Career Management: Planning the Process and Establishing Goals By G.L. Bajaj

The term “career management” is a bit abstract
for some people. It sounds like this fluffy, indefinable concept that doesn’t
really mean a whole lot. In reality, career management is a very significant
and specific process that, when done properly, helps to ensure long-term career
success.

Career
management uses concepts similar to good financial management. A good rule of
thumb to keep in mind is that a disciplined investment, made on a regular
basis, yields a greater return.

In
order to get the most out of your career, you have to put some effort into
caring for it. Left to its own devices, your career may end up wildly off
course. Without a structured career management plan, you’ll quickly find
yourself doing what’s easy or convenient or what others want you to do
. You may
discover your future goals don’t align with your present-day actions. And,
before you know it, your career will be managing you.

1.
Career Management Is A Lifelong Process

The
first point to understand is career management is not a single event; it’s a
part of your career journey. Don’t put it off until you suddenly realize
there’s a problem. Just like a car, regular maintenance will help ensure a
smooth ride.

2.
Career Management Is An Active Process

You
can’t simply sit back and let others do the work for you. Otherwise, you’ll end
up in someone else’s career! You have to be an active, engaged participant.

3.
Career Management Is A Structured Process

I
believe career management is most beneficial when it is carefully structured.
Without structure, most of us would neglect it until an emergency came along.
Structure helps keep the process moving at a steady, stable pace regardless of
what’s happening.

Establish
Goals:
The real nitty-gritty of career
management is in understanding what you’re trying to achieve. This, for many
people, can also be the hardest part. Each goal should be broken down into
tasks that, once completed, will achieve the goal
. A timeline can then be created
to map each step along the way.

4.
Career Management Is About Establishing, Tracking, and Correcting

Track
Goals:
Monitoring progress is a satisfying
and useful strategy. Career management involves regularly checking in on
established goals and the movement being made. This helps prevent stagnation
and ensures career goals are being methodically incorporated into the rest of
your life.

Course
Correct:
Career goals will change and grow
just as you do. Part of the career management process involves monitoring and
adjusting them as needed.
Each step along the way will heighten your
understanding of what you want and how to get there. The map isn’t set in
stone. As you move forward, the career management process will help you
identify new paths and new destinations.

Participating
in a structured career management process demonstrates the important role
career plays in your life as a whole. For most people, your career can provide
you with the means to achieve a great number of other personal goals, like
buying a house or starting a family or traveling the world
. Work also occupies
a huge portion of our time spent on this planet, so managing your career is
clearly a worthwhile investment of energy.

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