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ST2 New Career Dimensions

ST2 New Career Dimensions

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Published by John M. Read

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Published by: John M. Read on Nov 08, 2008
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What Career Next!
Ca r eer Change and Pl acement Specia li sts

Flexibility, strength and endurance. These are the three significant measures of fitness used by experts in the sporting world. The same can be identified for your career. Let’s see how. Today, flexible careers are especially important. Last night I heard the story from a friend of mine that captures this point quite dramatically. He told me of a friend of his who started his career as a graduate with McKinsey Company, the renowned consulting firm. He was based in their Jakarta office. Working for such a company means willingness to accept many different challenging assignments. Even if those assignments do not relate technically to your original degree. So he was appointed two years later to head of a project looking after the e-commerce segment of McKinsey consulting in this region. A significant position in a growing market in this region. Two years later he has accepted a position as Relationship Manager of a major regional bank. In five years he will have held three different career lines and each change has been an upward move. His story reflects the importance of flexibility – an openness, an eagerness to try new fields which may suit your talents best. Quite often your choice of degree is made by your family or even your marks. It may not reflect your underlying talents at all. So consider where your talents lie, be willing to try new lines until you find where you fit best. This can be part of your rationale to develop career flexibility. Once you have acquired this flexibility you must seek to maintain it. Regular exercise of your career through trying different activities that build other skill sets, such as joining the Parent – teacher associations of your children’s School (to develop your interpersonal and organisational skills) can be used to maintain your career and skills flexibility. Career strength is reflected in a story that comes from one of my personal mentors. Wendy is a careers consultant in the USA. She has been a career coach and counselor for over twenty years. She shows how devotion to one career does not mean a lack of flexibility nor is this an undesirable choice either. She has done so many different activities within this field that she has accumulated significant depth of experience and understanding about the principles of career management.


She has recently established a web-based careers institute where others in the career management profession such as myself can access professional development, coaching and mentoring and many other services from her and her colleagues. Strength comes from that depth of experience combined with talent to be able to renew yourself in your chosen field, adapting to new technology and harnessing it to your best professional interests. Strength training in your career means doing routine investigations of the newest trends in your field and bringing an experienced evaluation of these new trends to your own professional practice. Adapting and redefining your professional practice to new standards and in new ways reflects your career strength. Last but not least is endurance. In your career management this can mean several different strategies. First, endurance suggests that your career is a lasting one. To achieve this you must be able to constantly renew yourself. Attend conferences in your field, keep in contact with key groups: your colleagues inside and outside your own company, your customers - everyone has them and especially the innovators in your field. Another way to gain career endurance is to share your knowledge with others, through this method you can check whether you are still in touch. You can get valuable feedback and renew your knowledge in the context of others of lesser experience than yourself. Recall that there is no better way to learn than to teach. Try to present papers at conferences, run workshops or seminars, write articles for journals in your field, or even do some research into an issue of interest. Some of my friends present papers annually at a conference to ensure that they remain relevant to their field and stay in touch with their peers. Networking – and constantly contributing to the body of knowledge available to others is a sure fire way to achieve career endurance. Another aspect of endurance is keeping yourself interested in your field. After working in one field for so long perhaps you can become jaded. To avoid this you must seek new challenges, must use your flexibility and strength as we discussed earlier and maintain a proper life balance between career and family life, recreation, and spirituality. All of these are vital for stress management and renewal. Essential ingredients in any strategy for career endurance.


In closing, we have covered generic approaches to measuring your career fitness. We have looked at career flexibility, strength and endurance. It is also important to know your values in life, learn to be happy at what you do and do what makes you happy, this way you can live life to the fullest and achieve career success no matter what career line you choose. John M. Read Certified International Job & Career Transition Coach Managing Consultant What Career Next! Registered in Singapore career@magix.com.sg
Tel: 354 3551


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