When you are out of work, take stock of your career and skills

Successful Contracting Career
Successful Contracting Career

Take Stock of Your Career

No one wants to be out of work but when you are it is an excellent opportunity to take stock of your contracting career.

One would wonder if the world’s greatest philosophers lost their jobs at some time.

This is a period when most individuals will do a lot of thinking, analysing, and identifying of mistakes made in the past.

Analyse Your Career Situation

Treat yourself like a product or organisation. Analyse your situation vis-a-vis the job market.

When you take stock of your career ask yourself these questions, and answer each one in writing (no word limit):-

1. Who am I?

(Self picture – qualifications, traits, strengths, weaknesses, potential.)

2. Where am I?

(Current situation, experience, growth, salary, position compared to others, how others see you – ask others if necessary – future potential.)

3. How did I get here?

(Mistakes made – wrong career jumps, skills not picked up, unexpected poor performance of an industry, people who went against you and why, poor negotiating skills at interviews. Negative perceptions of you that people hold. You would also have done things right, list those too.)

4. Where do I want to be?

(Be clear in terms of what industry, which designation, having what education, with what specialization, seen as what kind of person, working here or abroad, earning how much, be ambitious but realistic, it may not be too late to correct the course of your career. Consider all possible opportunities and threats.)

5. How do I get there?

(This is usually common sense – learning new skills, approaching placement consultants, getting an opinion from a Career Counselor, doing dry runs of interview and salary negotiation with your older friends. Do things step by step. If you need to join a medium – sized firm before a big company will accept you, do it.)

It is crucial to take stock of your career every so often and work out where you want to go from here.

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