There is no doubt that we’re in a candidates’ market right now. Candidates have the leverage in hiring and employment situations. So how should you approach your job and career?
There are two ways that a professional can grow their career. Those two ways are as follows:
- Grow their career by seeking out and pursuing an employment opportunity with another organization
- Grow their career with their current employer, either through a promotion or by other means
The reason that priorities are important is because you can’t take action unless you know what action to take. Setting priorities allows you to identify which action is the most important (and therefore, which action you should take).
Let’s look at the example of a small business owner. How do they approach their business? The answer is that they work both “in their business” and “on their business.” What does that mean?
In essence, it means they do what is necessary to make sure their business makes money on a daily basis. But they also do those things that help to build their business over the long term.
So “working in their business” means taking the daily approach, and “working on their business” means taking the long-term approach. And you should approach your career in much the same fashion.
“Working in your career” could include the following:
• All of your duties and responsibilities at your current job
• Skills development training provided by or paid for by your employer
• Attending industry conferences and conventions, once again paid for by your employer
Conversely, “working on your career” could include the following:
• Everything you do outside of your current job that is designed to enhance your career, either now or in the future
• Additional skills development training
• Networking (both online and through social media or face-to-face)
• Searching for and considering new employment opportunities with other companies and organizations
Now that we’ve listed what it means to approach your career in these two distinct ways, you might have questions. Actually, you should have questions. Specifically, you should be asking yourself the following questions:
• What kind of skills development training does your current employer offer, if any?
• What kind of skills development training could you undergo on your own?
• What career path is available to you at your current employer, if any?
• Which industry conferences and conventions could you attend this year for which your employer would be willing to pay?
• Which industry conferences and conventions could you attend this year for which you would have to pay?
• How can you increase your online networking efforts?
• How can you increase your offline (traditional) networking efforts?
All of these questions are fine and good. However, there is one more question that you should ask, quite possibly the most important one:
What kind of employment opportunity with what kind of employer would it take for you to consider making a move?
You have to ask this question because you need to be able to identify the opportunity if you encountered it. You might encounter it on your own, or you might encounter it because somebody presented it to you. How you encounter the opportunity is not as important as being able to identify it so that you can take advantage of it.
Aligning yourself with an experienced recruiter is a great way to make sure that such an opportunity does NOT pass you by. Because it doesn’t much good to approach your career the right way if you’re ultimately not able to benefit from that approach.
The Doepker Group has experience placing professionals in the Information Technology and Engineering fields, and we can place YOU, as well.