On the Path to Success

Publication: hemispheresmagazine.com

Section: UpDates: Biz Bites

November 2007

By Rachelle J. Canter, Ph.D.

The author of Make the Right Career Move reveals how to manage your career.
If you find yourself in the business world without clear objectives, follow these action-oriented tips to get on track in the professional marketplace.
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 responsibilities.
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 defensive.
Rachelle J. Canter
This story originally appeared in Hemispheres, the magazine of United Airlines, November 2007, at United Hemispheres Magazine & HemispheresMagazine.com