How To Keep Your Career In Shape?

Amid all the economic uncertainty swirling around the American workers today, "Job Security" remains to be the top concern for all professionals in the corporate world. In fact, no matter how well you stand out today, you are never sure what's in store for you in the future!

The disquieting nature of today's job market demands that you not only take constant care in making your career choices you must also stay proactive - analyze your skills, re-evaluate your career goals from on a regular basis, take actions that can help you in your career growth and shape your career the right way.

The shape of your career depends not only on your job expertise and specific work knowledge but also on your ability to develop new competencies, functional and adaptive skills that are important to achieve your career goals. And if you do not stay focused, you may find yourself in a disheartening situation, where opportunities are less and farther in between.

Here are a few things that you need to do in order keep your career in shape:

Job Search "The Right Way": As a professional, you should always be on a look out for better opportunities that can take you one step ahead on your career path. Hence, you should never end your job search, even after you've landed a good job. Always stay prepared for your next position by practicing regular schedule career workouts to always be the best in your chosen profession!

The problem with most professionals who are in transition is that they rely too much on job boards and word of mouth to find open positions and they try to find new jobs with the old skills they used in their last position. In today's market old job search techniques do not work. Global competition, the introduction of new technology, shifting market dynamics and other factors have caused employers to raise the bar on what it means to be a "qualified candidate." Today, a job seeker must not only prove he or she can do a job; they must also prove they can and will excel at their work.

Writing a Winning Resume is "The Interview Invitation": Job search is only the first step in your path to your career goals. The next step is creating and submitting a winning resume. Your resume must show cases your knowledge and expertise in a complete package. Packaging, performance, positioning and punch are the 4 "P's" to writing a winning resume.

It is wise to have your resume written and edited by a professional because that's what will make you stand out from the rest. You must make sure that your resume and cover letter represents the value you bring to the table and highlights your achievements for your specific industry. Succeeding in the Interview: Once the resume has done its job, you've been invited to the interview you must knock your competition out of the game and win the interview.

Interview Tips include:

1. Good First Impression

2. Communicate Enthusiasm

3. Prove that your skills, talents and abilities match the employer's needs

Typically this is how you will be scored during an interview:

50%...Good chemistry. Can and will you "fit" into the organization?

30%...Competence and ability. Can you do the job?

20%...Willingness and enthusiasm. Will you do the job?

Job interview is also a chance to showcase your past achievements, advertise your abilities and emphasize on your future plans. However, you must know what, how, when and how much to say in the interview. Working with a professional career coach can be of great help in this regard.

Negotiating the Best Deal: Wrapping it up! Once you get the job offer, it's time for negotiating the best deal for yourself. The purpose of any negotiation is to achieve a "win-win" situation where there is no loser. Both sides must feel that they are satisfied with the outcome and that no one feels like they have had to give up too much. To prepare to negotiate with your potential employer about salary, bonus, commission, stock options etc., you need to do your research to find out what is comparable in your industry. What are other companies paying for someone with your background, skills and experience? Ask others in your industry for guidelines.

If the offer is not what you expected let the interviewer know it but still let them know you are interested in the position. If they are interested in you, they will either ask for a couple of days to "see what they can do" or explain that it is simply company policy to bring someone in your position into the organization at that level of salary and benefits.

If the offer seems like a good one, the best advice is to avoid accepting it on the spot. Ask for an offer letter that spells everything out so you can review it over 24 - 48 hours (or longer) to make a truly thoughtful decision. Of course, there is always the exception to this.

Keeping one's career in shape is a challenge for many. There are a number of places you can go for help. For example: Community Job Club, affiliated with the Dept. of Labor, also provides resources at no charge to job seekers. Community Job Club was founded by Diana Miller, a leader in the career industry and she has extensive experience as a career coach, job search strategist and professional resume writer.

If you want to become a career champion, you need to stand out of the crowd and be the best you can be in your chosen profession. Develop regular scheduled activities to keep your career in shape. Your work experience is a plus but outdated skills will not make you a career champion and will result in having an unfit career.

As an experienced researcher, my idea is to learn and share everything I can with my readers. Stay tuned for more business, travel and career ideas as I love to write about this subjects and more....

Published At: How To Keep Your Career In Shape?