Are you managing your career to build value into your skills and qualifications? Learn the basics to manage your career, improve your abilities in your present career and perhaps prepare you for a career change whenever the opportunity reveals itself.
Career management in midlife can generate additional value for both you and your career. You’ve had experience managing projects, teams and groups of people. How about taking these skills and managing your career.
After age 50 it’s even more critical to set your sails on a desirable career destination. If it means building up your skills and knowledge in your current career or planning on changing careers after age 50 either approach can be profitable and probably fun.
The first thing to get nailed down is that you and only you are in charge of managing your career. It can’t be delegated or turned over to a career coach (although they can provide you with productive ideas) or a friend or your employer. You’re on the island all by yourself.
Then you need to look at yourself as something to sell. You are the total mix of skills, knowledge, and experience that you must package and brand your self. This package will be marketed, as you build and manage your career, to employers (including your current employer) as a person who gets results and adds value to the employer. If you can make your skills more valuable it’s an added bonus.
Employers in their hiring and retaining of employees constantly attempt to get the best value for the money. Your job in managing your career at any age is to see that the value you provide to your employer always exceeds the employer’s cost of employing you.
List all your skills and experience and your job related and personal accomplishments. What quantifiable things did you provide your employer? What other benefits did you provide? How up-to-date are your career-related skills? What specific things have to done lately to make yourself more marketable?
Are there any gaps in you required skills? A system or process that you need more experience on? How about something new coming along; what plans do you have in place to learn the new system or process? Do you need help managing the difficult employee? Presentation skills need polishing? This is where the fun comes in as you manage your career, add skills and you can look back and see how far you’ve progressed.
Take time to study job announcements and internet job postings in your career or your planned new career. Pay particular attention to the current job requirements. If you are lacking some qualification now is the time to get the required training and education. Perhaps there is an opportunity for your current employer to volunteer to get involved in the new requirement and earn some relevant experience.
All of these and many more job-related skills you’ll need to manage in order to complete your career toolbox. Every tool is important and your history of learning is a powerful asset to any employer.
In managing your career, you must continue to build your written career plan. You must continue to be proactive in moving forward. You substantially enhance your chances of moving ahead with your current employer or making a successful planned career change. By managing your career and the related skills you optimize the chances of fulfilling your longer-term career goals.