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5 Essential Tips for Proactively Managing Your Career

In my experience working with clients from disparate backgrounds, I have come to the conclusion that regardless of their field or level of responsibility, all professionals can take steps to safeguard their careers—even if individual jobs might come and go. Here are five tips to proactively manage your career:

Tip #1: Document your accomplishments

Even if you’ve garnered what feels like only small achievements, jot them down for easy recall. At work, keep a “small wins” folder that includes accomplishments, emails expressing praise, etc. Use these “wins” as evidence of your value to the company during annual reviews.

Tip #2: Learn new skills

Whether volunteering for an unfamiliar task or enrolling in a Coursera course, don’t allow yourself to get stale. You can also inquire whether your employer offers financial support if you pursue an advanced degree.

Tip #3: Network

Cultivate a strong network of advocates in person and online. Consider attending local industry-specific and alumni events—and developing a strong LinkedIn presence.

Tip #4: Maintain up-to-date documents

Always be in “ready mode.” Opportunities often come when least expected, so having a current resume and strong LinkedIn profile will help ensure you’re not caught off-guard.

Tip #5: Reflect on your goals periodically

Ensure what you do, where you are going, and what you want all align with your strengths. Consider taking the CliftonStrengths assessment if you have not done so.

More than just a few simple steps to take, this is a process that helps you create a mindset for a successful and rewarding career.

Heidi owns and operates Career Path Writing Solutions, a communications consulting firm dedicated to helping individuals and businesses communicate when it matters most. She delights in helping job seekers navigate career change and guiding business owners to present their value proposition persuasively. Heidi earned her PhD in history from Duke University and teaches professional development for various university programs and organizations. She holds certifications in resume writing, interview preparation, and empowerment coaching, and sits on the Certification Committee of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches.

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