring to a potential employer.
  • Log any courses you attend or certifications gained.
  • Keep a log of any performance feedback you receive. 
  • Keep a list of achievements, using the STAR framework keeps it fact based. (Situation, task, action, and result) 

Your network  

Creating time for people is so energising for you and them. Instead of thinking about “I have to network” instead consider “who do I want to reach out to this month and why?” Perhaps you need some help with a project or perhaps you have something to provide them, either way, connecting is about give and take, and building valuable relationships requires us to be regularly reaching out to others at a personal level. Consider expanding your reach beyond your current organisation as this has such benefits to the current role as well as future opportunities. 

Take time to reflect 

Each month or quarter, give yourself a “reflection day”. I encourage people to book a day out of the diary and go somewhere that energises them – perhaps a local coffee shop or hotel. Use it as a day to take stock of you, your achievements, and your future direction. View it as a treat day, and at the same time, it clarifies the status of your career and direction. A useful tool to use is “The Wheel of life”. Instead of the wheel of life, consider this as the career of your life. Consider all the portions of your career that make up a satisfying career, then plot your current satisfaction levels. Consider what changes you want to make to increase the scores. 

Invest in your development

Whether it is taking time to listen to a podcast, read that book you have meaning to look at, or take a day to learn a new skill, make sure you invest in yourself regularly. Consider what future skills you may want to invest in now rather than waiting until it is needed. Development is also on the job so thinking about stretch assignments is also useful.

Support team

Mentors internal or external to your organisation can also provide wider perspectives on you and your career. Meeting with them regularly to review and reflect can be so valuable. In addition having a coach also provides that frequent check in point to continue to move your career in your desired direction. In addition consider being a mentor yourself to someone else as this builds your own skills. 

Professional bodies

Connecting to our professional industry gives us a sense of the future direction and research in the market and building our connections.  

In Summary

What has resonated for you? What are your own reflections on career management? I’d love to hear what you would add, please get in touch

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