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Basics of Career Self-management

What information do you need to have to practice successful career self-management? Learn the five basic questions to ask yourself.

In today's rapidly redefining, reshaping, and reorganizing workplace, a requisite for your survival and success is to be in charge of your career direction and professional progression. For when the time comes to look back and reflect on your lifetime of work, you should be able to say, "I have no regrets about my career and its outcomes."

One key to work fulfillment and satisfaction is having control of your life and career. Self-management, according to Marcia Wieder in Making Your Dreams Come True (Mastermedia Limited, 1993), is "making deliberate choices, not just responding to outside influences." It is up to you to decide that you are in charge of where and how you earn a living.

Achieving a high level of career management is dependent upon five basic questions:

"In today's rapidly redefining, reshaping, and reorganizing workplace, a requisite for your survival and success is to be in charge of your career direction and professional progression. "

1. How do you define success or fulfillment?
Self-management of your career is setting a personal definition of success and fulfillment. Without these terms spelled out in a way that is meaningful to you, career goals and objectives cannot be developed.

2. What do you believe are your talents and skills?
Self-management is being aware of the talents and skills that form your unique work niche, enabling you to reach your desired achievements. Without being aware of these strengths and resources, you cannot take control of how you market yourself in the workplace.

3. What is your perspective on how much control you have over your life?
Self- management involves believing that you have control over events that effect you. Speaking realistically, there will be times when other people will "call the shots" or circumstances will be out of your hands ? illness, company reorganization, etc. However, even under these circumstances, you can determine how to react to the impact made on your life.

4. How's your sense of intuition?
Self-management includes knowing when to trust your own "gut level" judgment and feelings as well as when to listen to the advice of others. You need to believe in yourself in order to trust your intuition and also, to be able to admit to needing outside resources.

5. What are your values/personal reference points? Self-management relies on two elements as the basis for meaningful, prioritized choices:
a) Values - your ideals and principles and b) Personal reference points - essential lifestyle factors and boundaries that influence your career goals and plans. Together, these two elements form a cornerstone for making decisions.

Your career life and its pathways, directions, stops, challenges, difficulties, and successes are, for the most part, determined by you and your mindset about being in charge.

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