Your Career Is Never in Neutral …
Your Career Is Never in Neutral – What are You Doing About It?
At the beginning of 2015, I wrote about the importance of career management. This means taking ownership and actively managing what happens with your career.
I challenged you to consider the fact that your career is never in neutral. You are either moving in reverse, moving forward “accidentally,” or moving forward purposefully. So, how are you doing with your plan? Have you asked yourself these questions?
- What is your next, next role? (What lack of skills and experiences are holding you back?)
- Are your talents and contributions being appreciated? (Outside of just compensation, what’s missing?)
- Do you have the opportunity to advance? (Does your current employer have the ability to support your growth? Are you building the appropriate relationships?)
- Ultimately, what role are you working towards and what is the purpose that drives your career? (What is the realistic timeline?)
Mid-year is a good time to review these important areas. Here are some reminders taken from the original blog:
- If you are unsure whether or not your current situation will move you to where you want to be, consider finding a Mentor or becoming one (In addition to expanding your knowledge or sharing your talents, it will demonstrate to future employers maturity and involvement.)
- If you make the decision to move on from your current position:
Update your resume and online presence
This should be done throughout your career- not just when you are looking for a new position. Make a list of all of your notable accomplishments- not just from the past year. Point out the outstanding scores you received from your performance reviews. Show the connection of those accomplishments to a direct, positive impact on your company’s business (financial, client relationships, etc.).
LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and your other social media accounts should reflect the presence and personal image you want. Ensure your GitHub, Bitbucket, Kiln, etc. are current (be careful not to include confidential, proprietary samples).
The national IT unemployment rate continues to fall below 2%. Solid IT professionals have multiple opportunities to consider. Have a plan – don’t get distracted. Ensure the positions you target will support your endgame.
Network (outside of your current company) with trusted colleagues. You should interview on your own time and not let your search distract you from keeping your commitments to your current employer – they aren’t paying you to find a new job.
Elevate your network
Surround yourself with people who are career minded, who can motivate you and who can hold you accountable to your career goals. Share your plans with others to make it harder on yourself to back out.
It is easy to just let life happen to you and not take charge when you see others doing the same.
Do your research
Don’t underestimate your value. Know the market value for your skillsets and experience. Evaluate the profiles of current employees on LinkedIn to review technologies, leadership, tenure, etc.
Career management is not an event, it’s a process. Evaluate your interests and career progression often and ensure you are taking the reins to drive positive change- not just hoping for it to happen to you.