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Take Charge of Your Career

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May 24, 2011
FacebookTwitterLinkedIn this kind of low-stability job market there are two big questions:  How do you achieve job security in your current position?  And how do you get to take advantage of the next big career opportunity?  In the book titled "When the Little Things Count… and They Always Count", the answer is the same for both questions (Pachter, Barbara 2006).  You have to develop your Employment Quotient (EQ).  Your EQ consists of all the little things you need to pay attention to in order to have both job security and also exciting career opportunities—from your on the job attitude to your time management skills and how you handle criticism. 

    If you come to work on time every day and never call in sick that means you have some good work habits, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a high EQ.  You have to pay attention to many details.  People who do pay attention to their EQs are the ones who look at creating job security and opportunities as part of their jobs.  These are people who take an active, enthusiastic role in their career development.  They may not be the CEO of their companies.  But they are the CEOs of their own careers.  EQ means that you do the best job you can for your employer and you know your skills, you know your profession, you know what you want and how to go about achieving it.

Here is how to become the CEO of you, according to Barbara Patcher:

  • Be positive.  If you expect the best, anticipate the best, you are more likely to get the best. 
  • Set goals.  You should be able to answer these questions:  Where do you want to be career-wise in six months?  One year?  Five years?  Make sure your goals are realistic and that you periodically reevaluate and readjust them.
  • Continue learning.  Even if you are really busy, take time to take advantage of training, seminars, books, and other learning tools – your career advancement or continued employability may depend upon acquiring new skills.
  • Be proactive.  If you see an area of yourself that needs improvement or a situation that needs to be corrected, take action!
  • Stay up to date with technology.  People who make an effort to keep up with it are the ones who make themselves valuable to their organizations.
  • Find role models.  Role models include people you know personally or only by reputation.  You learn from them by interacting or watching/reading about them.  Identify areas that you want to develop and find people who do or have done that. 
  • Find a mentor.  The difference between a mentor and a role model is that a mentor takes an active role in your career development.  Find a person who is in a position that you aspire to be in or with qualities and skills you would like to have.
  • Stay informed of trends in your field.  Talk to your colleagues.  Read journals and newsletters in your field. 
  • Speak well of yourself.  Don’t put yourself down.  Why make yourself look bad?
  • Keep your work area neat and clean.  There is perception that you are disorganized if you work with piles of paper and files all around you.  A sloppy work area gives others the impression that you may not only be disorganized but also have a distracted mind.
  • Stay challenged.  Boredom drains your energy and can promote negative thinking.  If your job has gotten dull and predictable, ask your supervisor for new responsibilities or a project. 
  • Finally, ask for feedback. Ask what you can do better.  See if there are new assignments you can take on. 

    If you follow all or any of these pointers, I believe you will feel in more control of your career and will be able to achieve anything you set your mind to.  My favorite out of all of them is number one— if you expect the best, anticipate the best, you are more likely to get the best! If you need help or support in your Indianapolis job search or in navagating the job opportunities landscape, give us a call at That’s Good HR. We can provide insight and guidance on how to put your best foot forward in your job search.