NOW IS the time to get serious about your career, and this starts with becoming your own career manager, says Jane Downes. The author of the Career Book shares her advice and tips on how to have the career success we want…

We can sometimes put the blame on our careers when we experience dissatisfaction in our lives. While we may have other things going on that are adding to dissatisfaction and lack of energy in our work. As we enter a new year it’s time to look at all aspects of our lives. For us to have career wellbeing then it’s up to us to manage our career.

Get visible: Our first task is to build a plan to get visible in our industry. That doesn’t mean going to lots of breakfast meetings or seminars. It just means using the tools that are available to us, eg LinkedIn or our own networks. It’s important to let colleagues or other contacts in your industry know what you’re up to so that when an opportunity arises you’re the first person who comes to mind.

Find a mentor: Have a mentor or a role model. You may get a mentor in-house or it may be someone objective who understands your industry who you can meet sometimes for a coffee as a sounding board. Don’t be afraid to ask for coaching in an area if you need it. You may be worried it shows weakness, however this is about showing you put a value on what you do and that you want to be even better at what you do and even more effective.

Room to improve: The other thing is to consider your current job and how you can do it better. Do you need more resources, is there any training you want to ask to go on? What is your communication style and how are you going to improve on that in 2017?

What message do you want to put across? Are you stressed, overworked? Or are you perceived as someone who is calm, in control, and who can tolerate pressure? Are you putting a value on your time or being all things to all people. Are you keeping the head down and not visible to anyone and nobody really knows you? You need to ask yourself these tough questions too and figure out what part they play in your career?

Consider volunteering: Volunteering can be a great idea, however the reality is a lot of people are time-poor and the thoughts of volunteering is just another to-do on their list. You got to be clear about your reasons for volunteering and what you can get out of it. It may sound selfish but if you’re motivated then you’ll put more into your role. Volunteering for projects in your current line of work can open up doors for you, or make you more visible.

Steps to Career Success

Step 1: Examine your current situation and what needs to change

Step 2:  Identify your values and purpose. Remember we all have a purpose in life some of us know from the beginning, others fall upon their purpose and others need to go through a process of self discovery and learning to know theirs.

Step 3: Know what motivates you in your work and what gets us out of bed in the morning. Start with what demotivates you as this will give you vital self knowledge about your career drivers.

Step 4: Define what “success” means to you in your career. Over time our priorities and needs can change in terms of what we rate as success. Be clear and make 2017 the year when you work towards getting even closer to this success.

Step 5: Identify and know your transferable skills. Remember you are your skills. These skills give us leverage in our career and allow us live our best career. By being our own career manager we get to know our skills intimately.

Step 6: Match your purpose, skills and experience to the business reality. Back the right horse the industry or organisation which is doing well. Design a plan too for achieving your career goals in 2017 and put a value on your career well being.

Jane Downes is Principal Coach at Clearview Coaching Group and Author of the Career Book


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