Archive for August, 2009

August Career Tips and Tools

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

The Dog Days of August do not have to keep you in the Career Doghouse!

Usually, the end of summer is a time to hang back, take a break or enjoy the last few weeks before the Post-Labor Day energy of September.

Whether you are just getting started in a new position, seeking advancement or in transition, this August, career management challenges may seem more daunting than in the past.

So, here are some ideas that will keep you cool despite the career stifling job market predictions.

Seven Tips to Refresh Your Career energy:

  1. Expand your perspective beyond seeking job security and focus on building work continuity. Look beyond the limits of role, responsibilities and position for ways that you can do work that is challenging, enjoyable and needed. Others’ problems are magnets for your expertise.  Read opportunistically, speak with contacts about their most pressing issues to identify unrealized situations before they become openings.
  2. Reframe career currency. Keep track of your valuable career assets that include contributions, ideas, results, and leadership acumen valued by your key stakeholders, current and potential clients and employers.
  3. Don’t wait to be advanced or recruited. Promote yourself through relevance, relationships and reciprocity.
  4. Balance hard work, pressures and fewer resources. Do the opposite of your instinct to keep your head down and churn the work out. Instead, increase interaction, keep your boss or board informed, hold casual conversations with colleagues, and constantly be thinking about what you can offer that will make a difference.
  5. Maximize time with contacts. When you meet, chat, phone, check in, focus on them and be generous and interested in response to their concerns. Actively maintain your professional voice and visibility through social networking, follow up, idea generation, personal and professional events, writing, publishing, and contributing in your field.
  6. Keep a cool head in the heat of intense work, demanding meetings, interviews, deadlines and periods of inactivity. Maintain your personal life, take short breaks during the day, exercise, relax, enjoy nature, spend time with your family, call a friend, see a movie, enjoy an avocation, learn a new skill.
  7. Do it now! Waiting for the market to rebound, employment statistics to improve, or to be recruited is a recipe for career derailment.

Three Tools for Action:

  1. Keep track of expertise, experience and exposure. Email me at for a complimentary Quarterly Career Tracker.
  2. Are You Maximizing Social Networking?
    This month’s blog is all about ways you can use Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter to define and distribute your on-line image for greater visibility and ongoing impact. Check it out at
  3. A great way to help yourself, your friends and contacts who can use a career boost is to own a career guide which can stimulate thought and constructive action.

Find the right one at

Sheryl Spanier