What Is Career Management?
Career management is the lifelong process of investing resources
to achieve your career goals. Career management is not a singular
event but a continuing process that is a necessity for adapting
to the changing demands of the 21st Century economy.
Whether we are in the early phase of our work life or are
a workforce veteran, we have probably heard the term career
management. We have also probably heard that in the future
we need to be responsible for our careers. What we may not
have been told is what career management is and how we do
it! Career management uses concepts similar to good financial
management. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that a
disciplined investment, made on a regular basis, yields a
greater return. Although the tactics will vary, career management
focuses on two key investment assets to manage throughout
our working years, our personal lifelong learning and our
network of relationships.
It is often surprising to realize how much of our day-to-day
work is now based around technology. Computers and other scientific
advancements have radically altered the way in which we conduct
work. Even more amazing is the realization that there are
more scientists alive today than ever before and the projected
rate of change will increase tenfold in our children's lifetime.
The ramifications of these advancements and innovations will
ripple swiftly through the economy, obsolescing many businesses
and catapulting others into the limelight. How well we are
able to adapt to these ongoing innovations will be directly
related to how current we keep our knowledge and skills. Consider
how to vary your investments in time, energy and resources.
Examples might include: credentialed coursework (locally or
through distance learning), topical courses for certificates,
joining cutting edge projects, attending conferences, or staying
current in professional reading.
Network of Relationships
As we have moved to an information and service economy, relationships
have become an increasingly critical asset. Not only do our
relationships help us accomplish our day-to-day tasks with
colleagues, vendors, customers and competitors, these relationships
will be the source of information about how fields and industries
are evolving. We also have relationships outside of our work
environments that may be affiliated with our hobbies, children,
and spiritual or community networks. These personal and professional
relationships will transcend specific companies, industries
and communities. How we interact, respond and connect in all
our relationships will impact our present performance and
future opportunities. Very little is accomplished in isolation.
Networking uncovers more than 70% of current job openings.
Keeping connected and knowing how to build good relationships
are more important than ever before. These skills can be developed
in applied communication courses, mastering contact management
software, effective listening and genuine desire to get to
know people better.
Lifelong learning and relationship management form the backdrop
of successful career management. Creating a vision and plan
are also essential to guiding informed investment decisions
and establishing annual goals. The career vision we establish
should be broad enough to be flexible, but specific enough
to be actionable. This career vision, built on a profile of
our unique traits, directs our choices to develop what we
need to be satisfied and be able to successfully contribute
in different work environments over the years. To maintain
our adaptability and employability, habitually establishing
annual learning goals and nurturing our relationships are
the keys to productive career management.
© Copyright 2004, Career Vision. Article may be reprinted