Managing your career fact sheet -
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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
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 the past.
- 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
- 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 project
- 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 new solutions
- Do challenge yourself, include new and demanding targets in each career
- 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
- 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 career solution
- 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 be structured.
- 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 as targets.
- 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 from success.
Adapted from “Managing
your career” by Rebecca Tee, Dorling Kindersley, 2002 ISBN 0-7513-3846-X
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