“Take Back Your Career, Pt. II”
Even if you’re going through the job search from hell or getting pounded with work at your job, for the sake of your career, take time out to take back your career. Here are four ways to do that:
1. Reject the slightest notion that what you do now, you’ll be doing or will always do in the same form and with the same company.
It should be painfully clear by now that your company could be bought, merge with another firm, be transformed into something totally new or close its doors any time without consulting you. Not to mention that the work you do tomorrow may not look anything like what you do today. Because of technology and changing needs of the market place, your job may not even exist in the future.
The sooner you accept and plan for this, the more open you’ll be to thinking about your next step and adapting if need be.
2. Complete this sentence: Someone pays me to do the work I do because__________.
In other words, what’s the economic impact you have on a business? Why would someone pay you a salary to do what you do? Do you help a company get and keep new clients, expand services, make things run better or what? You need to know because strong businesses keep their eye on economic reality. If you want to continue to be a part of your company or a new one you need to prove you’re worth having.
3. Keep a running list of what you know.
If you have worked you’ve developed a body of knowledge–most of which you take for granted. You know about processes, procedures, practices and regulations. For example, if you’re in information technology you know about project management, contract development, application development, software testing or certain computing platforms. Lawyers know about legal research, forming businesses, contracts, trademarks and copyright, litigation or employment issues.
Knowing what you know helps you understand your value. If you’re trying to figure out where you fit into the changing workplace, this information gives you a way to see yourself as a body of knowledge that can go other places.
4. If you’re working now, put your job in perspective.
It’s easier than ever to be consumed by your job and to think the solution is to just work more. A ComPsych poll showed that fifty six percent of employees are postponing vacation time until their work situation improves.
There will always be more work than time there is to do it. If you want to take back your career, take back your life. Create boundaries and put your career in its proper place. Start by doing a few simple things like not answering your cell phone and checking e-mail constantly and saying “no” to unreasonable requests.