Newsletter from Employee Health Promotions
Month-by-Month Guide to Career Management
Managing your career is like watching your weight. Too often, people let things slide, then make a flurry of well-meaning resolutions.
Each January, for instance, the promise of a new year sparks all sorts of lofty goals. Health clubs abound with ambitious exercisers, diet centers bulge with hopeful heavyweights and career counselors are besieged by weary workers searching for new directions.
But many of these good intentions don't see the light of Groundhog Day. Whether it's counting calories or cultivating careers, many people quickly lose sight of their noble goals. Another year passes and the cycle begins anew.
Just as with diet and fitness, career management must be a continuous process. It requires consistent effort, discipline and drive—there's no one-time fix.
You'll accomplish more if you track your progress regularly. Resolutions need to continue throughout the year, month by month, day by day—so the next time the ball drops on Times Square, you can take satisfaction that you didn't drop the ball on managing your career.
January: Don't let auld acquaintance be forgot. When it comes to advancing your career, the relationships you build are as important as the skills you possess. Few people make it on skills alone. Organize your database of friends and acquaintances. Take an inventory of everyone you know. If you haven't been in touch within the past six months, call or write to wish them a happy new year. Bring them up to date on what's happening in your career. Buy a journal that you can use to jot down career thoughts and ideas throughout the year. For starters, record notes from your conversations with the people you called to keep in touch with.
February: Volunteer to serve on a task force or committee in your company, community or professional organization. This will give you a chance to make new contacts, become more visible and acquire team skills. The more people get to know you, the more opportunities will come your way.
March: Clarify your relationship with money. Ask yourself: How much is enough? If you're unsure of the answer, meet with a financial planner. Conduct a salary survey to learn the going rate for your work. Your professional organization may be able to provide information for your particular field.
April: Schedule an informational interview with someone, inside or outside the company, whose work you find interesting. Ask about likes and dislikes, skills needed, future opportunities in the field and salary expectations. Make it an information-gathering mission, not a job interview. In your journal, record what you learn.
May: Take advantage of opportunities to learn which trends will have significant impacts on your field over the next year. Conduct a survey of best practices in your field. Read articles about growth. Send e-mail messages to the authors, or to sources quoted in the articles. Engage in dialogues about topics of interest.
June: Evaluate your career over the past year. Review your journal and record your thoughts about what worked well and what didn't. Assess how your view of your career has changed. What gains did you make? Where did you find the most satisfaction? What do you need to do next? Develop a list of monthly career management actions for the next year.
July: Write a progress report on your career development, describing how you've grown professionally during the first half of the year. Set a time to discuss your career development with your boss. Describe your accomplishments. Share your desire to learn new skills to help you grow.
August: Write a career autobiography, taking stock of your skills and accomplishments. How did you get to where you are? Ask your friends and colleagues to comment about your strengths and have them brainstorm about your career. Let them do the talking while you just write their ideas in your journal. Learn how others perceive you.
September: Find a mentor—someone who exhibits the traits and qualities you'd like to possess. It doesn't have to be your boss, but someone who's willing to meet you once or twice a month over coffee or lunch to talk with you about your career development. Share your progress report and autobiography with your mentor. You can build your discussions around the notes from your journal. You may be surprised how honored your mentor will be.
October: Develop a professional mission statement - one that emphasizes what you want to do in your career. Describe your goals in terms of the skills you want to use. Fine-tune it with your mentor, and then update your resumé with your mission statement clearly in mind, focusing on the value you can bring to an organization.
November: Register for a course or seminar in an area of interest to you. Get familiar with courses you could take, within the company or outside. When you attend classes, listen closely to participant introductions during workshops to learn what others do and where they work. During breaks, make a point of connecting with people who have interests similar to your own. Consider reconnecting with them a few weeks after the course.
December: Join a professional organization, even if your company doesn't foot the bill. You'll gain access to other people in your field, firsthand knowledge of job opportunities and continual learning activities that will be important to your growth. Identify local chapters that have regular monthly meetings. You'll learn something by attending even one meeting. The holiday season is a great time to meet people when they're mixing and mingling. (Even if you're not a good schmoozer, you can enjoy the free snacks!)
King, D. (Reviewed 2018). Month-by-month guide to career management.
Raleigh, NC: Workplace Options.
Kick Start 2020: FREE Classes for MAPS Employees
A BIG Congratulations Goes Out to the November Gratitude Calendar Participants Who Won MAPS Clothing!
Vital Worklife Employee Assistance Program
Examples of services available:
Chemical Dependency Assessment
Face to Face counseling
Legal and Financial discounts
Click HERE for a complete list of services offered by this provider.
Phone number is: 1-800-383-1908.
Website is: http://vitalworklife.com username-mankatoschools, password -member
Other Resources For Your Wellness
- MAPS Community Education and Recreation classes and events are advertised in the seasonal brochure each Fall, Winter and Summer. Employees are eligible for a $10 fee reduction for a class in each brochure. Each individual must register and provide their employee email address and work site. Contact the CER office at 507-387-5501 for more information.
- READY! for Kindergarten. At the time of a requested paternity/maternity leave, an employee is entitled to two (2) years of READY! for Kindergarten Classes advertised in the seasonal Early Childhood Brochure. Registration is conducted through the Early Learning Office by calling 507-625-4620 or stopping by the Family Learning Center, 820 Hubbell in Mankato and completing the paperwork process.
- 2020 MAPS Employee and Dependent Flu Shot Clinic - August 2020
- Benefits for employees insured through MAPS