No Roots

Career Stuff You Should Know Before You Need To Know It

No matter how brilliant you are nor how fantastic you are performing in your job, one day you could find yourself out on the street due to corporate cost cutting, office politics or any number of unanticipated threats to your career including some guy trading out of his living room who just made your company bankrupt.

In order to prepare for such an event, you need to keep track of your ongoing accomplishments which you will use this to pad your resume and prepare for interviews with potential employers. This will also help you identify your strengths and how you want to market yourself should you decide you want to move.

The added benefit is that it focuses you right now on what you are doing and what matters most in your job and your career. You will probably find you are more impressive than you realised and if you've been contemplating a move but were hesitant, this process will clearly show you what you've got to offer.

  1. List the major projects / deals you are working on and your key accomplishments:
    • document this on a weekly basis

    • on a monthly or quarterly basis, sum up your key accomplishments into bullet points

    • at the same time revise your job description, tag line and core competencies (see below) to reflect the evolving you

  2. Write out your current job description and identify the core competencies required for success in this role. This will not only be useful in future but will enhance your current performance by focusing you on key success factors. It's pretty difficult to do the first time but after a while it gets easier. Keep historic versions of this document on file for later reference. If you've had a short career, this may not seem necessary but in the long run, you'll be glad you kept the notes.
  3. Write a one sentence tag line for who you are professionally. Eg: "An accomplished business leader with extensive experience in the institution and consumer health care industry in Asia Pacific."

  4. Below that, write out your list of core competencies - those demonstrated throughout your career. What is it that you've proven you are good at? Sum it up in 5-6 bullet points.

  5. Update your CV at least annually, even if you have no intention of moving jobs.

Now as long as you've managed to keep a few months expenses tucked away for a rainy day, should the unforeseen come to pass and you are out of a job, you will be able to move forward without even breaking a sweat. If you don't, you'll be scrambling like crazy to remember just what it was you did all those years and you will probably hit the market with a weak resume.

The other benefit of this process is that you will have a clearer idea of who you are and what you offer in a professional setting. This clarity will distinguish you from your colleagues and help you see your career more clearly in order that you can choose the path that's right for you.

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