Are you taking an active approach to managing your career? Or are you narrowing your options by being passive and transferring that control to your environment, circumstances or others?.
The following statistics give a concerning picture of how many of us lack active control of our careers.
* 90 percent of workers say they are dissatisfied with their jobs.
* 40 percent of workers feel disconnected from their employers.
* 8 in 10 workers plan to look for a new job when the economy improves.
Those who don't take charge of their own careers and just let things happen often end up feeling trapped in dead-end jobs or being unemployed. Also, those who expect companies to take care of them are usually disappointed these days.
On any given day, your present job could end, even if you own the company. Embracing the idea of managing your own career is crucial. No one will ever care more about your career than you do.
Here are some tips for those just beginning a new career, career changers or those needing to revitalize their career:
* People are very different. You have special gifts that fit for some jobs and not for others. If you're in the right place, you'll skyrocket. If not, you'll struggle.
* Take time to assess your skills, temperament, aptitudes, natural gifts, passions, purpose and so on. Use this self-knowledge to guide your career decisions.
* Design your ideal work life and career on paper. Make it a detailed career plan and update and follow it regularly. Watch for opportunities that meet your career goals. Remember, development requires change.
* If you need help designing or implementing your plan, seek advice from mentors, advisers, counselors and others. Cultivate relationships with people in your field or who are in a position to help you. Employers usually hire people they know ahead of strangers.
* Set a regular time each week to work on your career and brand building. It is too easy to get caught up in your job and life and forget about your long-term career goals.
* People skills can make or break careers. Adopt a mindset for teaming and collaborating and practice it. It's better to be a people person with average skills than an abrasive expert who wins at the expense of others.
* Your accomplishments are your calling card for the future. They will help determine your marketability. Try to contribute something substantial and measurable every day. And make sure you keep a record of your results.
There is no reason you can't enjoy your job. Disliking your daily routine can eventually ruin your health and your relationships. Find ways to do rewarding work in your current job or start looking elsewhere.
If you follow these tips, most of your marketing is done. Your reputation, accomplishments and people skills are a matter of record. If you've been a contributor and a team player, you'll be in demand. If not, you won't.
You're in the driver's seat. By taking control of the wheel, you can manage your career on purpose, instead of handing it over to chance.
Brad Larsen is a life coach and corporate consultant from Northern Utah. He can be reached at email@example.com.