In today's work world where jobs are readily changed or eliminated, "doing a good job" is no longer an effective, long-term career strategy.
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Every employee--regardless of career status--should consider adopting a different approach to progressing their careers called "perpetual career management."
Instead of being focused completely on your current job performance, the term perpetual career management' means employees should focus on managing their entire career. Workers should engage continually in a variety of activities that were once thought of as necessary only for job seekers, so they'll always be prepared, no matter what happens in their company or job.
Here are 10 vital activities that every employee should be doing to become a perpetual career manager:
1. Keep all your career documents up to date resume, reference list, letters of recommendation, accomplishment stories, etc... so you will be ready to leverage them at any point of transition, planned or unplanned.
2. Put time aside every week for active networking to maintain established relationships and develop new ones. You should always be positioned to leverage your professional and personal contacts when the need arises.
3. Join and take leadership roles in appropriate associations and trade organizations. This will boost your visibility and enhance your credibility in your industry.
4. Write articles or do presentations focused on your area of expertise in any venue--clubs, conferences, publications. This type of exposure demonstrates your level of "trade skill" and expertise.
5. Continue your career education and maintain your industry credentials through seminars, academic classes, lectures, professional events, conferences, and new certifications/degrees.
6. Research and be aware of the competition whether it be information about other companies or other professionals in your industry. Always know who they are and what they're doing.
7. Offer to help people in your network even though they may not be in a position to help you back at this time. These people will remember your goodwill.
8. Look at other job openings and investigate other opportunities, even if you're not job hunting at this time. This will help you to know the market, gauge various aspects of your current position, and stay plugged in.
9. Always ask yourself, "How can I contribute more?" Doing a good job isn't good enough. The people who move up in the organization and get the best assignments are those who clearly demonstrate their value to the organization in measurable ways - every day, every week, every month.
10. Practice your interviewing, negotiating and related skills on a regular basis. Don't wait until a career crisis arises to polish your job seeking skills. You never know what's going to happen.
By committing yourself to these strategies, and implementing these behaviors in a consistent manner, you will always be in top career form and have plenty of professional options.
Ford R. Myers is President of Career Potential, LLC. His firm helps clients take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve! Ford has held senior consulting positions at three of the nation's largest career service firms. His articles and interviews have appeared in many national magazines and newspapers, and he has conducted presentations at numerous companies, associations and universities. In addition, Ford has been a frequent guest on television and radio programs across the country. He is author of Get the Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring. More information is available at: http://www.getthejobbook.com and http://www.careerpotential.com.
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