Hello! My name is Ford R. Myers, and I am one of the top career consultants, authors and speakers in the US. Thank you for requesting this SPECIAL REPORT!
Let me start-out by explaining how and why this piece was developed. As an experienced career consultant and President of my own career consulting firm, I have worked with literally thousands of executives who are in transition – helping them move from where they are in their careers to where they want to be!
I have worked in a senior consulting capacity with three of the nation’s largest career consulting companies, and I have also been President of my own career consulting firm. And, perhaps most importantly, I am myself a career changer – having shifted from a successful career in the marketing communications industry into the field of career consulting almost 15 years ago. With all this background in career consulting, as well as my personal experience changing careers, I have learned a great deal about every facet of career development. What I want you to know is that I have discovered the “secret” that determines who will be successful, and who will not!
I realize that’s a pretty bold claim, but in this SPECIAL REPORT, I intend to prove it’s true. What I am going to share with you may at first seem simplistic or “just too obvious.” After you read this SPECIAL REPORT, you may say to yourself, “You mean that’s it? That’s the secret of becoming successful in my career!?” The short answer is, “Yes, that’s it.”
But as is true with so many things, the magic is not in just knowing the secret, but in the consistent, effective application of the concept. What is this concept? It’s called “Perpetual Career Management.”
Those who adopt and practice the ideas outlined in this SPECIAL REPORT will dramatically enhance their own career success; and those who are not aware of these concepts or choose to ignore them will, unfortunately, never achieve anything close to their career potential.
At this point, I would like to ask you two very important questions:
- Are you putting all your time and energy into “doing your job,” as opposed to “managing your career?”
- Who’s managing your career? You? Your boss? No one?
It’s no surprise that people who are in career transition focus a lot of their time and energy on updating their resume, networking, brushing-up their interviewing skills, collecting accomplishment stories, etc. They now they need to be prepared; to “be at the top of their game” if they hope to land another good position. But what about those of us who are currently working – in jobs that may even seem quite stable? If you’re like most people, these activities get little or no attention – that is, until you get laid-off, fired, or simply become unhappy enough to make a proactive change. It’s human nature to become “career complacent” when you have a steady job, focusing all your energy on “just doing a good job!” But in today’s work world, this approach just “won’t cut it.” Not any more. The workplace is too unpredictable and jobs are too readily changed or eliminated.
Here’s a real-life example. A few of years ago, I had a client who had been a senior-level sales and marketing position at a large manufacturing company. He had everything going for him with the employer – he was a member of the senior management team, he had been with the firm for 13 years, and he was consistently praised for his hard work and professionalism. Needless to say, he felt very comfortable and secure in his position. He never saw what was about to happen. Due to business setbacks and an eventual acquisition of the company, my client was suddenly let go early one crisp November morning. An hour later, he found himself sitting in his car in the parking lot – asking himself over and over, “But how could this happen? I did such a good job for them!” And worst of all, my client was totally unprepared! He had none of the tools necessary to find another appropriate position within a reasonable period of time. So naturally, he felt concerned and scared. He later told me that toughest part was feeling completely helpless.
What does this mean for you? It means that you should consider adopting a different approach, the “Perpetual Career Management” approach – to avoid facing the fate of this client. Instead of being focused completely on your job, you should be focused on managing your career – at all times, regardless of your work circumstances!
In the next section of this SPECIAL REPORT, I will introduce you to two of the most critical steps you can take to manage your career properly over the long-term, to ensure that you will reach your full career potential!
In the first part of this SPECIAL REPORT, I introduced the idea of “Perpetual Career Management.” So, how does one become a “Perpetual Career Manager?” What are some of the things that successful “Career Managers” do? Actually, there are 10 critical components to career management – activities that should be carried out consistently regardless of your career situation! In this section, I’ll be presenting the
first two important activities that are essential to managing your career effectively:
- Keep all your success documents up to date – résumé, reference list, letters of recommendation, accomplishment stories, etc. By keeping these documents in a current file, you will be ready to leverage them at any point of transition, such as employee reviews, new promotions, or job changes, whether these events are planned or unplanned!
- Put time aside every week for active networking to maintain established relationships and develop new ones – both inside and outside the company where you work. You should always be positioned to leverage your professional and personal contacts when the need arises. So, adopt the discipline of blocking-out time on your calendar specifically for networking activities – every week, every month,
and every year, for the duration of your career!
I’ll never forget a story I heard when I was facilitating a “job search team” several years ago. We had about 15 people in the conference room. After I conducted a brief presentation on this subject of “Perpetual Career Management” in general – and more specifically, about the activity of networking, one of the participants asked if she could share a personal story.
She said that she had just been laid-off from her employer of almost 25 years! She had started at the company as an entry-level Customer Support Representative. One that same day, another individual started at the company in the same job. They discovered that they were just about the same age, and that their backgrounds were almost identical, in terms of education, interests, family history, and so on. They worked well together and had a pleasant working relationship for about two years, when this man was transferred to another department, and at a higher level, within the company. She didn’t see him much after that, but she did occasionally hear about how well he was doing with the firm.
Time passed, until eventually she was laid off and wound-up at our office in need of career help. “By the way,” she said, “that man who started at the company with her became, and is still, the President of that company.” When she was let go, my client, on the other hand, held the same position that she was first hired for nearly 25 years ago. When I asked her to tell the group why she thought she had remained at the same level, and why her colleague had moved-up to claim the Presidency of their company, she said, without hesitation, “Oh that’s an easy one. He was always a master networker and self-promoter. Me? I was just doing my job.”
This story proves, without any doubt, how important it is to keep networking throughout your career – and to maintain and continually update your success file so that you can “promote yourself” to greater levels of responsibility at the company!
In the next section, I will reveal to you two more critical aspects of Perpetual Career Management – with some additional tools and techniques to move your career powerfully forward.
In section two of this SPECIAL REPORT, I shared with you that there are 10 vital activities that are essential for Perpetual Career Management. In this section, I’m going to introduce two additional activities that successful Perpetual Career Managers must continually engage in.
- Join and take leadership roles in appropriate associations and trade organizations. This will boost your visibility and enhance your credibility in your industry. So, don’t just join organizations and then sit passively in the back of the room at meetings. Get involved and get known! This is also a great opportunity to take on professional responsibilities and stretch your capabilities into areas that your employer might not allow you to do yet on the job.
- Write articles or do presentations focused on your area of expertise in any venue – clubs, conferences, publications, etc. This type of exposure demonstrates your level of “trade skill” and experience, and it also enhances your credibility. When you’re at the podium making a presentation, people will take notice! And as for publishing articles – when people in your field (including hiring managers) see your name in print, you will be instantly elevated to the level of “expert” in their minds!
For example, I am now working with a client who is the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) of a mid-sized pharmaceutical company. He’s a fairly introverted fellow who is not particularly comfortable being in the spotlight. On the other hand, he is very ambitious in his career and he has specific goals, which he is firmly committed to achieving.
Starting slowly at first, we developed a plan whereby he would gradually add career elated activities to his monthly calendar. Within just a few months, he was serving on several association committees. Shortly after that, he became the Chair of the group’s most visible “special interest group.” This led to his publishing a few articles in the organization’s newsletter. One of his pieces was “picked-up” by a national business magazine, which also featured his photograph and professional biography. Other articles followed, and his visibility in his field continued to grow.
Before the year was out, my client had published 8 articles in national publications, had been a guest on 4 radio talk shows, and had made 11 presentations at various industry venues! Needless to say, this client is now viewed very differently by his colleagues at work. New opportunities are being offered to him for media appearances every month, both from within and from outside his company. He has even been contacted by recruiters for other jobs at competing companies. This makes my client very happy – but it makes my client’s employer very nervous! Most importantly, my client now feels so much better about himself and his career – he is more confident, empowered and secure – exactly the feelings that Perpetual Career Managers usually enjoy.
In this section, I’m going to introduce two additional activities that Perpetual Career Managers should always do for maximum career success:
- Continue your career education and maintain your industry credentials through seminars, academic classes, lectures, professional events, conferences, new certifications/degrees and the like. No one wants to hire someone whose base of knowledge isn’t current. Every professional should continually build his or her resume, which will make you more attractive and marketable as a candidate. Plus, in an
information economy, the greatest asset you have to sell is your knowledge and intellectual resources!
- Research and be aware of the competition – whether it be information about other companies or other professionals in your industry. Always know who they are and what they’re doing. Endeavor to “know the competition better than they know themselves.” This will greatly enhance your competitiveness on many levels, and it will also allow you to jump on opportunities that others might not yet be aware of!
Here’s an example of how important it is to be “plugged into” your competitors. One of my clients is the President of a small advertising agency. Her client base is solid, her creative work is excellent, and she makes a very good living in this role. But the thing that my client is most proud of is the fact that her firm is the envy of every small-to-medium sized agency in town. Not because of the creative awards my client has won, and not because of how impressive her offices are – although these are certainly noteworthy achievements. The reason my client is so envied is that she always seems to get the most prestigious accounts and the most interesting assignments.
Moreover, my client has a real knack for getting the best designers in the region to work for her. The other agency owners in the region just stand around, shaking their heads in disbelief and frustration. “How does she do it?” they ask themselves, repeatedly. Well, just between you and me – it’s not because my client’s work is so much better than the work of the other agencies. No, the way she keeps winning, over and over, is that her investigative research is superior to that of any of her competitors.
She makes it her business to know what’s going on in her market – what company is doing what; which accounts are going where, who’s working for whom, what challenges or trends are affecting local companies – and all the rest.
The bottom line is simply that my client is far more “plugged in” – and she has used this knowledge to beat out the competition, year after year after year!
In section number four, I explained Perpetual Career Management activities numbers five and six. These two behaviors, so important to ongoing career success, included ”Continuing your career education;” and “Researching and being aware of the competition!” Now, I’m going to introduce two additional activities that Perpetual Career Managers should always be doing to maintain control of their careers:
- Offer to help people in your network even though they may not be in a position to “help you back” at this time. These people will remember your good will – and as they say, “What goes around comes around.” So, choose to go the extra mile! There’s an old saying in my field, which states, “If you help enough other people get what they want, you’ll be assured of getting what you want, too.” Always ask first how you can help another before asking for what you want from them.
- Look at new jobs and investigate other opportunities, even if you’re not job-hunting at this time. This will help you to know the market, and gauge various aspects of your current position. Once again, it’s all about preparation! If something should happen to your job, your existing knowledge of the market will serve you well! You won’t have to spend weeks or even months, learning about what other positions might exist in your field. In addition, knowing the details about these other positions can help you to know where you stand, in terms of your responsibilities, your salary and your potential on the
job. This knowledge, in turn, will be very valuable indeed, when it’s time to re-negotiate your compensation package!
Let me tell you briefly about Jim, a client I worked with several years ago. Jim had enjoyed a successful career in the building materials industry; starting in sales and moving up the ranks to senior management. Eventually, he became disenchanted with his employer for a number of reasons.
Now, Jim was smart. For years, he had been monitoring his industry, gathering information about other companies in his field and learning as much as he could about the specific jobs at those companies. In fact, Jim had created a huge folder, filled with job descriptions and other relevant material to round-out his data. This made Jim feel empowered and aware, because as they say, “knowledge is power.”
When the time came for Jim’s employee review with his boss, he came prepared! Using the information he had compiled about what his firm’s competitors were paying for similar positions, Jim was able to negotiate for vast improvements in the quality of his job. So, without even leaving his company, Jim successfully added 35% to his base salary and upgraded the position to become eligible for the company’s generous “executive comp plan.” Needless to say, Jim was totally thrilled!
In this section, I’m going to introduce the two final items on our list of critical activities that Perpetual Career Managers should always be doing to achieve their objectives.
- Always ask yourself, “How can I contribute more?” As mentioned earlier in this piece, doing a good job simply isn’t good enough. Not any more! The people who land the best jobs and move up in the organization are the ones who clearly demonstrate their value to the organization in measurable ways – every day, every week, every month. So, don’t just do your job. Don’t wait around, hoping to be given more responsibility. Instead, grab it every chance you get. Step forward and volunteer for more work – especially on those “high profile” projects! Try to establish your reputation as the “go to” person in your department or company who rises to the occasion and always gets the job done.
- Practice your interviewing, negotiating and related skills on a regular basis. Don’t wait until a career crisis arises to polish your job-seeking skills. You never know what’s going to happen. While you can expect the best at work, you should be prepared for the worst. I have seen the benefits of “always being prepared” with many, many clients in my practice. This type of client can literally shave months off her job search by remaining “up to speed” with these fundamental skills. So, start practicing – with a friend, with flashcards, with a tape recorder, or with a career consultant – whatever works best for
Here’s a powerful example of what can happen when you make it clear that you want to take on additional responsibility and contribute more to your company’s success.
During the first 18 months at his job, my client, Steve, had become a solid performer – but he was starting to feel almost invisible at the company. He did a fine job, and his employer was pleased with his performance – but Steve wanted more.
So he made up his mind to do whatever he had to do to expand his scope of responsibility and gain a higher profile at the firm. Steve adopted only two new behaviors – and this made all the difference in the world!
The first thing Steve did was to ask all his co-workers for additional projects and “spillover work” that they couldn’t handle. Some of these assignments were high visibility, and sure to get Steve noticed.
The second thing Steve did was to make a monthly list of all his professional tasks and accomplishments. He sent this document directly to his boss on the last day of every month.
There was no response.
Then, on the 8th month of the year, Steve’s boss sent a message, inviting him to an unanticipated meeting. Within the first 15 minutes of the discussion, Steve had been promoted, received a substantial raise, and was heartily thanked for contributing so much to the company’s success.
This honor catapulted Steve’s job and career to an entirely new level – and he has never looked back!
Now that you have read this SPECIAL REPORT, I’m sure you have developed a whole new way of looking at your career.
I hope you are now able to see that your job is a “subset,” or just one component, of your entire career. In practical terms, “Perpetual Career Management” means engaging continually in a host of activities that you thought were necessary only for job seekers.
Why should you maintain these activities? So you’ll always be prepared, no matter what happens in your company. This way, if something happens to your job, you won’t be caught “flat footed.” Instead of feeling devastated, stuck or powerless, you’ll always have career choices and a sense of control.
Remember: Never be satisfied or complacent, and don’t ever assume you’re “100% safe” in your job. The only real “job security” is in developing and maintaining your knowledge and competitiveness in the marketplace. By adopting the “Perpetual Career Management” strategies outlined in this SPECIAL REPORT, and implementing these behaviors in a consistent manner, you will always be in top form and have plenty of professional options!
For additional information or to schedule your complimentary consultation, contact:
The Gary Hines Consulting Group
Certified Ultimate Career Consultant™
Copyright © 2014, Ford R. Myers. All Rights Reserved.