How Career Management and People Management Are Similar

Career management tends to be something that many people are guilty of neglecting.  We go to school, launch a job and the next thing we know, we’re on autopilot.  You perform your job, go home and that’s pretty much it.  No thought about the direction or how to manage your career until a problem arises.

If your career were one of your employees, they would have either left long ago or seriously derailed due to the lack of guidance.  Just like you manage people, your career requires your attention, thought and planning to produce desired results.  Let’s look at 5 critical things you need to do to manage your career:

Know what the goal is.  Yes, you hear about career goals; and that’s because you have those goals to help you get clear about your direction.  The same thing applies to management.  You have to be clear about the results your group must produce.  Just like group goals, your career goal should be specific and have time boundaries.

Know what will get you to the goal.  You may need to do some homework or at least study your place of business to understand what you need to do to get you to your career destination.  It may be a combination of learning new skills and delivering certain projects, or even taking a class you can apply to your job.

Watch for progress.  When you manage a group you have to monitor for issues and progress.  You have to pay attention, read or ask questions to know if your group is on track for getting the results.  You need to do the same thing with your career.  You can’t just set your goals and expect things to happen.  Action and results will tell you how you are doing. You need to pay attention to your career progress on some type of regular basis; twice a year is not overkill.  If you regularly check in on your career progress, it can’t go off course very quickly, because you’re paying attention to it.

Make adjustments. There will always be situations that arise that may cause you to adjust your plans.  Plans change; and you must be willing to look critically at your goals and plans for modifications.

Get feedback.  A big role for a manager is to communicate with the employees to let them know how well they are performing.  You need feedback on how well you are tracking to your career goals.  While monitoring them will give you some feedback, you also need feedback from the decision makers you work for.  This will help reinforce your progress and help you know where you need to do things differently to stay on course.

Your career needs planning, resourcing and reinforcement on an ongoing basis in order for it to be as deeply satisfying as it can be.

For more career tips and advice – FREE newsletter and eworkbook:  From Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – Your Career Change Agent from and

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