Dear Joyce: In this “anyone can get a job” market, how can I get a better job? And, as the economy is sure to cool off at some point, what should I be doing in my career in anticipation of the days when it won’t be so easy to find a good job?
It’s resolution time again. With a new millennium closing in, the century-closing mandate to proclaim sage promises is inescapable. Use these New Year’s resolutions to thrive in the new century.
– Resolve: Work at Something I Like. A recent study of older people by researcher Kelly M. Everard of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis reports that merely keeping busy is not the key to successful aging we once thought. “Enjoyment” is the ingredient earlier literature missed. So I’ll enjoy what I’m busy at. If my job makes me overly stressed, depressed or ill, I’m gone.
– Resolve: Work at Peak Performance. Being the “best in the business” always pays off , any year, any century, any millennium. I’ll aim for positive results I can measure, solve problems, find better ways to work. Being the best not only cements my employability , it strokes my self-esteem.
– Resolve: Work at Visibility. I’ll make sure others know about my superior accomplishments with conscious visibility tactics, such as office memos, professional-organization activities and contributions to professional media , newsletters, trade journals and Internet forums.
– Resolve: Work at Being Connected. I will use E-mail to become a masterful online networker , personal networks are both fun and career insurance policies. Plus, I will hone my digital communications skills to be seen as competent as increasing numbers of workers collaborate by E-mail and videoconferencing. I will work to develop a working relationship with senior managers; if I am in a branch office or overseas, I will devise ways to avoid being out of sight, out of mind.
– Resolve. Work at Skills Expansion. I will commit to ongoing learning. I want command of the job market and I am willing to meet the new workplace’s demand for greater individual accountability. Learning takes many forms, including distance education, seminars, formal on-the-job training, books and trade magazines, Web tutorials and E-newsletters, software packages, mentors, campus college courses, professional development conferences or technology tutoring. If a credential is valuable in my line of work, I resolve to earn it.
– Resolve. Work at Career Management. I will develop a career plan to maximize my control over my destiny. I don’t consider my plan set in concrete, but I do believe that focusing on my direction , with frequent, regularly scheduled validations , will position me to spot and seize appropriate opportunities and to avoid career-killing detours. If I am in an age-impacted field, such as sports or computer programming, I will anticipate future problems and formulate options.
– Resolve. Work to Know My Value. I will remain constantly aware of my market value so I don’t sell my qualifications too cheaply. I will keep track of my accomplishments and monitor salary scales in my function, locale and industry. I will attempt to learn salary ranges in my company. I will stay abreast of trends in my industry and career field, making sure I am not slipping behind in any important way.
– Resolve. Work Productively With My Boss. I will work only for a manager who treats me fairly and with respect. If this is impossible, I will find another job and leave.
– Resolve. Work Well With Colleagues. I will treat my co-workers with respect. If I find myself embroiled in conflict, I will seek conflict-management guidance , reading books or finding information on the Internet , on how to bridge differences in such a way that all parties can continue to work productively together. I will carry personality issues to management only as a last resort.
– Resolve. Work at Becoming a Talented Job Hunter. I refuse to stay stuck in the wrong job because I don’t understand how to get to a better place.
E-mail career questions for possible use in this column to Kennedy at (firstname.lastname@example.org).
& #352; 2000, Los Angeles Times Syndicate