Your Annual Career Checkup

Your career is like a chunk of clay that can be remolded and reshaped as you move through life. Consider yours now. Is it soft and pliable? Is it full of air bubbles? Is it Inflexible and hard as stone?

Your Annual Career Checkup

Most of us have an annual medical checkup as a regular life event because we have learned that it is a very wise thing to do.

What if we were to do the same thing with our career - check in once a year to see how "healthy" we are doing in each of our work roles?

Howard Figler, Ph.D. has been a recognized leader in career development for more than 30 years. He suggests the following principles for planning an Annual Career Checkup with your favorite career counsellor:

* Everyone has a career.

* One's career is continually in a state of change and thus needs ongoing attention.

* An annual "checkup" will likely lead to better career experiences and better outcomes.

* Many careers can be improved without changing jobs.

* A regular checkup prevents problems from occurring.

Here are some items that could be examined in your Annual Career Checkup:

Career direction - How active are you in managing your career? Are you fully and authentically engaged by your current roles and responsibilities? What might need to change?

Strengths - How easily are you able to describe your natural talents and your significant strengths? How well are you applying your strengths in your work roles? in your relationships?

Motivators and Interests - Every person is motivated by different factors and does not perform well unless they are present. Interests and motivation are related factors. Do you know your unique interests? What motivates you, what moves you to action?

Career prospects - Are there new fields or new opportunities you want to explore? How can you gather the best information about them?

Competencies - What skills or abilities might you need to improve upon, or acquire, in order to leverage career opportunities or to increase satisfaction in each of your career roles?

Managing Priorities -What's most important to you? How do you want to live and work? What strategies are you employing to ensure healthy living, strong relationships and meaningful work?

Job search techniques- Is your current resume a powerful marketing tool or is it a lengthy chronology of your work history and achievements? How up-to-date is your networking list?

Interview skills - It is not uncommon for skilled and competent people to fail miserably when it comes time to present themselves in an interview. Do you need to improve your interview strategies or practice behavioral-based interviewing skills?

Negotiating skills - Could you benefit from learning how to communicate and dialogue more effectively to improve the rewards you receive for your services?

Ideally, individuals do not wait until they are facing a crisis before accessing career help. A yearly examination of all facets of one's career is a prudent strategy for increasing satisfaction and joy in life. Use your birthday to remind yourself to book this important task.

(Source: Adapted from The Career Counselor's Handbook by Howard Figler and Richard Bolles)

Take good care of yourself, .


Books Available:

Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives: A Woman's Career Legacy
A chance to celebrate women's lives! Part inspirational text, part journal, A Woman's Career Legacy makes a unique and thoughtful gift for a special woman in your life...your mom, a mentor, a good friend, yourself. Learn from the stories of eight exceptional women including Lois Hole, Dr. Helen Hays, Justice Marguerite Trussler, Barbara Marriage and others - ordinary women who made a difference through their work and their lives. Then write your extraordinary story. Create your own legacy for your loved ones.

Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives: A Woman's Career Diary

Strategize your career! This book contains 18 topics relevant to today's career woman, along with ample journal pages for personal reflection. A Woman's Career Diary invites you to record your experiences in all of the career roles you perform. The book provides a chance to reflect, reveal and reminisce about your career. Enhance your success and satisfaction by using the diary topics as a basis for group discussions, sharing your insights and experiences with other women.

Both books are an enduring gift for yourself or someone you love.

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