Career Management

There are a lot of things in life that you don’t have a lot of control over, like taxes and your parents. But some things you do have control over, like your choice of jobs. People often feel stuck in their current employment path, but it doesn’t have to be like that. By understanding career management and taking stock of what options are at your disposal, you can become empowered and create the life you truly want.

First of all, the most important thing you need to do to have the career that you want is realize that it is up to you. That means not giving up when you got rejected for your dream job. That means understanding what your key strengths and weaknesses are and using those to your advantage. That means paying constant attention to what you need to do to grow as a person and a professional.

Once you’ve acknowledged that managing your career is up to you, you can begin to eek out your goals. Where do you want to be in five or ten years? Where do you see yourself working? Living? If you don’t know where you want to go in the future, you’ll never know if you’re on the right track now to get there.

Secondly, even if you’re unemployed, even if that last resort job turned your application down, don’t just sit home and do nothing. Get out there and stay out there. Career management doesn’t end even if it seems like your career has. Volunteer for an organization you’ve always wanted to help. Work part time if you can. Not only will this help you pass the time until you reach greener pastures and prevent you from getting depressed, but it could also help identify new skills and passions you never knew you had. Volunteering work is also a great way to find more full time work and improve your resume.

Thirdly, never stop networking. As they say, it’s not about what you know but who you know. Not only can friends and contacts help connect you to new opportunities, but often times they will help you discover jobs you never knew existed and open new doors for you in that way.

In considering the best job for you, resist the urge to take the easier path possible. Don’t become a lawyer because your parents were and they know all the powers that be at the law school. Likewise, don’t become a doctor just because you’re after the money. You need to find something that you love doing, or at least that you can see yourself doing for some time to come.

Finally, remember that all good things, like wine, take time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your career. Career management is often times more about patience than it is hard work and connections. Start planning for the future today, and practice for it all you can, but let the rest work itself out.

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