When you think of career management, do you think of job searches? That’s just one aspect of career management. As a Career Coach, Executive Career Coach, and Executive MBA Career Coach, I find myself advising my clients that they must manage their own careers or no one else will do it!
Career management is the act of guiding and growing your career. You’ll have different goals and priorities at different stages, but you’ll always need to set goals and identify the strategy for reaching those goals.
What is your ultimate goal?
You’ll need to ask yourself this question at least annually. Outside factors can cause radical shifts in both answers: An economic recession, the birth of a new baby, a sudden job loss, a new achievement or degree, there are many factors that can change your long-term and short-term goals. Don’t be afraid of changing your goals as your personal, financial, and work goals change.
Internal strategy: Where do you want to go in your current company? What skills and experience do you want to pursue here? This is the strategy for growing your career within the organization for which you work now.
External strategy: What skills and experience should you be gaining outside of your current job? This can be through adding an Executive MBA, volunteering on a non-profit Board, networking, or any other means of adding to your resume outside of work.
Values: Identify your core values and your career values. These will help shape your career choices. If you believe true success is entrepreneurial, that value will inform your ultimate goal and many of your external strategies, too. If you are passionate about working for companies with a social purpose, that will shape your career decisions, your networking, and guide many of your strategies. If you’re not sure what your career values are, take a look at a copy of your current resume. Run a line through all the skills and experience you have that no longer really interests or excites you. The items left on your list will show you what professional knowledge and experience you want to centre your career around. The intersection of those core values and career values can inform your career goals.
Personal Branding: Create an authentic personal brand around your core and career values, with an eye to your ultimate goals and your strategies. Then begin to network to grow your professional reputation.