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Your Career, Not Your House, Is Your Biggest Investment

Posted by Patra Frame

Your Career is Your Biggest Investment._Don’t wait for new year resolutions. Clean up this year and plan your next career moves now. Fit these easy steps into the next month and invest in yourself.

Document Your Achievements

Whether you do this regularly as part of work reports or performance reviews or not, take time now to review all your achievements in the past year. Write them down. Go back a couple of times over a week or so and make sure you have them all.

This provides you with

  • information for performance reviews and salary raises
  • details you need to update your social media profiles and/or create a new resume
  • ideas to guide your next career development steps.

Do this each year at least once – many do it more often for ease. Keep the documents in one career file.

Check Your Online Presence

When you are in active job search, checking yourself out online is a basic task. Most of us would do well to do this regularly and catch anything you need to know – or bury – as soon as possible. Search your name and any common nicknames you use on Google and other search engines. If there are any issues, plan what to do next. There are tutorials widely available online on how to correct your own mistakes or bury problems you find. This is important for internal promotions as well as job search.

Update Your Career Plan

Successful people have career goals and plans. If you don’t already, get going and develop one. Your career is your biggest investment and has the most potential financially. Don’t just hope it will work out. Don’t wait till you are facing a contract loss to think of what’s next. The changes in technology, corporate structure and ownership, the economy, and the federal budget all impact your career. Get ahead of the game by having ideas and options for your personal and professional growth.

Define Professional Development Plans

Each year you should review your career goals and plans and decide what growth and development you will undertake next. Some may be supported by your employer, but the definition of what you are going to do and how is your responsibility.

  • Are there courses or certifications you need to progress?
  • What are you reading, studying or experimenting with on your own?
  • Should you volunteer for projects or task forces at work?
  • Could you develop skills you need for your career goals in other settings, such as management skills in a volunteer role for a cause you care about?

Define specific plans and set up checkpoints to ensure you fit these efforts into other life activities.

Build Your Network

Maybe you have a drawer or phone full of business cards. Perhaps you have met people you meant to follow up with. Do it now. Get yourself organized and contact each person. Set up a system to help you reconnect with people you have not talked with in some time. Figure out where your past references are now and update them. Connect with people using social media, an email, or a phone call. Check in to see what they are up to and how you can help them. Introduce one connection to another who might make a good contact.

I so often see people in a job search mode who have done nothing since their last job search to build or maintain their network. That hurts you directly because you lose the value of having the human connection as well as the growth opportunities you miss.

INVEST IN YOUR FUTURE

It is your career. Your responsibility. Your success is in your own control. Sure you are busy. Everyone is busy. Still, you are an investment worth making. Don’t be that person who ‘means to’, who is ‘going to’. Get going and act – life is so much better when you do!

Patra FramePatra Frame is ClearedJobs.Net’s HR Consultant. She is an experienced human resources executive and founder of Strategies for Human Resources. Patra is an Air Force veteran and charter member of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial. Follow Patra on Twitter @2Patra.

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 07, 2017 9:23 am

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