Are you Neglecting or Prioritizing Your Career?
When you continually prioritize other things over your own career progression, you can become the victim of neglecting your career. Then all of the sudden it becomes clear that it’s been neglected and overwhelm sets in. And when that happens, we can let it go stagnant until desperation sets in. I’ve seen it happen firsthand with my clients—and it can be very costly on many levels—emotionally, physically, and financially.
What exactly IS Career Neglect?
Career neglect is when you spend more time worrying about everyone else’s well-being rather than your own. It could be when you put your partner’s career before yours, or you’re avoiding learning new tools that would help you improve your productivity on the job, or enhance your company’s bottom line. Or maybe you just plain procrastinate for no reason.
Don’t get me wrong—none of the things noted above are really bad things! It’s wonderful to be invested in your partner’s career. And sometimes we just have to be ready and willing to learn. And we know that being focused on your company’s success and the bottom line can also contribute to your own career success more often than not. But when you continually choose to prioritize other things over your own career, you can become the victim of neglecting your career.
On the flip side of that, when you prioritize and plan your career, it helps everyone—you, your family, those you work with, your company, and your child’s future!
I know we all go through varying seasons of stagnancy, but it’s important that we don’t stay there. It’s essential to your growth to make sure you’re keeping track of your achievements and celebrating your wins.
And you know what?
NOW is a great time to do that!
Honor yourself. Treat yourself.
As summer is coming to an end, it’s a great time to re-prioritize your career!
Kids are back in school. I don’t know about you, but for me, this means my schedule is normalizing once again, and I find myself with extra time on my hands. Well, maybe not EXTRA… but time that comes from not making sure my kid is productively occupied all hours of the day! And a quiet house all day doesn’t hurt either. 😉
Time that was previously spent wrangling kids or planning summer activities and keeping everyone busy can now be reverted to yourself. Your own learning. Your career. Or possibly exploring one of the hottest job markets we’ve ever experienced!
Even before I had a child, back to school has always symbolized a renewed structuring of my schedule. And whether you have school-aged kids or not, there’s an opportunity to capitalize on this season of learning…
4 ways to capitalize on having extra time on your hands…
Here are 4 ways you can spend the extra time you might have on your hands, with (or without) kids back in school:
1. Time block on your calendar for professional development.
Creating the time and space for professional development is important. I have found that time blocking is the way to ensure it gets the priority it deserves.
People who are successful in their careers spend a lot of time learning. They work at their skills and hone their expertise. And they take advantage of opportunities for professional development throughout their careers to keep progressing, which typically contributes to an increase in pay and perhaps benefits!
Industries everywhere are becoming more and more competitive, and many are constantly changing. This makes continual learning and professional development more important than it’s ever been before—especially when it comes to being promoted and achieving your career goals.
Best practices and technologies are also constantly changing and evolving. This is true in just about every industry—so it’s important for new AND experienced professionals to develop new skills and grow their expertise.
Pluralsight is one of many platforms that offers professional development opportunities. You can also check out professional organizations relevant to your job to find classes and webinars that would be a good use of your time!
2. We are in the hottest job market in history.
It’s been said—and we’ve seen it ourselves—that we’re in one of the hottest job markets in history. If you haven’t already been doing it, you can casually explore career-related sites such as USAJOBS, LinkedIn, or Indeed to see which agencies or companies are hiring for positions that might pique your interest—and those in which you are qualified. Knowing what’s available is just the first step to exploring where you might want to go!
Once you’ve seen who’s hiring (*ahem* … almost everybody!) and what kind of openings there are, consider spending some time doing researching targeted companies or Federal agencies. This is another important step for job search success and positive career progression. Research can be done by making a list of individual agencies and organizations as well as reviewing company websites. Review their websites. Look at the people who work for them on LinkedIn and connect with them.
For more advice on how to conduct essential research in your job search, check out our blog post here.
3. Update and modernize your resume for today’s job market.
Did you know that September is ‘Update Your Resume Month’?!
If you haven’t done it yet, spend some time updating your resume! We have several articles on how preparing your resume, and keeping it updated, even when you don’t have an active job posting is incredibly wise. This will save you TONS of time, stress, and frustration when you find the perfect job announcement!
In a recent article, we recommended that you get 90% of your résumé written. It should also be proofread, edited, and proofread again. This allows you to be ‘ready to apply’ when the job announcement posts! All you’ll need to do is finish up that 10% of the resume. You can read more about this, here.
And remember, a resume isn’t effective unless you have the marketing nearly perfect. The marketing is the part that validates your expertise. The marketing is what aligns your knowledge, qualifications, and skills with the job announcement that goes beyond just inserting keywords into your resume.
4. Optimize your LinkedIn profile to work for you.
LinkedIn is one of the most effective tools for professional networking. And knowing the right people, having the right connections, and proactively networking is the most effective way to find your next job or career!
Make sure your LinkedIn profile is 100% complete and optimized. And one way to do that is by writing a great LinkedIn profile. It is foundational for your personal brand, and it’s sometimes the first impression of you.
There are TONS of features to help increase your visibility and to optimize your personal marketing with your LinkedIn profile headline and summary. LinkedIn is also a key place to highlight your skills and motivations, as well as certain things that can’t be displayed on a resume, such as a video.
Here are 7 LinkedIn profile features you should check and update NOW, as well as activities you can be doing to expand your network and visibility:
1. Choose an appropriate professional headshot for LinkedIn.
2. Make sure your headline is more than just a job title. Consider stating what you are known for…what you do…and who you do it for. Who do you want to attract? What do they need?
3. Intentionally build your LinkedIn network. A good way to do that is by writing a great LinkedIn profile.
4. List your relevant skills, expertise, education, and accomplishments.
5. Manage your endorsements proactively and give endorsements to those deserving.
6. Share articles and relevant content with your LinkedIn network.
7. Follow or connect with relevant leaders and contributors in your industry and comment on their LinkedIn posts to create engagement.
Even if you spend just 10-15 minutes a day on LinkedIn, you will most likely see positive results!
I’d love to know how you plan to spend some potentially new-found time to prevent your career neglect. How are you going to spend time enhancing your career over the before the end of the year?
Comment below and let me know!