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10 Career Management Strategies

10 Career Management Strategies

Dan McCarthy | Great Leadership

October 11, 2010

Eager to Stay and Ready to Go

When it comes to career management, two things continue to amaze me:

1. People that don’t proactively manage their careers until they are looking for a job;

2. Managers who hold it against employees that are proactively managing their careers.

How could this be? It’s 2010, not 1970. However, I can’t tell you how many people I run into that don’t have an updated resume. Heck, a lot of them don’t even have a resume. Those are the same ones who I’ll get LinkedIn invites from after they’ve lost their jobs. I’m sure they learned how to set up their account at the outplacement workshop they just attended. My reaction is usually “nice to finally hear from you… so where have you been all these years?”

I’m not trying to be mean here – I’m just trying to help by opening up some eyes.

There are a lot of people that are very happy with their jobs. They might be long-time employees. They either don’t see the need, or see it the same way some managers do – that it would be disloyal or slimy to even be thinking about another job or employer. They think it’s like cheating on your spouse.

Look, being loyal and faithful is important in a committed relationship, i.e., a marriage. An employer is not your spouse. There’s no “in sickness or in health, for better or for worse” vow taken. It’s a job, and they will continue to employ you for as long as you can perform and they need you.

If I sound harsh, maybe it’s because I spent eight years at a large company where layoffs were a regular occurrence. Every year, usually around the year end holidays, I’d see good, solid, longtime loyal co-workers being walked out the door. Off they went to company sponsored outplacement workshops to learn how to write resumes.

Even if you work for the nicest boss in the world, in a company that’s never had a layoff – a truly great company – that same company could be acquired, and before you know it, you’re redundant. A competitor could invent some disruptive technology that turns your product into a buggy whip overnight.

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