Career Counselling and Career Management
Gone are the days of ‘jobs for life’ and we wish them a fond farewell. Staying in the same job your whole life could lead to complacency and stagnation although some say that it also led to more loyalty. Whichever is true, it is gone for good for the majority of people today.
Today we are living in an age of ‘job hoppers’, where regularly changing jobs is not just tolerated, but encouraged.
This change began in the rise and fall of dot.com era of the late 1990s and increasing globalisation. The current employment climate requires job seekers to be more agile. We are therefore seeing fewer people staying in their jobs for longer than three of four years.
We suggest that this trend means that you need to view yourself and your career as a business – You Pty Ltd – selling a service to an ever-changing marketplace. You are a service that the marketplace is buying and as such, you need to keep current with your skills, qualifications, experience and branding.
You will also need a vision or career goal and a strategy with specific action plans for achieving your goal. Nobody is going to hand this to you on a plate, like they did in the good old days. You now need to be more proactive and focused than ever in managing your career.
Here are seven steps you can take to change your mindset and approach:
1. Define your vision or goal
Where do you want to be in the long term in relation to your career? Do you want to be a managing director or marketing director or are you someone who trembles at the thought of taking on that sort of responsibility? It is essential to know what you are aiming for so that you can equip yourself for the future. This usually involves more than a dollar figure.
2. Conduct a SWOT analysis
Look at your key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as objectively as you can. Then analyse how you can capitalise on your strengths and opportunities and work to overcome any weaknesses and dilute any threats, although these are usually outside of your control.
3. Find your core competencies
Nowadays companies can only thrive if they focus on doing the few things that they do best. There is no way they can excel in everything. More likely, trying to do that will only waste valuable resources.
So find your core competences. A good clue to find them is your passions. After you find your core competences, move your resources (time, money, and energy) to hone them and bring them to the next level.
4. Think of your employer as your customer
If you now work for a company, the first thing you should change is your mindset. You are not an employee of the company. Instead, the company is a customer of yours. You are your own independent company, and your employer is just one customer that wants to consume the value you produce. Having this mindset alone will help you see things differently.
5. Build your personal brand
This is the promise of the value that people will get when they come to you, your offerings and what makes you different from all of the others out there in the marketplace. In marketing, this is often known as your Unique Sales Proposition or USP. The stronger your brand, the easier it is to sell your service. (More on this in later articles).
6. Create an action plan
Now it is time to create the strategies and action plans to achieve your goals. The outputs from your SWOT analysis are a good place to start. For example, are you lacking a vital skill to help you set you on the path to achieving your goal? Then start researching ways to acquire that skill. Do you need to undertake a course or is there some way that you can acquire that skill in your current company? If you want to make more money, can you make a case for a pay rise or promotion? Do your core competencies and branding give you the ammunition you need to justify that?
7. Work your networks
Successful businesses and individuals have a number of key networks that are their allies and advocates. Think about those you have done business with; they have often been through referrals, right? This is how it is for most people’s careers today – 60 – 80% of jobs are obtained through contacts.
Networking can be daunting for some people but it doesn’t necessarily mean attending large events and glad-handing hundreds of people. You can network one on one, but make sure that you are willing to give as much, if not more than you receive.
Career management and career counselling services Sydney
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