What is career management?

The term career management, in its broadest sense, refers to the whole process of planning the path that your career will take over the long term. The process is one that takes place over the course of your entire lifetime — or at least until you decide to retire — and involves a large amount of self-monitoring, choosing and setting goals for yourself and putting together a set of strategies that will enable you to achieve them. Here, the word career is being used to mean any kind of work for which you get paid, from semi-skilled “McJobs” to the highly skilled work of a physician, a technician or a business executive. This article will describe some of the secrets that you can use to make your career management strategies more effective.

Some important career management skills

Like any form of work, career management involves, not only a specific set of skills, but a whole range of character traits that will be valuable to you in both your search for a job and your ability to keep one — and get promoted. These character traits are outlined in the subsections below.

  1. A powerful sense of self-awareness

Self-awareness means being aware of who you are, what you are like, the kinds of things that you do and the traits that could use improvement. More specifically, it means that you can:

  • Clearly identify what your key skills are, as well as your values, personal interests and other qualities that could make you fit for a particular job or leadership position.
  • Pinpoint your core strengths and the factors that make you stand out from the crowds of others who are seeking to fill the same position as you are.
  • Present a prospective employer (or client) with concrete evidence of your ability to perform the tasks required of him or her. For instance, if you have highly-developed skills in designing webpages, present your interviewer with a printout of a page that you designed, as well as the HTML code that you used for the purpose.
  • Match opportunities with skills, knowledge, values and interests
  • Identify areas in which you could develop your career and your personality
  • Make informed decisions based on the opportunities that you have available to you
  • Give and receive feedback to and from others
  1. Being an opportunist

We often use the word opportunist with a negative connotation, but here it has the positive meaning of someone who both knows a good opportunity as soon as he or she catches sight of one and possesses the willingness to take advantage of that opportunity. As such a person, you have also developed your research skills to the point where you can identify actual and potential sources of help and information.

  1. Confidence

Your other skills will make no real difference unless you have the confidence to showcase them. You should also hone your capacity to define and promote an agenda of your own.

The above is just a brief description; more details can be found here.

  1. Planning

Making plans and updating them frequently is valuable for career management. Remain actively involved with your plan and perform other activities related to career development. You will be in high demand, too, if you can produce the most desirable results without causing “collateral damage” in the process.

Get a copy of my free ebook to help you…

I’m Jane Adshead-Grant, a specialist coach on the subject of career management and personal leadership. You can download my ebook here.