Never mind who’s best qualified; your skills won’t any longer sell themselves. Today, people who get the best jobs are those who manage their careers. Here are our top tips for managing your career and being among those who get a great job.
Use your management skills to manage your career
Managing your career is similar to managing a team or a organisation, so use the skills to your own benefit. For instance, if you are good at strategic analysis, then perform a strategic analysis of your own position in the market. If you are good at selling, sell your skills and knowledge to organisations who might need someone like you - even if they do not know it yet.
Audit your current position
Feedback is a key management tool for career management. Profile your current position by asking for feedback and developing a gap analysis. Compare your performance with your goals and objectives. Compare yourself with others at similar positions and with similar skills. If it seems that others with similar skills have better jobs than you, try to determine why.
Be confident and take corrective measures
Feedback is not complete until you audit your position and take corrective measures to fill the gaps. Remember to avoid the trap of self-fulfilling prophecy. Bad luck does not exist; people can take charge of their own ‘luck.’ The first step is to convince yourself that you will succeed.
Update your career plan regularly
The gap analysis and subsequent activities are not a one-time event. Set a schedule to review and update your career plan (at least annually but hopefully more often) and check to be sure you are reaching your own milestones. For best results, put career plan review dates into your diary.
Consider some changes
Sometimes we resist change for fear of the unknown; yet people who progress deal with that fear. If you know that something must change, then be brave and change it. Do you need to change your position within your company? Would it help to undertake a new project? Do you want to change yourself - say by gaining new knowledge or developing new skills? Sometimes all it takes to lift your career is acting on what you already know you need to do.
Take the right risks
It is good knowing how to overcome fear of change and it is wise knowing when to do so. Don’t make change for its own sake. Risk and change are the two lanes on a path. Try to walk in the middle.
Develop your network
Most successful people have well-developed networks. In that sense you may say that business is like politics. Network with a wide variety of people, ask about what they do and listen carefully to their answers. As you develop your network you could well find opportunity for you.
Be aware of your options
Actually there are opportunities all around - the problem is that we don’t often see them. Keep your eyes and ears open. Usually you will find that people have problems they would like to solve, and probably they even have funds they would employ to hire someone who could solve those problems. If you become aware of such a situation then decide whether you are able to solve those problems. If you are, propose yourself.
Learn how to delegate
Successful executives know how to delegate. That frees them to do the important things at the right level. Many skilled workers have never learned how to delegate. Without delegation people are stuck with overload and don’t have the time to do the important things that could help develop their careers. If there’s an opportunity which you haven’t time to take, try delegating some of your existing work.
Never delegate your career management
It is a good idea to learn to delegate and thereby take each great opportunity you see. However you cannot delegate your own career management and must be proactive.