MANAGING YOUR CAREER
Your career should not just be allowed to happen . You need to manage it just as you would manage anything else which is important. As an MBA program participant/recent MBA graduate you are inevitably at an important career decision stage. A positive and clear view about your future career must be the background against which you make any immediate job decisions.
This is a complex and very personal subject but here are some general points. Get further information /help/advice if you think you need it.
There are some basic things to consider Self Assessment, Career Tactics, Personal Development and Scanning
1. Know yourself
Think about your competences and your achievements.
Do this regularly as both you, and the world about you change.
As a minimum you should do this for yourself but on occasions you might choose to get some help eg get others to assess you if possible- eg as part of an annual appraisal or a 360 degree assessment . You might also get professional help from career professionals such services are often offered to MBA students as part of a placement service
You should aim to achieve the following
· List your existing competences. If possible compare them against published competence profiles for particular levels of jobs, and thus -
· Identify your competence gaps/weaknesses
· Be clear about your present values i.e. what influences your behavior
· Be clear about your current objectives i.e. what drives you
· Decide which of your competence gaps are important i.e. which you will need to repair
· Identify ways to gain these missing competences
· Decide if a career will help you get closer to your objectives and fill the competence gaps.
2. Career Tactics
In general people who feel that they are in the right career- aim to develop their career in a linear manner step by step onwards and upwards. However if you feel that you are in the wrong career dont hang around for your world to get better get yourself into a better situation - you will need to take the risk to get the right opportunities they will not come to you.
3. Self Development
Your development is your responsibility not someone else. As a manager your professional development is what you do for yourself not what someone does to you. You need to make it happen. But remember development is not just about taking courses like your MBA it is about benefiting from experience. The most important and influential thing you can do for yourself is to equip yourself to recognize formative/developmental experiences and to be equipped to benefit from them. Try to manage your career such that you are regularly faced with new experiences. consistent of course with being able to cope and being seen to succeed.
Keep looking around yourself. Benchmark yourself against people you know e.g. your contemporaries - and for this (and many other reasons) keep in touch with them and meet regularly. Look for opportunities and let it be known that you welcome them. Dont set your sights any lower than the people who you consider to be your equals
Be prepared to take risks - especially in the early part of your career.
1. Recognize your knowledge/skill obsolescence - just as important to managers as to technical people
2. Be prepared to make sacrifices success does not come easy
3. Dont expect someone else to be responsible for your career even if you are in a large organisation and even if they tell you they will look after you! Usually organisations have different priorities
4. Dont try to copy someone else but do try to learn from them
5. Try to be visible you are aiming to promote yourself
6. Cultivate relationships with people who will/can influence your career
7. Dont make excuses, or deceive yourself if things go wrong assume it was something you should have managed better -and learn from it
8. Sell yourself on your accomplishments.
9. Try not to let safety begin to be sufficient
10. Associate with people you admire some of it will rub off
11. Build and sustain a stable and supportive family situation