According to the online definition at www.businessdictionary.com, Career Management is defined as: “Lifelong, self-monitored process of career planning that involves choosing and setting personal goals, and formulating strategies for achieving them.” From my perspective as a Master Career Director and Certified Master Resume Writer, it also means taking a long-term approach to your professional career by looking at ways you can be more attractive to another employer, continually being aware of what you bring to the table, and preparing yourself before you need (or want) to seek out new employment!
One way to manage your career, even if you are not currently looking for new employment, is to update your references. In May of each year, Career Directors International (CDI) promotes Update Your References Week. For workers not in the job market and happy with their present situation, letting the week pass by without thinking about your career may seem like the logical approach. Remember, though, that the best time to keep in touch with others is before you need their help.
“Employment situations can change quickly, and action now can reap rewards later. So use the time as an opportunity to network. Drop an email or two to former colleagues to see how they are doing, or invite someone you haven’t seen in a while to lunch. Getting in touch puts you back in other people’s minds, which makes contacting for a reference seem much less out of the blue. In the process, you also may discover that your former boss has retired or an old co-worker has moved to a different company – information that could be useful down the road. Be sure to provide your up-to-date contact information to anyone with whom you get in touch, and ask them to do the same,” says Laura DeCarlo, President of CDI.
These are all great tips that may seem small, but can yield BIG rewards if implemented. Look for further tips in next month’s 2-part series on career management which will address binder creation, reference letters, performance evaluations, and continuing education.