The case for Executive Career Management

From Dan Moran, President & Founder of Next-Act

Are you just “working” – or achieving leadership in your career?

Are you working today – or planning for your career future?

Fully engaged in your job or career – but planning for the future?

The first is a tough question to answer for most. The day-to-day of your job or your business consumes you and often doesn’t provide the time for you to pause and reflect on where you have been, and most important, where you are going in your career. In today’s market, it is critical that you put yourself first and not just work – but actively manage your career.

Think of yourself as the CEO of your own company – You, Inc. This is the reality of today.

All too often I meet a new client who has just had the rug pulled out from under them – they lost their job, and it was unexpected. Others come to me with careers that, to the outsider, seem like they have it made, but I find out that they are bored, not feeling valued and not learning.

Others are fully engaged in their job and seeking a plan to manage their career – not simply going to work everyday – but managing their future. Managing one’s career is like managing your finances – you establish a plan, routinely monitor your results and make adjustments as the market changes to get the best return on your money. The same goes for your career – you establish a plan, timetables and measures and adjust your plan as the market or opportunities change. A trusted career mentor and counselor guides this process from planning to implementation to accountability.

To better understand what career management is, the following description accurately describes what career management is and is not. The last line is so important:
Career Management: "The ability to actively manage one’s work life, make choices and career decisions in a rapidly changing environment. It is accepting responsibility for the strategic and proactive management of your career and being career-resilient and in control your own career actions and satisfaction.
Over the past few years, I have seen a significant increase in the number of professionals & executives who are not looking for a job, but rather seeking help with outlining and managing a career plan. Developing a career management plan is an essential tool as you navigate your way through opportunities and challenges. The plan outlines your goals and establishes planned and measured actions. Some of my clients will not be pursuing a new job or business opportunity for 1 – 2 – 3 or more years, but they are planning now, creating a career journal (accomplishments, successes, what you learned and of course, what didn’t work) and using me as their guide and face to the market, so to speak. They are truly in control of their greatest personal economic resource – their business or their job.

With a plan aligned to goals and needs, the focus is then on measured accountability. Working one-on-one through continual communication and executive sessions, we plan and drive execution of strategies and actions essential for success.

Take this sage advice to heart:

“Career management is not job hunting – job hunting results when one does not manage their career”, B. Ball, 1997

Commit to developing a career management plan today --- and be ready for those opportunities that may be presented. Call me if you need assistance: 518-641-8968.

Dan talks about the critical importance of having a career plan and being in control of your career. Click Here
Like a financial plan, a ECM Plan is inclusive of:

Inventory of Assets, Skills and Core Competencies
Defined and measurable career goals & metrics: 1, 3, 5 & 10 years (for some)
Identification of career direction & opportunities
Market analysis
Compensation plan
Strategic career management plan: Strategy, actions, timetables
Marketing strategy: Branding, networks, resources

Working one-on-one with an experienced career management & transition specialist will produce the plan – supported by mentoring, feedback and accountability and always with discretion and confidentiality.
Defining the process of engaging in Executive Career Management can be summarized in three distinct elements: Discover, Plan & Act.

Discover -Accomplished through 1-on-1 discussion, assessments, situation analysis and market studies, the initial focus is discovering skills, core competencies and future opportunities aligned with personal and professional goals.
Plan -The process then moves to developing the plan inclusive of goals with specific timelines (Position – Role-Responsibility-Compensation-Culture) and planned actions to achieve the goals
Act - It is then time to act. Working again 1-on-1, short term goals and actions are planned with measurable accountability reviewed trough executive sessions normal scheduled on a monthly, quarterly or semi-annual basis, depending upon needs.

Each need is unique and therefore, the process utilized is planned to align with goals and needs.

Dan Moran has worked with executives, senior managers and business owners who have recognized the absolute requirement for a career management plan. He is a recognized subject matter expert in career management, and frequently speaks on this subject before groups. Visit his bio page to learn more.

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