A new year presents a new opportunity to reassess your goals and ambitions, correct the mistakes of the year just past, and come up with a plan for moving forward. To get 2014 off on the right foot and start moving closer to your goals, be sure to avoid these common career management missteps.
No. 1. Not managing your career
Too many people sit back and wait for their career to merely happen to them. The bad news for these people is that the employment landscape has changed and will continue to do so. You are no longer going to move up or get ahead simply because you have worked somewhere for a certain period of time. Instead, career development and growth must be earned.
You need to set goals for your career and take steps to move in the direction you set for yourself. That may mean volunteering to do special projects, realigning job responsibilities (with the support of your manager, of course) or taking the initiative to learn new skills.
No. 2. Not networking
Networking is critical to career success – not just for job seekers, but for anyone.Our economy is increasingly project based, and freelancing and multiple employers will become more and more the norm.Career progression isn’t a given. You can’t assume your current employer will be your employer for as long as you choose to stay. The workforce is becoming much more fluid. As a professional, you must prepare for this reality by building a strong and diverse network.
This means getting off the computer and meeting people face to face, becoming active in your profession and becoming known to others.Networking will not only set up a shorter and more successful job search should you need to conduct one; it can also help you create more mobility and success in your career.
No. 3. Not keeping up with new technologies
Technology has changed the way the vast majority of people do their jobs. If you are resistant to the way technology is changing, not only your job, but your entire field, you will get left behind.You should set a goal for yourself to keep on top of emerging trends.If you are unfamiliar with a new technology, think about taking steps to become more familiar with it – even if you have to take a class or training to do so.Comfort with, and knowledge around, new technologies is a highly valued and sought-after quality in today’s workplace.
No. 4. Not developing new skills
Chances are, the skills required for you to get your job done are evolving. If you refuse to learn new and better ways of doing your job, you can easily become obsolete.Avoid this fate this by keeping abreast of trends, industry news, and company procedures.Become informed enough to anticipate changes before they even happen, which will allow you to prepare for those changes through skill development.
There are numerous ways to gain new skills, including volunteering to work on projects outside of an your usual responsibilities, volunteering time somewhere where valuable skills can be learned, shadowing colleagues, getting a mentor, or taking courses.Take initiative to stay up to date in the skills needed to remain competitive in today’s professional landscape.