For most of us who have been in the work world for a while, ‘career self management’ is a familiar term. Yet, most of us don’t give this much thought until we are in the middle of a career crisis….job loss, miserable job, burned out, etc. Managing your career is an ongoing process; just like working on personal relationships. Left unattended both will become stagnant and usually need a major overhaul.
2. Conduct an annual career assessment. You get your car serviced at least once a year to keep it running smoothly, right? Yet when it comes to our careers, many of us don’t take the time to check in and see what is and is not working. At least once a year take the time to reflect on your work. Did you spend the majority of time doing fulfilling work? If not, what needs to change?
3. Find a mentor. This person can be your advocate as well as the one to give you a good nudge when you need it. Find someone in your field of work who has more experience or a broader skill set who can share ideas and strategies with you to keep you on the top of your game.
4. Stay focused on your strengths. Does your job require you to apply your strengths every day? If not, it’s time to think about changing jobs, maybe careers. If one of your strengths is to help people yet you spend your entire workday in front of a computer with no human interaction, it’s time to reassess your job. It is a known fact that people who operate out of their strengths daily enjoy the highest levels of job satisfaction. The converse can lead to just the opposite.
5. Cultivate relationships. Take the time to network with associates who you can assist as well as benefit from knowing. Remember, networking is all about sharing ideas and being a mutual resource for one another.
6. Be curious. When we stop being curious, we stop learning; and learning is an essential key to career growth. Find out what interests you. What questions do you have that have gone unanswered for a while?
7. Don’t put up with an abusive boss. People don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses. If you and your boss don’t see eye to eye and you suffer the brunt of this person’s abusive personality, formulate a plan to move on. You don’t need the stress. Putting up with an abusive boss will take a toll on your health over time.
8. Give credit to others. This goes a long way to building strong business relationships. Seek out opportunities to acknowledge others whenever you can. You will be amazed at the benefits you will receive from this gesture.
9. Beware of your comfort zone. Staying in your comfort zone for too long can be detrimental to your self confidence as well as your career. Taking risks periodically is a healthy way to grow and stretch. Volunteer for a project that will require you to tap into new skills. Challenge yourself by taking a course at a local community college to broaden your skills. If you stay in your comfort zone for too long others will view you as someone who lacks initiative.
10. Own your mistakes. Put your ego aside and take responsibility for yourself at all times.