In Confessions of a Hiring Manager Rev. 2.0 (Second Edition), I write of a simple 5-step cycle for keeping a job and career strategy sharp and in focus. Here are those 5 elements:
Review your current goals and aspirations and how your present job or career addresses them. Can you get there from where you are now? Are they realistic and attainable?
Reassess your job/career to determine whether it is aligned clearly with those goals and aspirations; if you are unemployed, how did your most recent job align with your goals? Do you need a course adjustment or a complete change of direction? Are you really doing what you want to be doing for a career?
Rethink your experience, skills, and knowledge; what do you need to do to remain in your current profession or career that will help you move closer to your goals? Or, which skills and knowledge can transfer to other professions or industries? What other skills or knowledge do you need to acquire to move forward?
Reconstruct your tactical approach (cover letter, résumé, and interview preparation) for selling your expertise to hiring managers. Understand their need for a problem solver, solutions provider, and solid team player who can contribute to the higher strategic objectives of the organization.
Renew this information on a regular basis so that your documents reflect your current job, responsibilities and accomplishments. The best time to look for a job is when y0u have one. It is also easier to send a current résumé instead of updating one that is years out of date – especially when the opportunity of a lifetime presents itself today.
Because this approach is a cycle, you can start anywhere in it and move on to the next step.
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Former Fortune 500 hiring manager Donn LeVie Jr. is the author of Strategic Career Engagement (September 2015), and the book that reset the rules for successful job and career strategies: Confessions of a Hiring Manager Rev. 2.0 (June 2012, Winner of the 2012 Global eBook Award and Winner of the 2012 International Book Award for Jobs/Careers). He leads career strategy seminars at conferences, business/trade schools, colleges and universities, and U.S. military veterans organizations.
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