What Tools Can Focus Career Management?

John Dir
 


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There is a great deal of information available from professionals about the importance of taking the steps necessary to accomplish a focused plan for the future of your career. Elements suggested include establishing a good network of personal contacts, developing a winning resume and cover letter, connecting with appropriate recruiter resources, and more. With all the information that a truly effective career search requires, two things become very apparent:

1. Your system of planning should be able to allow you a way to focus the resources and information you will be using to accomplish your success.

2. Your working system for centralizing all this important information should remain intact, easily accessible, and viable for the next time you will need it.

Appropriate organization of the information you collect is vital to managing the information in ways that make sense to you. If you are using a computer for launching a job search as if it were a full time task, you are not performing efficiently if you are leaving information all over the place, or even losing its focus between periods of looking for work. Career management should incorporate the flexibility and features of a calendar based personal planning tool to gather, focus and retain all the job search related information needed. This focused approach also helps to inspire the detailed recording of essential intelligence gathered during the interviewing and selecting process, which offers a great refresher resource when used again.

After experimenting with various methods for centrally locating preparation, resource, and note management data, you will keep coming back to the multiple advantages of the personal planning format. When tracking date based information, this tool allows tracking of multiple time and date based information. Using this kind of organization, it is possible to plot the entire process from first contact through an offer, which gives an idea of what to expect when the process is repeated. For the non-date oriented material, the computer based system should allow document attachments, address and contact management, association to various views of historical resumes, and the ability to notate what has worked well and not so well in pursuing opportunities. When the process of searching and finding opportunity is complete, you can use the same resource for creating personal action plans for implementing the strategies you bring to the table, and stay on track with other business appointments, events, and activity.

There are many potential ways to find yourself out of sync in planning and pursuing career goals while with a company, or between jobs. If you do not manage the information carefully, the task of repeating the process becomes just as difficult as it was the first time you put it together. Managing a career in today’s shifting sands of business activity is getting more difficult as the years move forward. If you find yourself between jobs for greater extended periods of time, there are methods you can use to help you fill in these gaps with viable working experience.

Simply because you are not paid to perform your duties does not mean you should exclude them from your resume during lapses in time between paying jobs. If you are performing volunteer work, or experimenting with doing business for yourself while job searching, you can fill in the gaps in your resume with projects you have completed which pertain to business skills. Nearly everyone does something worthwhile during periods of unemployment. If you spend all your time moping on the couch, and not engaging in some sort of personal enterprise, you will certainly find the need to explain yourself under a potential employer’s scrutiny.

Your planning approach can include areas of self directed research or performance that you have been engaged with during your off periods. If you do not have an organization to associate your efforts with, you can look for people who will accept your personal consulting in the area of your skills, or work from information about a hobby you often tinker with. You can write articles, teach others, or actually try your hand at a business of your own, starting right where you are. If you carefully manage yourself as an asset worthy of attention, there is no reason to settle for leaving broad periods of time blank on your resume. If you feel like nobody else wants what you have to offer, there is always at least one customer for everything you have learned…yourself!

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