For some people—maybe most—we look back at some point at what we have done and say to ourselves, “Hmm, I guess that was my career!”
Whether we are at the beginning, middle, or towards the end of our careers, there is no time like the present to implement ongoing career management. Most people approach their career development on a periodic basis, when an event or an opportunity triggers the necessary actions. This on-again-off-again approach increases career risk! Individuals who experience sustained career success practice career management on a continuous basis, not just when an event requires attention. This practice applies regardless of the role we hold or our level in the organization. We are often consumed by all of the action items impacting us on a daily basis; however, career management also needs to be a part of our regular actions.
Effective career management requires us to focus on:
• Interests- What do we like to do? It is much easier to sustain strong career growth doing something we enjoy. We look forward to our work!
• Skills- What are we good at? It is much easier to preserve resilient performance doing something we can do well. Where do I continue my development to prepare for my future?
• Culture- Is this the environment for me? It is difficult to uphold personal productivity if our values and operating style are not aligned with our work environment!
• Market- Are we in a growth sector that will provide future opportunities? We must be prepared to adjust our career in response to market potential!
Career management is all about achieving success in our current role and laying the foundation for our future opportunities. Achieving success results from aligning our personal goals with organizational goals. This occurs when we build a foundation for our future. We can apply the “PIER” process with a career management lens:
Performance- Achieve a meaningful career by sustaining high levels of performance!
Integration- Make sure you are fully integrated and networked with the right people!
Engagement- Being a fully engaged contributor to your families and teams at work!
Retention- Adapt to change and embrace newly acquired career directions!
Start today by practicing ongoing effective career management. Seek advice and direction from a career coach, if needed. Implement a career development plan that keeps you in control of your future.
Brian Hinchcliffe, Director Executive Career Transition Services at Career Partners International-Texas/Louisiana