Career Development: The Individual's PerspectiveThis is a featured page

Career Development: The Individual's Perspective
Career Development - Which Way is Up? When most people begin to think about career planning, the tendency is to focus on promotion and advancement. While moving up is certainly one career option, it is not the only one. You may, in fact, be able to meet your career objectives by moving in a number of different directions. There are a number of possible career moves you could work towards. All of them present options for career and personal development. Some possible career moves are: - UP - ACROSS - DOWN - ENRICHING - OUT - SKILL BUILDING/PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT Now consider these in detail: UP: To a more senior level in the organization ACROSS: Laterally to acquire new skills; to incease your exposure to other areas of the organization; to obtain your perspective on your career DOWN: To start a new career; to try something different; to acquire new skills and experiences, which can lead to future career mobility ENRICHING: Making your job more challenging and stimulating by increasing your involvement in some areas, delegating tasks in others; changing how you perform your job; participating in a task force or committee; taking on a new assignment OUT: To a more appropriate position in another organization; to set up your own business SKILL BUILDING/PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT: Developing new skills or abilities; acquiring new knowledge by participating in development assignments, a training course, or further education; changing yourself in some way, for example, developing a hobby; changing how you relate to people. To get yourself out of the UP ONLY trap, list possible career goals for each of the six options: UP ACROSS DOWN ENRICHING OUT SKILL BUILDING/PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT


1. Do you have knowledge, skills, abilities, and capabilities you would like to use more fully? List them. 2. Do you think you are capable of a more responsible position? Is your performance outstanding in your present job? 3. Do you want to change jobs and try another kind of work? Do you want to specialize, generalize or do something completely different? 4. Are you dissatisfied with your job or the conditions associated with it? Will things be better in another job? 5. Is there a job that matches your interests and capabilities? Is such a job likely to become available? What are your chances of getting such a job? 6. How will other factors influence your career planning? Interests

Summary and Action Plan

Some ways in which I can improve my present job are: In my next job, I want: In my next job, I do not want: Some possible jobs/assignments which match what I want are:

Setting Goals

Setting goals is an opportunity for improving existing skills and developing new ones. Goal setting is considering the possibilities and opening doors. It is deciding what you want from your career and developing a plan to meet those goals. It is a commitment for action, and a plan for action. What do you plan to accomplish? How do you plan to do it? By when? Setting goals, however, also means a great deal of personal honesty. Goals must be realistic and attainable. You must look critically at your strengths and weaknesses. You must be able to identify what barriers you will have to face, and you will have to acknowledge the gaps that exist between you and your goals. Committing yourself to action also involves trade-offs in terms of time, money, and effort. You must be able to recognize these trade-offs and make sure you are prepared to make them. And most important, you must ask yourself if reaching that goal will meet your objective after all. 1. Begin by identifying a career direction, rather than a specific job. 2. Describe three positions that you would like to have within two years. 3. Compare your answers in numbers 1 and 2. Will one lead to the other? 4. List three careers you have thought (or day-dreamed) about. Indicate what you find attractive about each of them. 5. What is stopping you from pursuing the above?
Career Development

1. Knowing Who You Are

  • Self Assessment
  • Personal Values
  • Personal Qualities
  • Interests
  • Needs

2. Assessing Your Present Situation

  • A Look at Your Current Job
  • Job Characteristics
  • What Can You Do From Where You Are Now?

3. Setting Your Career Goals

  • Career Development
  • Planning
  • Summary and Action Plan
  • Setting Goals

4. Gathering Information

5. Identifying Developmental Needs

  • Skills
  • Skills List
  • Your Present Job
  • Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Skill Verification
  • Skill Gaps/Barriers
  • Summary of Achievements

6. Preparing An Action Plan

  • What Is Your Next Step
  • Goals
  • Goal Setting
  • Identifying Barriers to Reaching Your Goals

7. Taking Action

Additional career resource information is available on-line at the University of Waterloo website. Learn about developing a Career Portfolio to document your skills and accomplishments. Employee & Organizational Development and Staffing Services collaborate to offer workshops on career-related issues. Check out EOD's Training section to see what is being offered in the near future.

How to Write a Career Summary

Generate Interest with a High-Impact Summary Statement Hiring managers are busy people. A single job posting might attract thousands of resumes. To get noticed, create a career summary (AKA career objective) statement. The goal of this section is to develop a hard-hitting introductory declaration packed with your most sought-after skills, abilities, accomplishments and attributes. On your Monster resume, use the Objective section to present your summary. Take these six steps to create a winning career summary: 1. Conduct Research on Your Ideal Job The more closely you can target your profile to the employer's needs, the better your results will be. Start by searching jobs for your ideal position. Compare the ads and write a list of common job requirements and preferred qualifications. 2. Assess Your Credentials Based on your research, how do you measure up? How would you help potential employers meet their goals? Besides the qualifications described, do you offer any added bonus? If you are lacking in one area, do you make up for it with other credentials? If you are having a hard time assessing your skills, get help. Ask your colleagues, instructors and supervisors what they see as your key qualifications. Review your performance evaluations. What do others say about the quality of your work? Then write a list of your top five marketable credentials. 3. Relay the Value You Bring to the Table The next step is to weave your top credentials into your summary. Keep in mind that the summary helps the hiring manager determine if you should be called for an interview. Include a synopsis of your career achievements to show that your dedication to results is transferable to your next employer. Explain how you would help solve their problems. Ask yourself, "How will the employer benefit from hiring me?" 4. Add a Headline A headline on a resume hooks your readers and compels them to continue reading. A headline should include your job target as well as the main benefit of hiring you. 5. Focus on Your Goal The most effective summaries are targeted on one career goal. If you have more than one possible objective, consider drafting different versions. Fill your summary with keywords related to your career field. Your profile can also be supplemented with a bulleted "Key Skills" section, which provides an easy-to-read listing of your core capabilities. 6. Proofread, Refine and Perfect First impressions are lasting impressions. Is your summary persuasive and free of errors? Is your tone appropriate for your career field? Avoid empty, generalized statements such as "excellent communication skills." The Finished Product Here is an example of an effective career summary: Corporate Real Estate Executive
Increasing Bottom-Line Profitability Through Real Estate Strategies Professional Profile Accomplished executive with a proven ability to develop and implement real estate strategies that support business and financial objectives. Have led key initiatives that reduced operating budget by $32 million and contributed to 550 percent stock increase. Recognized as an expert in applying financial concepts to asset management decisions. Respected leader, able to build highly motivated management teams focused on achieving revenue goals. Keep up-to-date with changes in the industry through continuing professional development (earned an MBA in finance/real estate and master of corporate real estate designation). Areas of Expertise
  • High-Volume, High-Dollar Negotiations

  • Strategic/Tactical Planning

  • Multimillion-Dollar Operating and Capital Budget Administration

  • Analytical and Financial Skills

  • Statistical Modeling and ROI Analyses

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