Having a career management plan is an important part of your professional development, especially if you don’t want to find yourself stuck in the wrong job or career a few years down the track. But with so many tips and ideas available it can be hard to know where to start, and overwhelming to contemplate doing it all! If you want to start looking after your career smartly here are my top 5 top tips that I recommend you focus on first…
I’ve said this time and time again – your network is your net-worth so it’s super important to keep building your professional circle and making sure that you have a network of contacts that you can leverage from, learn from and give back to.
Conservative estimates suggest that 50% of jobs are found through networking, but from my experience as a Career Coach it’s significantly higher these days. Either way, there’s no point in trying to suddenly build a network when you decide you want to change jobs – by then it’s too late as it takes time to build relationships. So make sure you’re put the leg work in now so that you can benefit from it later on.
Also make sure you’re investing time and energy into your network when you’re NOT looking for a job because it’s not all about YOU! Look to see how you can help the people around you and be proactive in catching up, getting to know people better and building stronger professional relationships that are a win-win for both parties.
2. Address Your Weaknesses
It’s all well and good leveraging your strengths as you build your career, but the smart cookies make time to address their weaknesses too because you never know when you’ll need to use them! Click here to download a SWOT template, and make sure you spend some time identifying what skills you need to strengthen so that you can make yourself an even more valuable employee.
Importantly, don’t get blase and simply rely on what you do well now – to manage your career successfully you must keep growing, and addressing your weaknesses will help you do just that!
3. Solve Problems
People who solve problems are valuable to any employer, so look to see what you can improve and what issues are going on that you can help solve. This will show that you’re a proactive thinker and business savvy. Many people shy away from problems and take the easy path so by going against the norm you’ll stand out as someone who’s forward thinking. Just make sure you offer up solutions rather than simply finger point – that won’t help you get anywhere!
4. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
When you push yourself out of your comfort zone that’s when you truly start to learn and develop. So to manage your career well make sure you’re looking for ways to stretch yourself and push the boundaries. It might feel a little uneasy at times but the nerves will pay off as you learn new skills that will make you an even more valuable employee.
5. Be Crystal Clear On Your Objectives
Being clear on your career and job goals at all times can really make the difference between plodding along versus managing your career strategically. If you don’t know where you’re heading there’s no way you can ensure your actions are aligned with maximum pay-off so even if your boss doesn’t make them clear, it’s your responsibility to know why you’re in the job and what you need to achieve. Similarly, make sure you have a crystal clear sense of direction for your career in the long-term so that you don’t find yourself stuck in a career you hate and a job that bores you senseless.
Written by Faye Hollands – Director at Outshine Consulting
Faye is an accomplished Career Coach, Small Business Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success.
You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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