Personal career management (a brief guide)


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Page last updated: 25/11/2022

Personal career management

In the following article, readers will be able to learn some basic aspects of personal career management, as well as some general ideas on how to grow in some aspects at a professional level. 

Personal career management

Personal career management refers to all those procedures, ideas, strategies, by means of which a person manages to obtain the development of the greatest possible potential of his professional career. In addition to discussing the specific ways in which a person can access personal career management, we will also discuss what this means. 

Have you ever felt that you are “stuck” in your profession? have you ever wondered if what you do is the most appropriate way to make a profit? perhaps you wonder if you made the right choice at the professional level? These are frequently asked questions in the context of personal career management.

To begin with, let’s start with the fact that starting a new career, as well as managing in such a way as to obtain monetary and other types of earnings that generate satisfaction, is not an easy task and at times it may seem to be beyond our current capabilities. 

After all, when it comes to choosing a career path, there are so many options available. Have you noticed the many academic and training programs? It’s actually a number that can be overwhelming. So, starting from there, personal career management is not such an easy task. 

It takes time, effort, discipline and dedication to get the most out of your career, as well as some “luck”. By this word, we mean that there are conditions under which we will benefit. For example, a new trend in the labor market that makes companies require more staff with our profile. 

There are some factors that get out of control, such as all those changes that occur at the social and cultural level, which shape some of the daily practices that occur around the labor market. However, what we can do is take control of those variables that at a personal level can be modified to our own benefit. 

Next, we will see a list of those elements that can be manipulated at a personal level, in order to improve our professional development. 

Personal career management: what about opportunities? 

There is the first element that, given its nature, can narrow the panorama of what we see as the future of our professional career. The opportunities, what speaks to us about where we could go, the different paths that are available to a person with our skills, or some of them. 

If we see a few opportunities in the future for our professional career, our range of activities will be narrower. On the other hand, if we see more opportunities, we will be more likely to make different moves and decisions. Given the above, the first strategy we can implement is to widen our range of opportunities. 

Basically, look for and explore different contexts to know what else we can do, that’s what the search for opportunities consists of. As we broaden this range of options, it will also open up more of the way in our professional career. 

How to look for new opportunities? 

Part of personal career management is learning how to expand the range of options we have to choose from and make eventual changes in our professional career. And how is this done? Below, we will look at some ways that can open the way for us. 

Personal career management (a brief guide)

Personal career management: learning from other employees 

There is a first opportunity, which may not seem so obvious, to work where we already are (if that is the case). Within each company or organization, there are usually different areas, which take care of specific tasks. This promotes organization and hierarchy in the processes that are carried out, so there is more order. 

One way to explore new opportunities is to learn from other employees in the same company, try to “follow” them and learn from the skills they put into practice, their usual roles and responsibilities. In doing so, we will broaden the picture of what we have as a possibility, especially if we look at other employees who have professions similar to ours. 

Explore with extra jobs

In the context of personal career management, and specifically, when we talk about exploring new opportunities, we find that there may be some extra time that we can use for an additional activity. Perhaps an extra job that will help us explore new options, meet new people and broaden our field of opportunities. 

Through these types of explorations, we gain knowledge and may have the opportunity to develop new skills that may be useful to us in the future. When it comes to new skills, this can only bring benefits, as it turns us into people with greater potential on a professional level. 

Personal career management: knowledge is always there 

Another important aspect that can serve us as an opportunity to explore new opportunities is the acquisition of new knowledge or updating of the knowledge we have previously obtained. We all know that the industry we belong to usually offers different options such as courses or other types of training spaces where it is possible to gain additional knowledge. 

In addition to expanding our network of contacts, through this tool we can learn how to do new things, apply them to our current work and, why not, think of opportunities for the future. Knowledge gives us a higher level of control over the world, and when it comes to specific skills this makes us more competitive. 

A mentor: personal career management

Finally, another strategy that could be useful to us to expand our opportunities at the professional level, is to look for and establish a connection with a mentor, a person with more experience than us. 

There are some options regarding the choice of a mentor. Perhaps you are exploring a different department in your company that you would like to learn from, so finding a mentor in that area who can pass on the knowledge and experience you have already gained would be a great alternative! 

On the other hand, it would also be valid to find a mentor in your current area, who is more akin to the activities you are currently doing. That way, you could speed up your process within the organization and gain experience and skills from another person who knows the situation much better. 

Other strategies

In addition to the search for opportunities, personal career management teaches us that there are different strategies that can help us grow professionally and give new air to the activities we perform daily. Below, we will look at some of the most important of them. 

Build a timeline and some milestones 

This is a way to plan your future professional career, what do you hope to achieve in a certain period of time? After spending three years in this company, what do you hope to have achieved? What do you need to achieve this major goal that you are setting yourself? 

A timeline consists of setting some important dates or periods of time in which we hope to have achieved something at the professional level, it can be the acquisition of more knowledge or the achievement of some challenge at the work level. Milestones, on the other hand, refer to important achievements that mark an important point in your career. 

By using this strategy, you will be establishing a more or less desired path and journey, through which you can guide yourself in future decisions. If this is not the case, your growth at the professional level will be more affected by contingencies, that is, by anything that appears in an unexpected way. 

Take advantage of your company’s programs 

While the emphasis in personal career management is on all the actions that we, as individuals, take to improve performance at the professional level, there are also other tools at the external level that can be very useful to us. 

For example, many companies have programs in place to help their employees grow professionally. To help them reach a higher academic level, develop new skills and explore new paths in their careers. Taking advantage of these types of opportunities is also a viable option for professional growth. 

Take charge of your own career, write it down! 

Although it has probably already been made very clear in the previous sections of this article, the main person responsible when talking about personal career management is the same person. It is she who has some goals, values, preferences, interests, and also a set of skills and knowledge to put into practice and obtain the greatest potential. 

At the end of the day, it will be up to each person to put into practice the actions that are pertinent for the professional path to be satisfactory and, above all, to find growth in different steps of this path. 

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Personal career management includes all those strategies, techniques, knowledge, and practices that allow a person to develop the greatest possible potential, within reasonable limits, in their professional career. It has to do with taking charge of this growth process, and not allowing it to be dominated by contingencies. 

There are different strategies that can be used for this purpose, among which are the search for opportunities, the exploration of other options within the same company, the contact with a mentor from whom one can learn new skills and experience. Finally, what is important is to make use of the necessary tools to get the best out of our professional career. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about personal career management

What is the importance of career management?
Career management is very important when it comes to growing

professionally, by learning tools that allow for better job opportunities and satisfaction, as well as developing leadership, communication, and professional performance potential. 

What is the difference between career management and career planning?

To be synthetic, career planning is part of what defines career management, that is, it is part of the processes carried out by the latter. Through career planning, strategies are adopted that focus on the professional future. 

What are the four steps of a basic career management system?

The basic steps that a process of this type should include are (sequentially): recruiting, relocation, reality check, and action planning. 

What are the stages of a career?

In general terms, and assuming that this may be different in specific cases, there are some generic stages in the professional development of people. These stages are exploration, establishment, mid-career, late-career, and decline. As you can see, these are very intuitive stages, and they are related to the order in which different events related to professional growth take place on a chronological level. 

What are career management skills?

Career management skills refer to the skills, attitudes, attributes, and knowledge that people acquire and/or develop in order to obtain the greatest possible career potential. These skills also help people to identify existing skills, develop some learning objectives and thus develop actions that can improve their careers. 

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