career advice, career management, leadership, leadership coaching, leadership development, personal brand management, Personal Branding


Mary Rosenbaum | January 17th, 2017

Your Key to Success

Are you where you are because of careful planning, accident or mistake?

Too often we get stuck in the routine of doing our job. With a 24/7 mentality in most work places it seems daunting enough to just get the work done well without having to think about the future. This behavior leads us to become reactive rather than proactive when it comes to making career decisions.

The work environment today is highly competitive, extremely fluid, change focused, results oriented, and value driven. If you don’t take control of your career, others will do it for you – for better or for worse.

You have to commit to managing your career, not to just doing your job. Get into the mindset that you have control and once you do that, you are ready to take on the tasks of taking control.

There are many ways to manage your career and here are a few “must do” steps to take.

1. Set goals with specific time frames for achieving them. You want to be able to have short and long term goals that provide you with direction. For some, those goals might be a promotion to a more senior level, for others, greater leadership responsibility or a new role within your organization. Setting achievable goals within a realistic time frame and keeping to it provides you with direction and structure. This lets you know where you want to go and how fast you need to move to get there on time.

Consider asking someone to hold you accountable for achieving these goals on a time schedule that you create. A coach, a friend, a colleague, a manager, a mentor – being held accountable is what will help you be successful.

2. Find a role model. If someone has the position or responsibilities you want it would be valuable to compare your offerings, abilities, experience, and talents with theirs. An honest and thorough analysis of the hard and soft skills they have and the behaviors they exhibit will enable you to see how you measure up, where your added value lies, and what areas need further growth and improvement.

And if you come up short on the comparison, make a plan to fill in those blank spaces with the skills, experiences, and contacts you need.

3. Manage your personal and leadership brand. Understand how others see you. Knowing how others view you is a great starting point for enhancing and managing your personal and leadership brand. If you’re not viewed as “leadership” or “front office” material, what achievements can you amplify to alter their perception of your skills and abilities.

A 360 assessment, asking for direct and honest feedback from those around you (colleagues, managers, friends), or a deeper dive into your performance evaluations, are ways in which you can complete this step.

4. Grow your tribe. Build your tribe of supporters and collaborate with them in their growth and development. Your tribe is your greatest asset. They can be relied upon as advisors as well as providers of information and contacts. Help them as much as you can as selflessly as you can.  As with anything that grows, when you nurture these relationships, they can last a lifetime.

5. Find a mentor and/or a coach and ask for help. Find someone whose experience and wisdom in navigating his/her way to success can help you on the road to achieving your goals. Issues such as navigating the organization, dealing with generational differences and work/life issues, and structuring your career path can be daunting and any help along the way is always welcome.

6. Increase your visibility. Make sure the decision makers inside your organization are exposed to you, to the work you do and to your accomplishments. Take on or volunteer for projects or write articles for your company newsletter that spotlight your skills and abilities and have greater visibility across different areas within your company. It is a great way to “show rather than tell” that you are ready to take on greater responsibilities.

7. Communicate your goals. Let those in power know what your goals are so that when an opportunity arises you can be considered in the mix. Silence is not golden.

8. Find a Sponsor. A sponsor is someone who can help open doors and make introductions that will provide you with the visibility you need. To be successful at finding the right sponsor make sure you have the credibility and validity you need to gain their trust and their help. (More on Sponsors can be found here.)

So Make it Your Career by Design by taking control of your career.

Need help in defining and achieving your goals? Want a Career by Design and not by Mistake? Contact me.

Mary Rosenbaum is a Master Certified Personal Branding Strategist and Career Management Coach who works with professionals and entrepreneurs. Equipped with an MBA in Finance and with over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and a career professional and 10 years in business and finance, Mary helps clients define goals, identify and highlight relevant talents and skills, and ensure that past achievements connect directly with future rewards. Success is defined as clarity of vision, differentiation from competitors, and the visibility and credibility necessary to capitalize on opportunities.

Are You A “Nowhere Man”?

Mary Rosenbaum | May 7th, 2014

I was walking through Central Park the other day and heard a street musician singing “Nowhere Man” by the Beatles. It’s not as if I’ve never heard the words before. In fact, as most people across many different generations, I know the words by heart. BUT, I have never really listened to them. And I know that this song means different things to different people. But if taken literally, they convey a message that resonates with me.

You may know these words well, but read them anyway and then continue reading this post.

He’s a real nowhere man                                                                                                 Sitting in his nowhere land

Making all his nowhere plans for nobody                                                                    Doesn’t have a point of view

Knows not where he’s going to                                                                                        Isn’t he a bit like you and me?

Nowhere Man, please listen                                                                                             You don’t know what you’re missing

Nowhere Man, the world is at your command                                                              He’s as blind as he can be

Just sees what he wants to see                                                                                       Nowhere Man can you see me at all?

Nowhere Man, don’t worry                                                                                              Take your time, don’t hurry

Leave it all till somebody else lends you a hand                                                            Doesn’t have a point of view

Knows not where he’s going to                                                                                         Isn’t he a bit like you and me?……

Aimless, rootless, going nowhere, this is a song about someone who is stuck.

I’m a career management coach and personal branding strategist so my mind goes right to the topic of careers. For me, it brings to mind what a professional with a strong personal brand and good career management skills should have:

1. A strategic plan based on professional goals – know where you are going and create a plan for how to get there. Reach high and set your goals so they are a reach and not a slam dunk.

2.  A strong point of view –strong opinions based on knowledge and experience enable you to stand out from your competitors – you want to be known for something.  So take a stand and stand out.

3.  An ability to see beyond your own vision and accept opinions outside your own. Outside advisors, mentors, colleagues, and sponsors are all great sources of information and feedback. They help you take a step back before you take a step forward.

4.  An understanding that the world is filled with opportunities – and being willing and prepared to capture these opportunities puts you in charge.

5. An awareness of other people, their needs and abilities, and how you can help each other.

6. A strong community of friends, colleagues, and supporters around you – they can help provide you with a rich and happy life. Build and strengthen your tribe.

So let this song be a reminder of what it’s like to be a “Nowhere Man” – and only you can judge – is he a bit like you?

What does this song bring up for you?  Please share.

Want to get unstuck? Contact me.

Are You Living Your Plan A?

Mary Rosenbaum | June 7th, 2013

Spring means many things to different people. For me it’s a time of year when I find new projects to do around the house. It’s not that I enjoy doing this work but I know that certain improvements need to be made, not only to maintain the upkeep on my house but to enhance the quality of my life while I live there.

Searching for projects to improve your life should not be limited to your brick and mortar house. This same “walk around your professional house” can and should be applied to you, your career, and your business.

Have you stepped back lately and taken a long hard look at where you are in your career versus where you wanted or thought you would be? Some of us start out with a Plan – a Plan A. Your Plan A could have been developed early on in your career or been one that developed over time.

Either way, Plan A should be a moving target. If it’s not and you haven’t progressed in the way you wanted or anticipated, then you are living Plan B.

Having the presence of mind to ask yourself some important questions and answer them honestly will enable you to identify the changes you need to make to improve your positioning, give you greater career and business satisfaction, and put you back on track for accomplishing your Plan A.

What are some of the questions you need to ask? We can put them into categories as follows:

How Am I Doing:

– Is my career moving in the direction I expect?

– Does this work still satisfy?

– Is my work still challenging and am I continuing to grow?

– Am I living my plan A or have I inadvertently shifted into a Plan B?

What Do I Need to Make Things Better:

– Are there skills I need to add to improve my positioning?

– Are there other ways where I can add value to my company/clients?

– Are there people who need to be in my network and ultimately my tribe?

– What do I do to increase my visibility with management/target group/clients?

– What kind of help (professional, personal, collegial) do I need to move my career forward?

– Are my goals still realistic?

– Do I need to move out of my comfort zone and if so, how?

Let me be clear, I don’t fix things in my house because I love doing it. I do it because it needs to be done. The same holds true for your career. It’s not always fun to put up a mirror that shows every blemish or wrinkle but you can’t make yourself look better if you don’t recognize what’s wrong.

What other questions can you think of that would help you get a better reading on where you stand? Please share them here.

Do you need help in improving your professional house? Contact me.

What Successful People Do

Mary Rosenbaum | May 8th, 2012

Why are some people more successful than others in getting what they want out of life? There are lots of reasons and I’m sure no matter how many I list, you will be able to think of others. One of the more important reasons is that people who are successful keep their eye on the prize. That is, they know what they want to accomplish and evaluate decisions that arise based on achieving those goals.

We live in a world that has so many distractions and a myriad of ways we can and do feel productive even when we really aren’t.  Cruising the web, reading countless articles and emails, posting on social media sites – it all makes you feel like you’re doing something important. But will these actions help you reach your goals?

Goals are our road map. They tell us which paths to take, which jobs to consider, which clients to take on, who we should meet or get to know, which skills we should learn, which talents we should highlight, which conferences or meetings we should attend, which associations we should join. The list is endless.

What is not endless is your time.

Identifying goals is the first step in taking control of your career or your business. It makes sense. If you don’t have a defined direction or path you want to take then your career or your business will be something that just “happens” to you. A rudderless boat can make it to shore if the tide is moving in the right direction. But would you take that chance?

Do what successful people do – keep your eye on the prize. Take the precious time you have and define your goals. A great way of looking at it is that goals provide you with the structure you need to design your career with purpose.

So take control and design your career. Take action, set goals with realistic timetables, review and revise the results, and achieve your desired objectives.

Is your life more serendipitous or have goals played the more important role? I know there are people who say that chance and luck played as important a role in their lives as goals. If you’re one of the “lucky” I would love to hear your story.

Get my free report on getting visible and getting ahead. Click on the links for more information about me and how we can work together whether you work inside an organization, are in sales, are an entrepreneur or a small business owner.

Strengthen Your Personal Brand-Build Your Career With Purpose

Mary Rosenbaum | January 5th, 2012

The year 2011 was a year when the term personal branding became a familiar term used by many. That’s not to say that it means the same thing to everyone, but there is general consensus that it has something to do with how you are known.

Although personal branding includes the many components that go into who you are, the reality is that who you are changes with time and with experience. How your personal brand is impacted (voluntarily or involuntarily) directly affects your career and/or business. At the same time, the trajectory of your career has a direct impact on your personal brand. Yes, there is a symbiotic relationship between the two.

Here are some things you can do to keep your career moving forward while adding to and strengthening your arsenal of skills and talents that comprise your personal brand.

1. Bring Out the Child in You – Stay Curious and Be Open to New Ideas

“One of the virtues of being very young is that you don’t let the facts get  in the way of your imagination.”  Sam Levenson

New information enables you to be more flexible and innovative, both key words in staying competitive and moving ahead in business today. Rather than let your usual filter be based on experience and “the way things have always been done”, be open to allow for creativity and innovation to seep into your work and your life.

Keep learning and growing, take courses, read books and articles, attend lectures, listen to colleagues and let new ideas take you in new directions. Nothing in business is forever anymore (where are all those mortgage backed securities brokers today?). Grow your personal brand by increasing your experiences and expanding your capabilities.

2. Make Goal Setting a Priority

“In the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.” Author Unknown

Accidental success is rare. Goals create a road map that helps you manage your career and strengthen your personal brand. By identifying your goals you can better address what you need to attain them –education, greater visibility, improved communication, more or different experiences. Goals provide structure and create a purposeful plan for you to build your career.

Break your long-term goal in manageable, bite-size steps. This way your goals become less overwhelming and more attainable.

3. Understand Your Unique Promise of Value – What’s in it for Them

Understanding brings control.” Bonewitz

When you know the value you provide to your organization and/or your clients you can more effectively focus on strengthening those skills and talents that make you stand out. Strong personal brands are known for something – not for many things. Knowing your value allows you to magnify its intensity.

Additionally, understanding your value provides you with the leverage you need when evaluating future opportunities and negotiating compensation or fees.

4. Mind Your Character and Your Reputation – It’s all about Your Personal Brand

“A man’s reputation is what other people think of him; his character is  what he really is.”  Author Unknown

Critical components of your personal brand are your values. Your values are as unique as your fingerprints; they define your character. Once you are clear on what your values are they become your own personal litmus test of what you want, how you want to live, who you want to be with, work with, and what you want to do. When you live your values you are in equilibrium, you are authentic to who you are – the world is great.

Your reputation is based on how others view you. Your reputation consists of not only your values, but includes how you do you work and how you interact with others. It’s the memory people have of their experience of working and spending time with you. As we all know, your reputation is fragile and is often synonymous with your personal brand. Doing your best work each and every time will ensure that you maintain the reputation you want and deserve.

So bring all of who you are to everything you do and you will be living your values and strengthening your personal brand.

5. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone – Say Yes to New Opportunities

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas A. Edison

Take more risks. Getting comfortable in your career may sound desirable but it’s a sure way to close off opportunities that might propel you forward quicker and in new directions. Greater exposure to new experiences enhances what you do and/or the service you deliver, adding another dimension to your personal brand.

No Pain, No Gain. Just choose wisely which risks you take. Always keep your goals front and center and know well which consequences are acceptable in the event of failure.

Stay curious, be bold, take risks – and move forward with purpose and confidence.  You already have a personal brand. The idea is to make sure it’s the one you want and the one you need to get ahead.

INVEST IN YOUR CAREER: Enroll in Personal Branding Boot Camp taking place on February 4 and LEARN HOW TO STAND OUT – but for all the right reasons.



Personal Branding Boot Camp – February 4, 2012

Mary Rosenbaum | December 12th, 2011

Make 2012 the year you take control of your career or business!

Whether you know it or not, you already have a personal brand. But is it the brand or reputation you want or need to get ahead in your career or business?

Working on your career is as important as doing a great job at work. It is easy to get caught up with deadlines, projects, and the everyday world of family and friends. When did you last take the time to evaluate where you are going in your career? And even more importantly, do you have a clear understanding or awareness of where you are now, what makes you unique, how others view you, and how you want others to view you?

Give yourself the best gift possible for the New Year – an opportunity to take a step back so you can take an important step forward!

The goal of this workshop is to enable you to:

–       leverage your strengths

–       be more memorable

–       enjoy greater visibility

–       have greater self-confidence

–       deliver on your brand promise authentically

–       increase your self-awareness

–       stand out from the crowd

–       enjoy greater job/career fulfillment

Workshop details

The February 4 all day workshop is limited to a small group to facilitate learning and participation. Through individual and small group exercises, you will:

–       define your goals and construct an action plan to help you achieve them

–       understand your values, how they affect what you do, and how you do it

–       learn to inject your passions into your world of work

–       define how your skills, talents, and abilities differentiate you from the competition

–       identify your target audience and determine ways to reach them

–       clearly articulate how you want to be known

–       work on defining and building your personal brand

Fee Includes

  1. An interactive all day workshop including individual and group work exercises led by Mary Rosenbaum.
  2. A workbook you can continue using and modifying after the workshop is over.
  3. A 360Assessment (cost of $150.00 included in fee).*
  4. Of course, breakfast and lunch.

*See below for a detailed description of the 360Assessment


Feedback from former workshop participants

What they found valuable How did they change?
“Understanding my differentiator, what’s valuable and how to speak to it.”

“Stating my goals – that I can do it!”

“Personal branding and how it can help or hinder you in achieving your goals.”

“The 360 Assessment made me aware of how I come off to others.”

“The 360 let me see how others view me. It felt great.” (the 360 assessment was mentioned consistently in the reviews as a positive eye-opener)

“The section that asks you to do an action plan-forces you to review everything and decide what is most important to you.”

“Action planning around 360 feedback.”

“Understanding your differentiation-helps structure your brand.”

“Defining values and passions.”

“Personal stories and how they were inspired.”

“More aware of the impact I have on people.”

“More aware of what I project and how I have control.”

“Clarified what actions I need to take to achieve my goals.”

“Understanding the strengths I need to enhance.”

“More self-aware.”

“Be more confident and trust my instincts.”

“I have even more confidence that I am doing a great job and that people recognize it.”

“Being more aware of how I come off and continuing to build my brand.”

“A heightened sense of self-awareness.”

“Re-igniting my passions (I had lost sight of).”

“Living my values.”

“Identifying the strengths I need to amp up or shine a spotlight on and bring my passion more into my work life.”



Who is this for?

–       professionals inside organizations and entrepreneurs who want to improve the way they communicate and articulate their unique value added

–       client facing professionals who need to differentiate themselves from their competitors

–       professionals who need to better align their reputation with their professional goals both inside and outside their organization

More About the 360 Assessment:

Integral to the program is the 360 Reach Assessment, the first and leading web-based personal brand assessment that will help you get the real story of how you are perceived by those around you. It provides the critical feedback you need to expand your success and continue thriving in a competitive business environment.  The first phase, the self-assessment and the raters assessment, will be assigned as pre-work before the workshop so that each of you will have your complete report with you when we meet as a group.

The assessment focuses 99% on the positive, on your strengths and abilities, as the personal branding process is all about highlighting those attributes and qualities that help you stand out. It takes the raters you select (friends, family, colleagues, managers, clients) only 10-15 minutes to complete this on-line assessment.

This assessment has already been taken by more than 700,000 people worldwide and the reviews are outstanding. The personal branding process cannot be completed without an understanding of how others view you. Why? Because it’s critical to know if how others view you is equal to how you view yourself.

So Take The First Step to Taking Control of Your Career in 2012

Give Yourself the Gift You Deserve.


Celebrate Your Strengths: Strengthen Your Personal Brand

Mary Rosenbaum | September 27th, 2011

The lazy hazy crazy days of summer seem long ago. It’s the end of September and if you are at all like me work seems to cross your desk faster than leaves falling from trees. This is as good a time as any to remember that controlling your career should still be in the top 2 or 3 of your list of priorities. Taking control doesn’t mean revolutionary change. On the contrary, it can be checking in with your goals and making sure you are still on target or evaluating which road to take or to pursue at this time in your career. It means building on your personal brand with direction and purpose, adding to the value you provide and the fulfillment you derive from the work you do.

In a recent meeting with a client we began strategizing for his next role within his organization. Already playing a part in his company’s management, he wanted to find new ways he could take on an even more senior role.

The first steps he wanted to take were to tackle his weaknesses and find ways in which he could eliminate them. I have always worked from the premise that building on your strengths yields a much better result than trying to strengthen a weakness. What got you to where you are today are your strengths and growing them in areas that complement what you are already great at will be much more rewarding, professionally and personally, than becoming just OK in areas where you are weak. This methodology strengthens and broadens your personal brand.

Obviously if your weaknesses are serious enough to prevent you from achieving your goals then they should addressed. Either the goals are inappropriate given your capabilities or perhaps there is some way to increase your knowledge or skill in this area that would build on an already existing strength.

This made me think of what a blue print might look like for someone interested in managing his/her career and growing your personal brand. Here’s my take on it.

Set Clearly Defined Goals

Once you know what you want to achieve you can then figure out what you need to do to get there. What is it you want to do and where do you want to do it? Be as specific and as realistic as possible.

Determine Your Value

In addition to accomplishing the “responsibilities of the job” there are many other acts you perform that enable your group, your department, and your organization to be successful. For example, a client of mine who managed a virtual team learned through his 360 assessment that his team thought of him as instrumental in making them successful by keeping them on target, focused, and modeling the type of collaboration that enabled them to do their best work. Clearly this illustrates great leadership capability that would be high on the list of someone looking to take on greater leadership challenges.

So consider these questions:

– What value do you currently provide to your organization in the work you do?

– What accomplishments are you most proud of?

– What types of people do you work with that bring out the best in you and where you bring out the best in them?

– Which roles have you enjoyed most?

– What challenges do you enjoy taking on and where you are the most successful?

Evaluate Your Skills

This is where the “responsibilities of the job” come into play. There are many skills you have developed throughout your career. This is a great time to list the skills you want to continue developing and understand which ones you are happy to have in a back drawer, able to pull them out whenever you need them.

Find Out What’s Missing

Now that you know what you want to do, where you want to go, and what you have to offer, this would be a good time to determine what you need to get there. Areas to consider might include:

– What strengths do you want to build on?

– What experiences would enhance your skills?

– Who do you know that can help you or introduce you to someone who can help you achieve your goals?

– What intermediate steps do you need to take to get to where you want to go?

The foregoing is just a structure but it is one that can be applied to everyone no matter where you are in your career. Just out of school, middle or senior management, taking control and managing your career on a regular basis are an integral part of achieving your goals. So celebrate your strengths and strengthen your personal brand!

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years, Mary Rosenbaum empowers careerists and entrepreneurs to gain greater clarity and more effectively communicate their unique promise of value. Strong leadership means leading with your strengths. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.

Follow me on Twitter @Careersguru

A Personal Branding Lesson from Steve Jobs

Mary Rosenbaum | August 30th, 2011

With the resignation of Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple I was reminded of the power derived from having a vision and recognizing your purpose in enacting that vision. You have to be fearless and willing to take a stand, go out on a limb and reach for what you want to accomplish, no matter what.

The outpouring of support of someone who so few knew was remarkable. He was able to touch so many through the way they were entertained, the way they did business, and the way they communicated. He built a tribe of supporters and followers who gladly lined up days in advance of the release of every new innovative product Apple came out with. Why? Because they knew that it would be a game changer, that was the promise Jobs made to them. It was his unique promise of value – his personal brand.

Steve Jobs’ vision was to be a change agent. Back in 1983 when he was hiring John Scully away from Pepsi he asked him this question: “Do you want to make sugar water for the rest of your life or do you want to have the chance to change the world?”

I wrote a piece on how the WHY of what you do is so important in developing your unique brand and used Apple to illustrate my point. Steve Jobs’ vision, his WHY, was that he wanted to change the world and he did. Developing the Mac, the iPhone and the iPad were what and how he accomplished his vision. The WHY is what keeps people committed to Apple and their products.

Twitter was overwhelmed with comments and accolades the day Jobs resigned. Comments like:

“Funny how much emotion you can feel about a stranger…”

“… every phone call I make, every time I’m on the computer, he’s part of it”

“… defined a generation and changed the world.”

“Thank you for teaching me that good will never be enough.”

“… he is the greatest leader our industry has ever known.”

Steve Jobs is clear on his personal brand and he communicates it in everything he does. His vision defines his purpose and his goals. And it’s not over yet. But we all know, he will be a tough act to follow.

Check out my article on on personal branding.

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years Mary Rosenbaum empowers careerists and entrepreneurs to gain greater clarity and more effectively communicate their unique promise of value. Strong leadership means leading with your strengths. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.

Follow me on Twitter @Careersguru

2011: The Year When Possibilities Turn Into Reality

Mary Rosenbaum | December 7th, 2010

This is the time of year when you start thinking about what you are going to do that’s different in the New Year. Here is a suggestion. Make this the year where possibility reins free, positive thinking trumps negativity, and achieving the goals you set for yourself become a self fulfilling prophesy.

It does not matter whether you work inside an organization, are an entrepreneur, or head up a small business, your attitudes about possibility affect the goals you set and the results you achieve.

I read this story in the book, The Art of Possibility by Ben and Rosamund Zander (which I highly recommend).

A shoe factory sends two marketing scouts to a region of Africa to study the prospects for expanding business. One sends back a telegram saying:

Situation hopeless. No one wears shoes.

The second writes back:

Glorious business opportunity. They have no shoes.

The following exercise might help you understand how you think about possibility and how it affects your results.

Let’s imagine for a moment that you work inside an organization. You have been there a while and want to move into a leadership role, receive a promotion, or be able to move onto a faster career path. Which of these reactions represent how you would behave? No one is going to see the results so be honest with yourself and give it some thought.

1. You immediately start focusing on the obstacles, why this cannot and will not happen. In addition, new obstacles seem to present themselves by the minute. You don’t have the right experience, right education, right mentor, so and so is my competition and he has a leg up on me, I don’t know what I need to do to get ahead.

2. End of the year comes around and you are not promoted or recognized. You start to blame them – your manager, your co-workers, the economy, the company. After all, you did everything you had to do, everything you could do, and they still didn’t give you what you wanted. It was out of your control.

3. You become resigned to “staying on the same track” and waiting for something to happen, waiting for someone to recognize your achievement and accomplishments so you can move ahead. If I keep my head down and do my work I know that it will pay off.

4. You decide that this promotion and forward career movement is something that you WILL MAKE happen. In order to do that you take an honest assessment of your strengths as well as your weaknesses. You reach out to those around you, colleagues, family, friends, asking for their input to add to your own evaluations. You listen to what they have to say, even if it doesn’t reflect what you believe to be true.

You set goals for yourself detailing what you want to accomplish and by what date. You understand what actions you have to take to make sure that you have sufficient assets (education, get the assignment you need to get the right experience and increase your sphere of influence) to obtain your desired outcome. Most importantly, you recognize that you need the help and support of others, your tribe, to get to where you want to go. When you build a tribe that supports you the results are far greater than going it alone.

Obviously I have stacked the deck and pointed to where you might want to be in order to turn possibility into reality. The characteristics outlined in 1-3 often result in lowered expectations and goals, disappointment that fuels disengagement from work and negatively impacts your personal life as well.

So make 2011: The Year When Possibilities Turned Into Reality

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years Mary Rosenbaum helps careerists and entrepreneurs gain greater clarity, more effective communication and improved leverage of their value added strengths and abilities. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.

Follow me on Twitter @Careersguru

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.