Tag Archives: career plan

How to spring clean your career

Career Spring Cleaning
Like your personal life and home needs a spring cleaning, so does your career. Whether you are actively looking for a new job or prepared to jump to the next the next opportunity, it is important to take a step back and make the necessary improvements to make you a better job candidate.

In order to understand where you are, it is important to take stock of where you are professionally. Most of us get caught up in the day-to-day tasks and duties and we tend to lose focus of whether we are on the correct career path.

Ask yourself if you are happy to wake every day and  go to work. Is your job providing the necessary stimulation? Are you earning enough money? Are you pursuing your professional and career dreams? The best thing to do is to take the time and take stock of your career and get a sense of where you are going or want to go.

Here are few things you can do for your career spring cleaning:

Review and update your resume – Delete all the hackneyed expressions and replace them with strong, active verbs that demonstrate results. Use words related to related to your skills and background. Get a friend to proof read your resume.

Register and/or update your LinkedIn profile – Write up a summary of your professional career using as many keywords as possible. Add all links to showcase your accomplishments. And increase your connections by contacting friends and colleagues.

Clean up your office desk – Take the time the tidy up your desk and get rid of the clutter.

Review and clean up your online reputation – Make sure all your network profile are up to date and clean up all those post and articles that might reflect badly on your next job interview. Upload information that presents you in a positive, professional light.

Clean up your inbox – Organize and save all important contacts numbers and  email addresses. Unsubscribe from those newsletter that you never bother to read any more. Answer all your ‘to-do” emails.

Clean up your daily to do list – Review your daily to do list and see what things are competing for your time, and decide which to hold onto and which to discard. Focus on the things that are important to you, and don’t do the extraneous stuff.

Upgrade your skills and take a classContinuing education is one of the best ways to either upgrade your current skills or a way to explore other careers without officially shifting gears.

Increase your networking efforts –  The best time to network and grow your professional circle is when you are not looking for a job. Join your alumni organization and get to know individuals inside and outside your filed.

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Easy Steps to Creating a Career Plan

Career development Plan

If you’re wondering how you’re going to get where you want to be, there are 3 steps you can take that will help you create your own career development plan. Sometimes the simplest of concepts or steps can be hard to do because they require thinking and effort.

Step 1: Discover where you want to be

As with all efforts, you must be clear about where you want  to be when you create your own career plan. You don’t take a road trip without knowing where you want to end up. You also don’t need to overly complicate this task. I think the following questions are helpful in thinking out your destination.

Where do you want your career to be in two years?
Where do you want your career to be in five years?
What makes these targets resonant for you?

Step 2: Do a Gap Analysis

A gap analysis is where you figure out the differences in the qualifications between where you are right now and your two-year goal or next step.
Using a job posting or job description for the position you are aiming at is a good way to get specific information about the skills and experience that are expected.

Identify all of the items where there is anywhere from a fair amount to a substantial amount of development that is needed.
Look for commonalities and clump those together as a category.

Step 3: Create Your Development Plan

You are now fully armed with a clear two-year goal and all the details of where and what you need to develop to get you where you want to go.

Consult a mentor or boss to help choose what skills you need to add.

You may need to research various ways to get the skills you need. Once done, it will give you ideas on how you can approach these items.

You need dates. You need to keep yourself accountable to your plan; and the best way to do that is to give yourself a “start by” date. Keep track. You need to pay attention to your plan a minimum of twice per year. This will allow you to stay focused on your progress and remind you of next steps.

Career development is the sort of thing that you can easily forget about until you wake up one day to realize you have gone nowhere and aren’t having fun. You are responsible for where you go in your career. With a little bit of planning you can accomplish great things.

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