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Successful Career Managers Use 3 Key Strategies:
  1. KNOW YOUR SELF
  2. KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING
  3. KNOW HOW TO GET THERE

STRATEGY #1 KNOW YOURSELF
Successful managers realize you must know yourself. Richard Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute - A Practical Manual for Job-Hunter & Career-Changers, recommends that you involve yourself in this strategy once a year. Like getting an annual physical, you need to get a personal check up. Identify areas that need improvement whether they are physical, mental or psychological. Then conduct a job check up. What areas need improvement? What new knowledge and skills will position you for the coming year? Identify the activities you enjoy the most, the subject matter you prefer to work with, the kinds of people, organizations, and goals that are most important to you. Leslie Shields, author of Work, Sister, Work, encourages everyone to become “a limited edition”, a specialist, an expert. She says that your reputation will be enhanced as others recognize you as an expert, some one they can go to for assistance when dealing with a specific subject matter.

STRATEGY #2 KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING
If you don’t know where you are going, if you have no goals for the next year, you will likely be right where you are now a year or two years from now. Upon completion of learning about yourself and identifying what you like to do, you must find the people that are doing the kinds of work that you like to do. Information is the KEY to this strategy.
Use the library, the INTERNET and people to research occupations, specific jobs and organizations. Conduct interviews with people to gather information. Build a professional network that will provide you with information and support.

STRATEGY #3 KNOW HOW TO GET THERE
Here are 12 steps that successful career managers have told us helped them to succeed:

  • One: Establish a plan or goal. Then work towards that goal.
  • Two: Know your achievements. Describe them with great pride.
  • Three: Define your market.
  • Four: Create a two-minute infomercial of yourself.
  • Five: Polish and update all your application documents. Have them ready to send.
  • Six: Enhance your telephone skills. Use the telephone effectively.
  • Seven: Participate in networking. “Work your net.”
  • Eight: Identify the “value-added” you bring to the workplace. Be able to explain.
  • Nine: Develop a power base.
  • Ten: Dress to impress. Others judge your professionalism in the first 5 seconds they see you.
  • Eleven: Volunteer for assignments that will increase your visibility, and enhance your reputation.
  • Twelve: Perfect your interviewing skills.

Managing one’s career is NOT a once- a- year activity. Career Management is on-going. Successful Career Managers use the strategies mentioned here and strategize with a career counselor when necessary.

For help in planning and managing your career after retirement you may want to visit the Foreign Service Institute's Career Transition Center web site at http://99.4.241.2/ctc/default.asp .

For more information contact the CDRC.


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