Managing your career fact sheet
Success and happiness
at work are rarely achieved by chance. From reviewing your
current situation to exploring career options, maintaining
and monitoring your career path is a must. We all need to
ensure we develop a portfolio of skills to enable us to handle
crises, push ahead with achievements and respond positively
to change. Be proactive in developing your career plan so
that you do not miss out on the rewards that more focus,
drive and direction can bring.
Key points in managing your career
- Mapping the future: Effective planning is at the heart
of career success. Assess your position now, decide where
you want to be and then use your experience to help you
map the best route for the future.
- Assessing your current situation: We are all
at different stages of our lives and you may want to take
stock of your present situation because you feel you need
to make a change. Check and analyse your progress to see
exactly where you are now and what may lie ahead.
- Evaluating your portfolio: Exploring the choices
you have made can highlight trends and connections that
have affected you. Identify recurring themes or unexpected
links and find reasons for the most successful periods
in your career so far. Use these insights to see the most
effective way forward, avoiding negative patterns from
- Exploring career options: It is vital to be aware of
the kind of work that is currently available in the marketplace.
Do as much research as possible and use your network of
friends and contacts. Think what you want to see in your
career when you look back in ten years’ time.
- Developing your career: Career changes happen at intervals,
but even the most determined job-changer works in a particular
role most of the time. Learn how to invest in yourself
to manage your working life between these changes.
- Reviewing your own progress: Hold regular reviewing
and planning sessions so that you can assess what you have
achieved and what you need to do next. Combine these assessments
with reviews of your life as a whole.
- Achieving career success: As your career develops,
twists and turns are inevitable. Be prepared to overcome
obstacles, change direction when necessary and turn events
to your advantage so that you continue to move on. Change
is normal and desirable, a static position is a far greater
cause for concern.
- Surviving and thriving: Even with the most careful
planning, career progression can sometimes be thrown off
course by sudden unexpected events. However, a crisis can
represent a turning point. Concentrate on practical issues
to maintain a sense of proportion until you decide what
has to happen next.
Dos and Don'ts
- Do view managing your career as an exciting new
- Do give planning your
career the time and effort it deserves
- Do keep your longer-term
career goals private
- Do dare to dream, take
time out to revisit forgotten plans and conjure up some
- Do challenge yourself,
include new and demanding targets in each career plan
- Do seek advice from trusted
and respected friends
- Don’t get complacent. Always look to the
future, even when you are happy at work and planning seems
unnecessary. Aim to be active in your career.
- Don’t stagnate,
use every opportunity to learn and develop your skills.
- Don’t stick your
head in the sand, join a relevant trade or professional
- Don’t limit yourself,
keep your options open as it is rare to find one perfect
- Don’t over-invest
in work, it can never fulfil all your needs
- Don’t let a fear
of the unknown hold you back
Points to remember
- You are responsible for the choices that you make and
you can take control of your work and life balance.
- The most successful career paths have good planning,
a sense of direction and clear milestones along the way.
A career path needs to be flexible but it should always
- Specify for yourself what you are aiming for. Breaking
these goals down into achievable steps will help you to
set key career markers on your journey that you can view
- Many jobs are never advertised but are filled through
word of mouth. Use social gatherings to meet new contacts
and expand your network of contacts.
- Learning from failure can be just as useful as learning
Adapted from “Managing your career” by Rebecca Tee, Dorling Kindersley,
2002 ISBN 0-7513-3846-X
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