By Julie Desmond
Managing your career strategically will allow you to bypass the usual job search traffic jams and pave smoothly a career path unique to you and your values and interests. The average person born in the later years of the baby boom holds 10.5 different jobs from age eighteen to age forty, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor (Friday, August 25, 2006
Consider the effort going into 10.5 job searches: negotiating 10.5 salary agreements, attending multiple interviews for each position and sending dozens of resumes or job applications. Add in countless hours spent looking for opportunities. Is this anyone's idea of time well spent?
Instead, make career management a component in everything you do.
In the office: give 100% on every day; learn to negotiate with others to effect win-win results; dress for the job you want next, not for the job you have now. Even brief conversations with co-workers and clients will leave an impression; it's up to you to decide what that impression is going to be.
Attend trade shows and networking events: keeping abreast of changes in your industry will make you more valuable to your current employer and more visible to others in your industry. Networking events have the same effect. When and if you decide to look at new opportunities, you'll know who to contact.
Help somebody: in today's work world, memories are short. On paper, list the top ten most influential people in your life and answer the question, "What have I done for you lately?" If you can't answer effortlessly, start adding others to your to-do list. Take time to learn what you can do to help others succeed, and they'll gladly return the favor.
Constantly weigh your options. While you owe your employer and yourself your best efforts every day, company loyalty isn't what it once was. Successful organizations frequently modify staffing strategies during growth, mergers and acquisitions, leaving even top performers exposed. If you believe you can add more value by moving internally or by training someone to take your place, do so. Those 10.5 job transitions will be smoother if it's you initiating the change.
Managing your career strategically will allow you to bypass the usual job search traffic jams and pave smoothly a career path unique to you and your values and interests.