As we get older many of us commit to regular health and fitness checkups. We should take the same care with our own careers. I recommend conducting an annual “Career Check-up” where you take time out to reflect and seek feedback on how you career is tracking, are all your skills still relevant and what your employer wants and last but most importantly what is your career reputation. If you want to do a career check-up more frequently that’s even better.
Over the last couple of years I have worked with an increasing number of clients who haven’t undertaken regular Career Check-ups. The result is when they unexpectedly find themselves out of work they are unprepared and/or lack the resources or resilience needed to move quickly in to job search mode.
The results of this can be wide ranging but in general they struggling to move forward , they can remain in the in the “poor me” phase, or lose confidence in their own abilities. If they haven’t kept up regular contact with their networks they also find themselves having to spend considerable time rebuilding these relationships From a personal view people who only reconnect with me when they are out of work go to the bottom of my list when prioritising my time.
Those clients who fall into the Career Fit group quickly get into the job search mode; remain upbeat and positive about what lies ahead. Their networks rally around them and help out with introductions and coffee chats. The Career Fit clients also find new career challenges quicker and often the new role is a step up from their last role.
So my question for you is: If you unexpectedly found yourself out of a job or lost your career mojo and decided it was time for a change are you Career Fit or Career Unfit? My simple checklist below will help you answer this question.
Career Fit People
- Have a clear understanding of their strengths and attributes.
- Regularly check their career reputation by asking for feedback.
- Have a healthy network that can assist them during their career investigation and job search.
- Have all their communication tools ready; up-to-date LinkedIn profile, CV, and an authentic, snappy elevator pitch.
Career Unfit People
- Struggle to articulate their strengths and attributes.
- Haven’t pro-actively sought feedback.
- Have neglected their networks for many months (sometimes years).
- Use outdated (or no) communications tools; CV is stale; not on LinkedIn or have a limited profile; and struggle to articulate their value proposition to a future employer.
If you find yourself in the Career Unfit group the good news is you can take control and get yourself into the Career Fit group. All you need to do is set yourself some weekly goals over the next two months and make it happen. If there are areas you are struggling with call on your support team or invest in a Career Strategist.