Managing Your Own Career Development
Defined back in the early ‘70s, Career Management was a revolutionary idea. A high level of career self-management is ordinary and essential today. There goes the career for life then, and, nobody ain’t gonna do the work for you.
“Career management is the combination of structured planning and the active management choice of one’s own professional career.”
So how do you do Career Management?
If you have recently graduated from Uni (with all the debt that might entail), you will be pretty up-skilled on managing your career. The university will have a vested interest in protecting its alumni for its own marketing purposes. You recent graduates are a universities’ asset and they need to ensure that you travel far and wide in your professional success.
If you walked out of you university campus ten or even 20 years ago, you will have left with very different expectations. A university only needed good academics to leave their doors. There was no need for them to offer heaps of guidance on enabling you to navigate your portfolio career because, after graduation, you followed your specialism. Ten or twenty years on, you are surveying an entirely different career landscape. You are needing to manage in a rapidly changing job market with little formal training or skills. This can feel overwhelming.
How do you choose where to go next?
How do you promote yourself?
How do you identify your transferable skills?
How do you make the most of each application possibility?
How do you network?
How do you resource yourself to survive the knock backs or even worse, the absolute silence in response to all the work you have put in on applications?
This is where the management aspect comes in: What you need to know is that you don’t need to take this journey alone. With a little bit of guidance and a little bit of self-reflection. you can pull all this together. You can choose your direction and promote yourself accordingly.
“You need to identify your support systems”
You need to identify your professional support systems: There might need to be a mentor. There might need to be a C.V buddy, or a coach. There will need to be some guidance from your peers and colleagues about your real strengths. There might need to be a professional C.V service. There might need to be a reflective journey in order to establish what your drivers and your professional purpose actually are. You will need the kind-hearted critic who can proof-read your applications. You may need the friendship network with whom to commiserate when its hard and with whom to celebrate when it all comes good.
This career management is not a short term endeavour. Waiting to be offered the next promotion no longer works. What is needed is the team who supports your agility as you learn to manage your career yourself.
“Gather Your Team”
The benefits of being in control of your own career management is that you have autonomy and choice and you can wave goodbye to the ‘same-old-same-old’. The difficulty of being in control of your own career management is exactly that: you need to take control yourself, and, that this requires both openness to learning and the gathering of your team!