career advice, career management, Careers, Job Search, Networking, personal brand management, Personal Branding

Career Management and the New Reality

Mary Rosenbaum | May 12th, 2010

For many people who lost their jobs it has been a difficult two years. There is a new reality when it comes to jobs and careers. Pure and simple, job security no longer exists. You are in charge of managing your own career. Career management has to start early and be ongoing throughout your working life.

What the new reality also means is that you have the ability to take control of your career. I have already addressed several steps you can take in past postings: developing a strong personal brand, getting more visible at work, and spreading your personal brand. Another important step is to periodically evaluate what you are doing, where you want to go, and how you plan on getting there.

Here are some steps to keep you on track and in control.

1. Reassess and redefine your career goals periodically. As the economy changes and industries restructure and regroup do a reality check to see whether your goals need to change as well. Additionally, career goals should be moving targets, as you get closer you need to set your sights higher. This way you will be sure to continue moving forward.

2. Assess the work you are doing and the skills you are employing. Are you still enjoying what you do? Are you still learning? If you have redefined your goals are there additional skills you need to move you further along on your career path? Are there courses that would enhance the work you do and perhaps enable you to stand out more? By continuing to grow professionally your job becomes more interesting and you become more fully engaged in your work. The more engaged, the better the work product.

3. Continue to build and nurture relationships with others inside and outside your organization. Extending your reach and exposure is a critical aspect and should not be limited to times when you are involved in a job search. Increase your social capital by being generous with your contacts. Introducing others to people you know helps them and reflects positively on you. Social capital is bankable and the interest it bears is priceless.

4. Stay abreast of changes in your industry. You can create opportunities for yourself when you have a better understanding of the needs of your organization. Always remember that the definition of luck is when opportunity meets preparedness. Be proactive in seeking out opportunities, not reactive.

What other steps do you employ in managing your career?

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years, Mary Rosenbaum helps careerists and entrepreneurs position themselves so they can stand out from the competition. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.

Do I Need A Personal Brand? If So, How Do I Know It’s Working?

Mary Rosenbaum | March 19th, 2010

An interesting question came up in a conversation I had last night with an HR representative of a major corporation: “Why is it important for people who work in corporations to have their own personal brand? After all, doesn’t the company itself have a brand?”

Corporations have their own brand and you, as a representative of that corporation express this brand wherever you go, whether it’s dealing with internal or external clients.

Yet each of you brings something unique to the table whenever you promote or provide the services your company offers. Your brand, the way you communicate with others, the way you do your work, the way your successes and failures are viewed by those who matter, have tremendous implications on your career. Understanding the underpinnings of your brand, what makes you unique and what helps you stand out enables you to create your career by design.

Consequently, it’s important to understand how you are viewed, both internally as well as by the outside world. These are some questions you should be asking yourself.

1. Is my reputation, what people think of me, equal to how I view myself?

2. How do I really want people to think of me and to respond to me?

3. Have I been able to differentiate myself and what I do in a positive and productive way?

4. Is the way I am viewed going to help me achieve my professional goals?

5. Is my reputation helping or hurting my work and my future?

6. Is my personal brand (my vision, purpose and values) in alignment with that of the company?

Understanding your personal brand is integral to obtaining satisfaction from your job, enjoying the company you work for, and in obtaining the career goals you set for yourself. Having a strong personal brand plays a critical role in your success in managing your career.

So ask yourself these hard questions. If the answers are not what you expect then you have some work to do; it may be difficult but worth it.

How do you measure whether your personal brand is working for or against you? I would love to hear from you.

Follow me on Twitter @careersguru

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years, Mary Rosenbaum helps entrepreneurs and careerists position themselves so they can stand out from the competition. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.

The Entrepreneurial Quiz

Mary Rosenbaum | September 1st, 2009

With the unemployment rate hovering near 10% there is no surprise that many people are looking into starting their own business. Being your own boss sounds enticing – no more threats of being laid off, no one in control of your destiny but you. But are you prepared for taking on the role of an entrepreneur? The following Entrepreneurial Quiz was prepared by Career Coach Institute and I have found it helps weed out those that want to from those that can do. Although this does not address the “what will I do” of starting up your own business, it will help you in deciding the “whether or not” question.

Entrepreneurial Quiz

Do You Have the Entrepreneurial Personality?

Question Yes No
Is it important to you to accomplish something meaningful with your life?
Do you typically set both short- and long-term goals for yourself?
Do you usually achieve your goals?
Do you enjoy working on your own?
Do you like to perform a variety of tasks in your job?
Are you self-disciplined?
Do you like to be in control of your working environment?
Do you take full responsibility for your successes and failures?
Can you place the needs of your business above your family when necessary?
Are you in excellent physical, mental and emotional health?
Do you have the drive and energy to achieve your goals?
Do you have work experience in the type of business you wish to start?
Have you ever been so engrossed in your work that time passed unnoticed?
Do you consider “failures” as opportunities to learn and grow?
Can you hold to your ideas and goals even when others disagree with you?
Are you willing to take moderate risks to achieve your goals?
Can you afford to lose the money you invest in your business?
When the need arises, are you willing to do a job that may not interest you?
Are you willing to work hard to acquire new skills?
Do you usually stick with a project until it is completed?

Your answers to at least 15 of these questions should be yes if you are to be successful as a business owner.  While it is not necessary to answer all of these questions yes, but if you answer no to some of them, you will want to evaluate what that means to you and how significantly it may impact your ability to run your own business.

My next topic will be about the “how and what” of starting your own business.