Manage Your Career

The Job Seekers Guide is intended to enhance services provided by your local employment programs. The layout of the Job Seekers Guide provides you with a comprehensive listing of local and national online resources relevant to each step in managing your career.

Managing your career is a process, and it can be different for each person. The five sections reflect each step in the managing your career. Below are brief descriptions of each step that can help you determine where to begin.

Step 1: Assess Yourself
This step helps you discover all of your skills, interests, and values so you can explore the world of work and present yourself to a potential employer. You should perform this step every year, even if you have a job, since you may have gained new skills, or your interests and values may have changed.

Step 2: Explore Careers
In this step you will learn how to take all the information you learned about yourself in Step 1 and explore occupations that fit the person you are today. You will learn how to research occupations that interest you.

Step 3: Create a Plan & Set Goals
Now that you have narrowed the direction you want to go in, setting goals and making a plan will improve your chances of getting there.

Step 4: Expand Skills
In this step you will learn ways to expand your skills by listing the ones you need to learn and where to get them before you start the job search.

Step 5: Find a Job
Are you ready? You are going to need an updated résumé, a winning cover letter, and in some situations, a portfolio of samples of your work. You will also need to know how to use your contacts to tap into that hidden job market. This step will provide you with information and activities to make you stand out.

The format of this guide will allow you to complete the exercises online, but remember to save or print each completed worksheet for your records. Don’t forget that we are always here to help you in your process.

Move Forward

Think of your career as a lifelong journey. It's important to know that the choices you make now will impact your future. All of your career management tasks such as your volunteer work, extra training, and jobs, are steps on your career ladder.

Career Management Tips
  • Don’t wait until you’re unemployed again to think about your next job.
  • Assess/Know Yourself. There are 10 critical elements each of us must know about ourselves in order to protect and maximize our work lives lifelong:
    • Personal and Professional Values
    • Interests and Passions and What Distinguishes each
    • Skills and Talents
    • Work-related Strengths
    • Work-related Liabilities
    • Workplace Personality
    • Career Related Hopes and Dreams
    • Life Purpose
    • Preferred Work Environment
    • Work related needs
  • Develop Career and Life Plans consisting of Spiritual, Personal Development, Career/Work, Family/Friends/Relationship/Social, Health/wellness, Environment, Money/Finances, Hobbies/Creative Expression, Volunteering/Contributing. 
  • Be Emotionally Intelligent at Work:
    Every contact and conversation presents an opportunity. Get to know people and let them know you. Build relationships. LinkedIn isn’t just for jobseekers. The networking you do when you’re not looking for work builds the foundation you will need the next time you are looking for work. Get to know people by showing that you care about them. Find a mentor and be a mentor. You will learn from both.
    Emotional Intelligence skills are 1. Emotional Energy 2. Emotional Stress 3. Optimism 4. Commitment to work 5. Attention to detail 6. Desire for change 7. Courage 8. Self-direction 9. Assertiveness 10. Tolerance 11. Consideration for others 12. Sociability 13. Self-esteem
  • Trend Watch. 1. Read about your industry 2. Read about your career field 3. Stay in touch with current events 4. Read trend watching books. 
  • Stay current in your chosen career field. Join and be active in professional and trade associations...
  • Continue building your network.
  • Communicate effectively in relationships
    • Communicate clearly
    • Listen actively
    • Resolve conflicts promptly
    • Walk around inside the other person’s experience
    • Help them do the same in yours
    • Set and maintain boundaries  
  • Develop Proficiency at Change Management
  • Lifelong learning is important. Think about short-term training options and always consider your long-term goals. Take advantage of short term training and workshops offered by your employer and professional associations, Take advantage of free tuition if offered by your employer or take evening college classes that help with your long term goal. 
  • Balance Your Work/Life. There is more to life than work. In order to perform maximally in either area, we must take care of ourselves maximally in both. Work/life balance means creating a work life worthy of balancing with the rest of our lives and having a life outside of work to begin with. 
  • Internalize your perception of security.
  • Look over and update your career and personal goals every few years. Also review your goals when big, life-changing events happen.
  • Financial Stability. Control what you can control. Reduce debt. Save money. Follow a budget. Establish a long range financial plan. We all know these things, but we don’t always do them.