Section: UpDates: Biz Bites
By Rachelle J. Canter, Ph.D.
The author of Make the Right Career Move reveals how to manage your
If you find yourself in the business world without clear objectives,
follow these action-oriented tips to get on track in the professional
Define career satisfaction. / You cannot have a great career if you don't
love what you do, no matter how impressive your title or salary. Determine
the sources of personal career satisfaction.
Create a plan for your career, not a story. / Replace the story about how
you ended up where you are (your career past) with a plan for your future.
Identify your career goal, assess your skills, determine the gap between
the two, and identify the steps to get from where you are to where you
want to be.
Schedule small weekly steps to meet your career goals. / How can you make
yourself more marketable in the next year? Big career results come from
small steps: Talk to a person who does something exceptionally well (such
as managing projects or coaching subordinates), read a business book, or
volunteer to try out a new skill on a small, minimally risky project.
Keep an accomplishment log. / Record every work accomplishment and
quantify its impact. This will be invaluable for reviews, negotiations for
new jobs, and resumé updates.
Prepare your best resumé. / Focus on accomplishments: Employers will hire
you for what you actually have achieved, not your titles or
Build a case for your target job. / Getting your dream job is about
marketability as much as ability. Saying you have the analytical, customer
service, and inter-personal skills for a customer service job is declaring
your value; pointing to a five-year track record of customer service
awards, three years of experience with relevant software, and experience
working with major competitors of your target employer demonstrates value.
Develop your interpersonal skills. / People skills are not incidental to
success; they are essential. Learn them and keep learning.
Ask for feedback. / Ask tough questions and don't waste time being
Rachelle J. Canter
This story originally appeared in Hemispheres, the magazine of United
Airlines, November 2007, at United Hemispheres Magazine &