Shocked? Well, in today’s economy and business environment it’s not rare or uncommon to get fired. Downsize, upsize, right-size, wrong-size; whatever you may call it, something happens that may not be your fault but you get seriously impacted by it. The new reality is that all jobs are temporary.
If it has happened, take a deep breath and put your chin up. Everything happens for a reason. May be it’s the cause for a great restart of your career with a promising new employer. But, if you are still holding a job, take a sigh of relief. You can do something proactively to avoid this stressful disaster.
Job security does not exist anymore, anywhere. Life-long jobs with one employer are things of past. Experts are predicting a professional in 21st century to make 7-8 job moves over their lifetime career. We are transitioning into a free-lance society. What is required for your professional success is to actively manage your career.
Try the following 7 approaches for a successful career management. Learn it and practice it before it’s too late.
1. Overcome the Fear of Job Security:
Target to work a position for 3 year only. Think like a consultant working on a project. In the first year focus to establish and strengthen your position. Create networking, develop relations, learn new technologies and required skills. During the second year create massive value for the business beyond the call of duty and in the third year position yourself for a new role internally or externally.
Remain visible in the job market and passively look for new opportunities. Never decline a contact initiated by a recruiter or a potential employer. Even if you do not intend to change the job, the interest from the other employers gives you the necessary confidence not to worry about the job security.
2. Know What You Are Good At:
Carry out a personal SWOT analysis. Identify your unique talents and gifts that make you distinct. Relate these talents to opportunities available around you. Develop your talent into your strengths and relentlessly work hard to create massive value by combining your strengths with the opportunities. Target to be among the top 10% within your profession.
3. Develop a Career Plan:
Start with a life-long vision of your career. Consider the expected technological changes and the upcoming economic trends impacting the industry and the geographical region you are targeting. Setup a 10 year career vision and goal and work it backward into 5, 3, and 1 year goals. Identify the competencies you need to achieve these goals and work hard to acquire and master them. Develop the right mindset to boost your morale and speed up your career success.
4. Continue Professional & Leadership Development:
Experts are warning that half of the knowledge we have today will be obsolete in 2 years. Even to keep ourselves where we are, we need to run.
Spend at least 10% of your time learning new things, preferably 15% and ideally 20%. Read at least one book a month on the subject of your focus. Attend one 1-2 day training workshop or seminar during each quarter at minimum. Develop the habit of regularly reading blogs and attending short webinars in your subject of specialization. After learning something new, conduct a training yourself to train others at your work. You will achieve mastery when you learn something with an intention to teach others.
5. Create a Right Mindset:
The success of your outer game depends on first winning your inner game. Having the right mindset and a positive outlook is extremely important. Believe that there are always plenty of good opportunities available in the marketplace and you have the unique talents to fit those roles. Trust your ability to learn the new knowledge and skills faster when required. Know clearly that career success does not come by hard work alone but by creating massive value for the business you work for.
6. Target New Opportunities:
Always be mentally prepared and keep ready for a new role, internally or externally. Target at least 3 companies and watch the movement in target positions. Keep in touch with at least 3 recruiters and monitor their open positions you may consider. Never decline a contact from a recruiter or a potential employer. If you receive an offer share it with your current employer even if you do not intend to accept. It will tell them that you are in demand but loyal enough to stick with them.
7. Develop Strategic Relationships:
Create, develop and nurture at least 10 strategic relationships at work and 10 outside work. Take relationship building as part of your job. Create a relationship vision; where do you want to see your strategic relationships in 1, 3 and 5 year. Extensively network within your profession and industry. Identify role models and request them to be your mentor. Don’t under estimate the power of relationship. It is the vehicle on which you ride to progress your career journey.
Please let me have your feedback and comments on the above approaches. What else you are doing to manage your career? Please share your thoughts.
– Saleem Sufi