A great lifestyle and lifelong career is waiting for you.
TIP 2 – Take full responsibility for your career & life
This is the foundation for all success. Specifically you need to take responsibility for:
- Your career (others can help but no one, including a career counsellor, can make your decisions or do it for you – it’s your life!)
- Your employability (the only real job security is the career security that comes from offering up-to-date skills that are still in demand)
- Your “programming” (parental influences and social conditioning)
Don’t blame anyone for anything about your situation in life. The moment you do, you lose power. A few simple ideas, if understood and practiced deeply, can make a huge difference in your life. This is one of them.
Invest some time in identifying what you want, what you have to offer, and what is out there. If you rush into big decisions you may find you have missed a better opportunity or headed off in the wrong direction.
It can help you answer the big question of “what do I want to do with the rest of my life” if you approach it with a logical step-by-step process.
Try this seven-step process.
|The four Foundations||The Seven Steps|
This, however, is NOT to say that you should have it all worked out before you take any job. Sometimes you need to get a temporary job while you work on this. A lot of jobs can be a step in the right direction and lead to unexpected results.
Dear Career Success Seeker!
As a professional career consultant who has seen the impacts of stalled and neglected careers there are some key points that stand out.
Here are my 7 tips for your career success:
1. Don’t neglect your career! The work you do has a huge impact on your happiness. It affects, if not determines, your self-esteem, income, lifestyle, health, friendships and even your love life. Yet most people spend more time researching a holiday trip than they do their career options!
My advice – put some time and effort into managing your career direction and developing your job search skills. If you don’t, you’ll pay a price.
2. Your boss won’t do it for you – LEARN HOW TO MANAGE YOUR OWN CAREER. No one else can take responsibility for your career. It is essential that you invest some time to learn two things; first, how to discover your ideal next career move and second, how to make it happen successfully.
Experts have now developed a lot of knowledge in this area but unfortunately it is rarely taught at school or even at university. Seek out this expert knowledge and develop your career management and job search skills.
You will need to use these skills many times in the coming years. It is now predicted we will all change careers between 5 to 7 times in our working lives. Yes … that is careers NOT jobs! Most of us will be changing jobs at least every 2 – 3 years!
3. Being good at your job is NOT the same as being good at managing your career. Many of the retrenched people career consultants are paid thousands of dollars to help in corporate outplacement programs, have been the most loyal, hard working employees. They made the mistake of thinking that if they just did what was asked of them they would be taken care of.
Don’t just do what you’re told! Learn how to be strategic with your career and create opportunities which match your real strengths with the changing world of work so that you continue to have a future.
4. Don’t rely on career tests alone! While I use some powerful career assessments with my clients and they can provide some key insights they are never enough by themselves to tell someone this is it … this is what you should do with your life. Think about it … have you ever met anyone working in their dream career who told you, “I discovered this by doing a career test.”
You know yourself better than any test or even a career counsellor. They can help a lot but ultimately only you can choose your course in life.
[Oh … a tip within a tip… almost all free career tests you see advertised on Google are NOT free. Well, at least not if you want the full report. After you’ve spent a lot of time doing the test they’ll give you a taste of the results and ask you to pay for the rest.]
5. Don’t rely on a university, training organisation, or TAFE to guide you into what to study. The bottom line is that even universities these days are in the business of selling people into their courses. They are one important source of information but I’ve seen too many people rush into a field of study, make a huge commitment of time and money and NEVER work in the field! Sometimes this is because they finally realised after a few years of study that they were not suited to the occupation and sometimes because they couldn’t actually get a job in the field despite the qualification.
Good career decision making is based on a solid process of developing self awareness and opportunity awareness. Learn how to develop this awareness. At a minimum, learn how to do information interviews of people actually working in your field of interest before committing to years of study.
6. Be prepared for troubled times! Even in stable economic times you need to be prepared for an unforseen job loss. However my research suggests that after about 16 years of a booming economy we will be in for a rough ride sometime in the next five years. A recession or worse is definitely possible. People in the know have been preparing.
The career you pursue and your job search skills may even be more critical in this uncertain future. My advice – find out which careers will rise and which will crumble if oil goes over $100 per barrel. If you want to learn more about something which is probably going to hit us a lot harder than climate change in the next 5 years then read about peak oil. Just Google “peak oil”. Limit the search to “pages from Australia” (some of the U.S. sites get too pessimistic).
After years of developing a career you don’t want to find yourself unemployed when your whole industry declines. You MUST be prepared.
7. My final tip – build your career on your strengths. Don’t worry so much about your weak areas. Successful people identify what their natural strengths are and look for careers which allow them to do what they love by using these strengths as much as possible. This means a career where you’ve cut out doing the things you don’t like – you weren’t very good at these things anyway.
Do you think high achievers like Ian Thorpe or Tom Cruise really don’t have things they’re not good at doing? They certainly do. However they’ve found their strengths and zeroed in on using them. It may sound simple but it’s true – success flows when you have a laser FOCUS on finding and applying your strengths.
These are really important fundamental points. If you were a life-long friend seeking advice I would want to share these 7 tips with you. But there is a lot more I’d want to share …
When applying for a job undoubtedly the cover letter is what entices an employer to view the application.
Here are some common mistakes made by Gen Y and others.
- Jokes – trying to be funny and chummy may lose credibility.
- Wrong Company Name – pay attention! Get the spelling and name correct!
- Irrelevant Experience – your proximity to the workplace isn’t a skill worthy of mention.
- Arrogance – “expert at technology”, “picasso of the art class” tells an employer very little about your skill base.
- Writing next to nothing – your name, phone number and saying “call me” is ridiculous.
- Criticism of a prospective employer – if you don’t like the employer, don’t apply!
- Personal Stories – Interests and hobbies are good but “no interests because you prefer to relax” suggests you are lazy.
- Poor English or poor communication – “pretty interested” “job sounds quite good”.
- Using a professional writer – same words are supplied to everyone, so you look less than ordinary!
- Don’t write a personal promo for an online dating site! Your personal likes and dislikes are best discussed with your date.
Adapted from myself and at least another 20 of my colleagues.