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10 Career Management Strategies

10 Career Management Strategies

Dan McCarthy | Great Leadership

October 11, 2010

As for the Neanderthal managers that brand their employees with a scarlet letter if they want to apply for even an internal job posting – stop being such selfish jerks! As a leader, you should be encouraging your employees to manage their careers and stay marketable. For every employee you may lose to a better opportunity, you’re going to have six more knocking at your door because you’re known as a great leader and company to work for. In fact, leaders (and companies) should feel morally obligated to help their employees prepare for new opportunities while they are working, not just after the axe falls. That was supposed to be the replacement for a promise of lifelong employment. For many, it’s been a broken promise.

With all of that being said (wow, what a buzz kill), here are 10 career management strategies for those that are currently employed and satisfied with their jobs. Managers should embrace every one of these strategies as well.

1. Update your resume once a year.

Use your annual performance review as a reminder. As you are documenting your accomplishments for the year (um…, you do document your accomplishments, right?), see if there are any that are “resume-worthy” (you should strive for at least one per year).

2. Create a LinkedIn profile and keep it current.

While I think some people go a little overboard on LinkedIn (I really don’t need to hear from you every time you get on a plane or read a book), you should at least have an up-to-date profile and professional picture.

3. Build your network.

Networks need to be constantly added to and maintained. Everybody you meet is a potential valuable contact. Make it a habit to offer to “Link up”. Go out of your way to help others in your network. Networking isn’t just about looking for people that can help you – it’s about helping others. You never know – that same person you assist could be the person who makes that all important connection for you when you need it.

4. Keep up to date on career management strategies and tools.

There’s a ton of good stuff out there. SmartBrief on Your Career, Brazen Careerist, Anita Bruzzese’s 45 Things, Lindsey Pollak’s blog, the WSJ’s Careers site, and HRPeople are some of my favorites.

5. Build marketable skills.

Every job and every project is an opportunity to learn. A good rule of thumb would be for 20% of your job to be new and different each year. Work with your manager to develop an individual development plan (IDP) that provides you opportunities to stretch and grow.

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