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How to Manage Your Career

by Gerard McLoughlin

To succeed in today's demanding and ever-changing work environment, you must take charge of managing your own career. Think of yourself as a company with a product or service to sell. Analyse your market and devise a carefully targeted marketing campaign, keeping in mind that companies recruit 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? Determine what additional skills you need to develop to make yourself more marketable.

Seek out and take advantage of all opportunities for continuous learning and professional development. Employers place a high value on team players and problem-solvers. They want to see evidence in your CV or resume of specific, quantifiable accomplishments.

In the business world, successful companies 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 emulate your competitors; 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 strengths and weaknesses. Analyse your performance appraisals and, if appropriate, 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. Make sure they are challenging but achievable.

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, proactive and carefully targeted approach, you will maximise your chances of landing the job that best matches your skills and personality.

�2001 by Gerard McLoughlin. All rights reserved.

From 'Four Minutes to Job Interview Success' published by Assignments Plus Business Publications at

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