|Careers & Employment Information|
How to Manage Your Career Like a Business
Look upon yourself as a company with a product or service to sell. Understand your market and devise a dynamic marketing campaign, remembering that companies hire employees who offer them the best results and the best value for money.
Begin by identifying your skills, qualifications, and accomplishments. Adopt a customer-focused approach. What benefits and results can you offer employers? Are your skills marketable and up-to-date?
Employers are in the market for team-players and problem-solvers. They want to see evidence in your CV or resume of specific, quantifiable accomplishments.
Determine what additional skills you need to develop to make yourself more marketable. Take advantage of all opportunities for continuous learning and professional development.
Successful businesses win customers by developing a unique selling proposition. To give yourself a competitive advantage, analyse what other employees in your field are offering. It is not enough to emulate them; you must strive to differentiate yourself by offering something extra, something unique.
Try to assess yourself as objectively as possible in order to identify your marketable features. Analyse your performance appraisals and, if possible, enlist the help of a trusted friend or colleague to help you evaluate yourself.
Define and prioritise your short-term and long-term career goals.
Study recruitment websites and the appointments pages of newspapers to familiarise yourself with the current requirements of employers.
Your CV/resume should be fine-tuned regularly and kept up-to-date to enable you to make a swift and targeted response to any suitable job opportunity that arises.
Learn all you can about job search strategies, job-specific resumes, and professional interview techniques.
By adopting a planned and proactive approach, you will maximise your chances of landing the job that best fits your skills and personality, and increase the likelihood of achieving your long-term career goals.
Gerard McLoughlin, author of 'Four Minutes To Interview Success', has contributed career-related articles to hundreds of recruitment companies, websites and publications throughout the world, including: USA Today, JobBankUSA.com, US-Recruiters.com, etc.
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American Idol Syndrome
I like Simon, one of three judges on American Idol. I find his feedback refreshingly honest. And while his words startle me with their ego wounding potential, the traditional feel-good, let-you-down-easy, sugar-coated feedback is not much of a gift. It's hard to tell someone they're not good enough and their dreams are not going to happen, at least in this venue. But not telling them is no gift either. Some contestants rise to the challenges he throws at them. Some don't. And, some can't. Which one are you? The people who influenced me most in my career were those who gave me the hardest critiques. Stricken with a bruised-ego for days, or on occasion for months, inevitably their feedback helped me make the right life choices to improve, change direction, or stay the course with intensity. In fact, the boss who was the hardest on me is the one I thank the most. Good was not good enough if I was capable of better, and she was quick to point out when that was. No sugar coating from her. And the funny thing? When I was honest with myself, I knew she was right. Being honest with yourself is one of the challenges to winning at working. We all have talents and abilities, but they're not always in the areas we pursue at work. Too many people I've run across in my career have American Idol Syndrome (AIS). Like Idol contestants auditioning with little or no singing ability, these people believe they are good at what they do. They can't understand why they don't get the promotion, the outstanding review, or the highest increases. They view themselves as varsity team material, but they play with junior varsity skills. When I was a freshman at Stanford, I got a D in biology. Stanford graded on a bell-curve, so an 84% that might traditionally put me in a B category, was near the class bottom. Accustomed to A's, first quarter grades woke me up. At first, I rationalized a D at Stanford was an A or a B at most any other school. But, reality prevailed. I wasn't at another school. If I was going to compete at the school I was at, it was time to use more than high school skills to bring results. Are you applying yourself? Are you as good as you could be to get the raise, the promotion, or the more interesting work? If these are things you want, don't suffer from AIS. Give yourself some Simon-esk feedback. Ego aside. A Simon-esk answer to the questions, "how good are you?" and "are you in the right field?" offers you a chance at becoming happier and more successful at working. The answers give you choices: you can stay the course; find a playing field at your skill level; improve your skills to compete where you are; or change directions. (c) 2004 Nan S. Russell. All rights reserved.
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Anyone reading this article and hassuffered a job loss recently IStaking the job loss seriously. Thestages often are:
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Working In Iraq: Is It For You?
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10 Tips For Writing A Professional Résumé
1. Start with an attractive layout. Use bold and italics to highlight key points.
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