Four valuable tips to manage your career now to make you more valuable to your current employer, prepare you for another job or build you career foundation for a planned career change.
Careers after 50: it’s never too late to maximize your career opportunities. With cutbacks all around us, outsourcing and tight budgets, even layoffs, it’s vital you get the most out of your job and maximize your career while you’re still employed.
Take a close look at your current benefits. Are you maxing out your 401k? If not, get it done. How about the medical plan? If you have elective surgery planned, now is the time to get the knee fixed. Have a dental plan? Get to the dentist. Have tuition reimbursement? Build up your career related skills. Is there a valuable seminar or workshop you should be attending? Get it on your schedule.
Beyond the company benefits the real advantages to your career are not found in the employer benefit programs. By building on your training and experience you can better manage your career by acquire new training and skills that will add to your abilities in your current career and could qualify you to additional career opportunities.
Here are four tips to improve your current value to your company and boost your worth for an internal promotion or add to your attractiveness by managing your career and if you are in the market for a different position or a career change after 50.
Build Your Achievement File: Go back over your time with your current employer and list all your responsibilities and achievements. Quantify every accomplishment. List any promotions and how your achievements led to the move up the ladder.
List the time, content and what you learned in all training completed. It can be an in house training on a new system or software program up to a credit course at a local college to distance learning on the internet.
Here’s where many career builders drop the ball. Keep a record of all thank-you comments both internal and external, handwritten complimentary notes from the CEO or your boss on a project or exceptional action that you did, positive notes from employees and other department heads all should be in your “atta-boy” file.
This means you can look back over your career development and management and if necessary draft a current resume without missing something important.
Look For Chances to Grow and Shine: Look for ways to do things better. Initiate actions to solve a problem, reduce costs, improve customer service or increase sales. Volunteer to work on projects, improve your team work building skills to be the go to person when your boss needs something done.
Build your career skills in areas you may be weak, like public speaking. Maybe a toastmaster’s membership will help. Don’t miss an opportunity to represent your employer to outside groups and customers.
Add to Your Education: Career education is not restricted to formal education or something that only directly relates to your career. It could range from in-house training on functions outside of your career, systems and software, seminars and workshops, self-study and a career planning reading program.
In building your career; as you learn new skills and more about other functions of your employer you spotlight you teamwork skills and highlight your professional career development. All are valuable in maximizing your position within the company.
Network Building is an Under-Used Career Benefit: Building and managing your career skills that many do not take advantage of is working with your network of contacts. Working with coworkers in your career field, mentoring as appropriate, coaching, and learning are but a few of the advantages to you as you make use of your network contacts.
Your network should include friends and previous coworkers, college contacts and customers of your employer. Making and fostering new contacts should be an integral part of your career building program.
Also, don’t overlook networking opportunities to work with individuals in other departments on company charities and other company related activities. It will just be added chances to assist others and build your network.
These four tips on building your current career will not only improve your position with your current employer but will develop other skills that could be valuable if you elect to change careers or need to move to another employer. Taking advantage of the opportunities all around you is just good for your personal development and good for managing your career.