Jul 6, 2011
Once a job seeker lands a job, the tendency is to close up shop on the job search. Particularly if securing the new job was an arduous process, the last thing a new hire wants to consider is additional strategizing when it comes to job search. Better to just hunker down and work the job you’ve just acquired.
In fact, this strategy is what leaves so many job hunters feeling helpless and hopeless in the event of job loss. Tthe smarter approach is to view any new job as the first step in an ongoing cycle of search, or the search for promotion and advancement or for positioning in case of unexpected circumstances. In addition to planning a job-seeking strategy, job seekers must have a plan for after the job has been secured and how to parlay this into the next job.
Items such as updating profiles, posting press releases, self-promoting a new position, internal and external communications using social networks, remembering to thank all of those who helped you to get the job (and return the favor by promoting others as applicable!) are the next steps in the process of career management.
Considerations in Career Management
There is a significant difference between a job search and career management. A job search is a single event most often started when one either loses a job or is seeking new employment. Once a satisfying new position is located, the search is over. Career management is much more of a mindset and is not a one-time event.
Career management involves the setting of both long and short-term goals, along with step-by-step goals for their obtainment. Career management does not end when a new job is located; rather the new job is viewed as one rung on the ladder to further professional growth and development. In this way, career management, unlike traditional job search, is an ongoing process that need never end.
Career Management Strategies
Career Management involves several strategies that serve to distinguish this process from that of traditional job search. With career management, there is much more of a focus on the long-term rather than immediate need gratification.
Developing a Career Vision
An important component of career management is to develop a vision for what constitutes “right livelihood”. This vision should be broad enough to allow for flexibility, yet focused enough so that an action plan can be developed. It should be based on your most essential core values and incorporate all aspects of our personal brand. In this way, the vision will guide your choices in terms of appropriate career path.
Commitment to Lifelong Learning
An important aspect of career management is a commitment to lifelong learning in order to sharpen both knowledge and skill set. This means keeping current with regard to labor market trends, as well as new technology being implemented in the workplace. Continuing learning can take the form of reading, attending company-based seminars, or enrolling in coursework that can be either classroom-based or via distance learning programs.
Traditional job search usually entails the creation of one resume which is then sent to numerous employers. The resume is then laid aside when new employment is obtained. Those with a focus on career management recognize the need to continually update their resume as new skills and competencies are developed.
It can also involve the creation of several versions of the resume to highlight the specific skill sets needed across different career paths. In either case, continual resume revision serves as notice to potential employers of your updated skills while also paving the way for you to pursue new opportunities as they arise.
Keeping Current in Job Search Methods
Most people seeking a job are so busy reading job postings and submitting resumes that they do very little reading with regard job search trends. Those engaged in long-term career management do commit time to reading about new methods of job search, such as personal branding, Skype interviewing, or the use of social media. They are then in a great position to take advantage of this knowledge in designing an effective search strategy.
Building of Long-Term Relationships
Those involved with career management recognize that the development of long-term relationships is a continuing process involving those with whom we come in contact on a day-to-day basis. This can include co-workers, supervisors, colleagues, vendors, as well as clients. It can also extend to those relationships we develop as we pursue our interests and hobbies, or attend spiritual and community events.
It is well-acknowledged that over 70% of “hidden” job opportunities are discovered via networking efforts. With this in mind, be sure to hand your business card to everyone you meet, whether professionally or socially, and have your 15-second elevator pitch at the ready. This pitch is a capsule of your title and main job responsibilities.
You may also think about sending out a press release as an email blast which describes your new job in terms of company information, your title, major responsibilities, and overall objectives over the coming year. Be sure to include your phone number and email address.
You will also want to be sure and send thank-you letters to all those who assisted with your job search. Include a business card in all such correspondence, along with an offer to engage in cross-promotion of services through such options as guest blogging and referrals.
By Sherrie A. Madia