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Monthly Archives: June 2017

Why Should We Manage Our Career?

The days of leave school or university, find job, work there for 20, 30, 40 years, is over in almost all sectors thankfully. It may have been a form of security for individuals, but it led to sterility, poor practice, inefficiency, laziness, and hostile resistance to change. Actually, some rare individuals behaved creatively, enthusiastically, took risks, were ambitious, but these few could never counter the millions who settled in, kept their heads down, and looked forward to retirement sometime in the next century.Thankfully, again, those days are over. Now aday, all organisations in the commercial sectors, and most organisations in the public sector, are demanding evidence that each individual is continuously developing, is learning new skills, and is preparing for change positively and enthusiastically.

Years and years in the same job, promotion by stepping into dead men’s shoes, individuals with only the same skills and knowledge that they had when they started, 10 years in the job, 1 year’s experience. These are no longer tolerated, not by the organisation’s senior managers, nor by customers. The organisation has a people development policy, each department has a local staff development plan, each individual is now expected to have a personal development plan. In some professions, such as accountancy, the legal profession, engineering, teaching, nursing (a list that is growing rapidly) the specialist must show hard evidence that they are up to date in the knowledge and skills needed currently, otherwise they risk being prevented from continuing in that role. So for those employed by organisations, career development is now, you guessed it a permanent, part-time, job.

A series of activities, such as being aware of developments in the business sector, planning ahead, identifying training needs, selecting appropriate ways to achieve those needs, finding courses, choosing between classroom and distance learning, and of course, finding a way to pay the study fees. And this has to go on year after year and continuous, professional development. If you are familiar with quality management techniques, you will recognise this as a form of continuous improvement , kaizen as the Japanese call it.

It’s a major, never-ending, personal task and as such, needs considerable thought, considerable effort, a strategy, a plan to ensure that you don’t fall by the wayside and watch others race ahead, beating you to the best jobs, the key roles, the interesting projects, the higher salaries, the better conditions.

And if you are, or are planning to be, an entrepreneur .There’s no escape for you just because you don’t work for someone else you have others in your life who are equally demanding:suppliers, clients, customers, employees, other entrepreneurs, professional colleagues, these groups rely on you, expect you, to be as knowledgeable and skilled as it is reasonably possible to be. If you are not, your suppliers will take advantage of you, your clients will reject you, your customers will disappear, your employees will leave you, other entrepreneurs will take away your suppliers, clients, customers, and best employees, and your professional colleagues will lose respect for you. So there’s no escape from managing your career proactively, if you want to have a successful and fulfilling work life.

 

Strategies to Launch your Networking Plan

CONTACTING ALL THOSE YOU KNOW – The probably most obvious form of networking is done by going through your entire address book and business card collection. Setting up an organized routine of systematically working through your list; communicating with friends, family, coworkers, colleagues, and acquaintances keeps you on track. Make sure to also include association members, church friends, people you volunteer with, and your children’s friends’ parents, coaches, and teachers on your contact list. Stay aware for opportune moments to mention you are looking for work, start with those in similar industry or field so they can keep their ears open and maybe make a few calls to others who can make a few calls to others – and so on – and so on – and so on…

Be honest with those who you don’t usually socialize with and let them know you’re interested in talking with them about your search for the perfect job. Invite them out for coffee or lunch, email if it is more convenient for them and explain what you are looking for and what you have to offer. This is when an Online Resume comes in handy. You can give them your card and write the address of your resume on the back of the card so they can easily pass along the site to other interested parties who can immediately see your qualifications and have your contact information waiting.

REFERRALS – My personal favorite networking clients come from referrals. Working in a service oriented profession; every referral to me, feels like a compliment or award. It means someone liked my work enough to tell others about it and positively pass my name on when someone is looking for assistance writing a resume or preparing for their job search. Referrals like all networking, work in a pyramid fashion, it just keeps expanding and reaching further to more potential clients. The happier my clients are the more they will pass my name to others looking for help and I make sure to keep that in mind with every client or potential client I speak with.

In terms of looking for a job, referrals can be the strongest and fastest way to an interview. The referring contacts can do the selling of your qualifications for you and the employer will assume you can provide a high quality of work because the referral is coming from a reliable source. So, talk with your contacts and let them know you would appreciate them passing on your name to others. Keeping in touch with contacts using a newsletter, emails, phone calls or personal note keeps your name and service in their thoughts.

ONLINE NETWORKING – The newest form of networking is done by utilizing websites specifically designed to promote networking such as www.LinkedIn.com, www.Ryze.com or www.Xing.com. These are a great way of getting in touch with professionals you are interested in working with or for. There are smaller networks for individual industries such as www.nursegroups.com or www.teachersnetwork.org. With sites like www.LinkedIn.com and www.CraigsList.com you can even post your resume for employers to view. More social networking sites are gaining professional use such as www.MySpace.com and www.ClassMates.com. All these sites are free, easy to use and worth your time to cut and paste your resume or parts of it for viewers to see.

 

Tips to Get Promoted

1. BECOME AN EXPERT – There’s no question that, in every field, specialists earn more than generalists. To stand out from the crowd, and increase your value to your company, you need to identify yourself as an expert in a specific area.

Instead of continuing to build broad knowledge in your field, focus on finding a narrow niche that’s important to your company, and develop your expertise a mile deep. Read everything you can on your subject. Attend conferences. Get to know the established experts. Become the obvious person to turn to in your company when it comes to your chosen subject.

2. INNOVATE! – You don’t have to be in R&D to innovate. In today’s business environment, innovations can come from anywhere. Develop a new spreadsheet, checklist, or quality improvement plan that makes your work easier or your results better. When higher-ups compliment you on your productivity, talk about your innovation and offer to share it with others.

3. BECOME A CUSTOMER EXPERT – Regardless what your job is, go out of your way to get in contact with customers and find out what they want. While it’s often easier and more comfortable to deal with internal functions, personal relationships with customers set you apart from the crowd and make you more valuable to your company.

Find out what customers like and don’t like about your current products. What problems do they think your company should correct? What are their ideas for new products or services? Put your findings in writing, and make sure to get them in front of the people who count.

4. INCREASE YOUR VISIBILITY WITHIN YOUR COMPANY – Promotions, raises, and coveted assignments frequently go to the most visible people. Increase your visibility by speaking at company or industry meetings. Write articles for the company newsletter or industry trade journal. Look for opportunities to become known to people in the power structure who can help you advance rapidly.

5. BRANCH OUT – Get involved in community or association projects. Volunteer for a leadership position in a professional or volunteer organization. These groups often offer you opportunities to expand your network of influence, both inside and outside your industry.

6. CREATE YOUR OWN OPPORTUNITIES – While doing what’s expected in your job may earn you some praise, going the extra mile to identify ways to contribute to your company will make your superiors really sit up and take notice.

Pay attention to what’s going on around you. Stay alert to the needs and challenges of your company and your industry. When you see an overlooked area, or an emerging market, create your own opportunity by writing up a proposal and description of your ideas.

7. DEVELOP YOUR COMMUNICATION SKILLS – In business, meetings and presentations are the primary stage on which you perform. Seize opportunities to speak in front of others, particularly senior managers. There’s nothing like being a powerful, effective and willing speaker to label you as someone to watch.

Standing out from the crowd doesn’t depend on luck or talent. It requires strategic planning and persistence, but the results – in the form of promotions, raises, and important career-accelerating assignments – make the effort well worth it.