Career management and career success
Most people, at some point in their career, will be asking themselves whether they are in the right job and wondering what else they could or should be doing. However, unless you know the answers to these questions, it can be very difficult to move your career forward. As a result, there are many people who remain stuck career-wise, not because they aren’t talented or capable, but because they are unsure where to start looking, this is where career management is important to achieve career success.
If you are at a career crossroads, then there are five key career questions to consider, which will help you make a sound career decision. These are outlined below. You may find some easier to answer than others, in which case try asking other people for their input for example an ex-boss, colleague or career coach as they may have useful suggestions or be able to see things you have missed.
1. What have you got to offer?
If you are going to the job market, you need to know exactly what you have to sell. Identify precisely what you can offer which will be of value to a prospective employer i.e. “your career capital”.. This may include skills, experience, knowledge, but it can also include other factors such as access to potential customers, a highly regarded reputation in your industry or political influence – market yourself effectively. It can be difficult to be objective about this so seek evidence and input from others as corroboration
2. What is your personal work-style?
Understanding your personality at work, including the way you approach tasks and interact with others, is essential to determining not only the roles that may be right for you, but also the type of environments in which you will work best.
For instance, regardless of the role you are undertaking, if you tend to be task-focused and action-orientated, then a highly consultative type organisation may be extremely frustrating for you and vice versa. Other people can often see your workstyle more clearly than you can, so ask for feedback wherever possible.
3. What do you want?
Make a list of all the things you want to be different in the future as well as the elements you want or need to retain to make a career strategy. Be as specific as you can and prioritise them. It may incorporate practical things like pay or more intangible elements such as being shown greater appreciation by your boss. These can become your career goals.
4. What are your options to achieve career success?
Everyone has options. These could include staying where you are, moving internally within your current organisation, changing role or organisation or radically changing career direction. You could even choose to work in a different way, perhaps setting up your own business or becoming an interim manager.
Each option that interests you should be thoroughly researched and market-tested. Talk to people who currently work in these roles or for the types of organisations you want to work for. Ask recruiters for feedback on how you compare with other candidates competing for these type of jobs. You can then make a good decision on which option is the best fit based on your research.
5. Career management: What action can you take to achieve your career goals?
Write a list of all the things you need to do which will help you to achieve your career aims. You may need to update your CV, reinvigorate your networking, take a course, or arrange a career development conversation with your Manager etc. Schedule each task in your diary, set a deadline and do them!