In all the years that I have been working as a career and job coach I am always amazed at how many managers tell me they have no time to update their resume and keep their network active. I know I should, they often say, but I just dont have the time. For continual career success these two activities are imperative.
It is really sad because if a lay off comes these are the same people who will find it difficult to launch their job search quickly. It doesnt have to be that way! Here are three must do career success activities.
The first is to write down your accomplishments for the year. With a current list you are ready for a career discussion with your boss, a recruiter or your next employer.
Accomplishment statements are written in a specific way. Some call it the PSR format. First state the problem you were trying to solve, then say how you solved it and finally you give the result of your solution.
By spending an hour or two a month writing these accomplishments down in a notebook it will be easy to update your resume. You simply select from your list of accomplishments the few that are most applicable to the job description that you are responding to.
A side benefit for the list of accomplishments is you are ready for a yearly appraisal with your boss at any time. Bosses rarely remember what happened two or three months ago unless you remind them!
Business networking is also important for career success. Keeping your network active can be fun as well as beneficial. Everyone has had colleagues and managers that have left the company to move on to other companies. To stay connected simply pick up the phone to say hello.
By calling them regularly you stay in the top of their mind. You may find there are ways you can help them. When you need help they will be ready to return the favor. Try this with friends and family as well.
There is a lot to learn from making these calls. By hearing what others are doing you may in fact discover an opening that is your dream job. Sometimes a colleague can help you solve a problem you are working on. Staying connected and involved with your network will pave the way for you whenever you need it.
Finally it is important to keep adding to your business network. One way to do this is to attend some meetings of organizations either business related or social (church groups, country clubs etc.) For an investment of a few hours a month you could meet two or three new contacts. Each contact then goes on your contact list for calling!
If you are like the majority of people I talk to you have not updated your resume with your most current job and youve let your business network languish. The good news is that if you follow these three simple steps you wont be left high and dry during a business downturn and you are positioned for great career success.