5 Ways To Pump Up Your Career Muscle

advance your career

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

Your career is organic. It is a living, virtually breathing organism that needs to be nourished and exercised. Without attentive, continual care, you cannot expect your career heartbeat to remain vibrant and strong.

To prevent career malnourishment, consider applying these five activities to your daily routine:

1. Stop Weighing Down Conversations.
Too many people, especially early in their career or in the throes of transition, want to be open to all opportunities and are unwilling to 'limit' their options. Therefore, they weigh down career conversations with non-nutritional messages that lead to flabby results. Forget that. Reign in your fear, and get absolutely focused on what you want and where you fit. Then, lean up your communications with well-honed, sharp content that lifts your career advancement to new levels.

More: Why You Need A Career Bucket List In 2013

2. Build Up a Value Proposition.
This means, you must take the time to do the heavy intellectual lifting. Perform extensive introspection-in writing-as to what your unique areas of value are and weave these into your resume, online profiles, emails, texts and networking orations, among other venues. Ensure you are intimately digesting your own value and that it pulsates throughout your career bloodstream. This will make the natural articulation of who you are, and why you are different from the next great candidate, possible.

3. Quit Being a Lightweight.
Yes, you know who you are. You're the one who takes the easy way out and copies your friend's resume, thinking it really doesn't matter anyway. It's 'just' a resume, and you'll tweak a few 'responsibilities for' and voila, you can move onto the next step, copying/pasting the resume into 50 job boards. Quit doing that. A strategic resume is like a personal training program, designed uniquely, from scratch, for you. It recognizes your weaknesses, and more importantly, your strengths, and builds upon those. It requires you implement a career design regimen that adds muscle to your word tissues and eliminates the fat. You create a strapping message that represents the strongest you.

More: Is Working Hard Working For You?

4. Stop Crash Career Dieting.
Too many times, people wait until they are fired, downsized or simply at their wit's end with a current job to worry about career relationship nourishing. Do not wait until you are so famished and short on time (and money) to fuel up. The energy that may help bridge your transition to the next gig must be replenished regularly. The problem with crash career searching is that while initial results may feign the attributes of success, they usually are not sustainable. Real career health is something that you must tend to day in and day out.

5. Select a Few Relationships to Feed You.
While the advent of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Pinterest has had many peoples' heads spinning, and palates tempted to taste-test a bit of everything, be careful. Before you know it, your career conversation plate is so full, you don't even enjoy or gain value from any one relationship. Most importantly, the value you are able to offer others is exponentially diminished every time you try to balance a new relationship atop an already very full career conversation plate. Limit your intake, and concentrate on the meaningful, fueling relationships to create a more nutritious result!

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Charles Cawley

Why do so many articles major on the three, four, five etc: points? Careers are not simple; success is organic and cannot be built on the back of fragmentary exhortations. More importantly, careers do not exist alone, they are organically tied to the success of employers and corporations. You should care for the success of your company as much as for your own success

The key to career success is the ability to listen, act and judge. All are interrelated. Listening requires expertise, understanding, experience, intellect, patience and will. Two time served professionals can communicate, in verbal shorthand, key information in seconds where two others might need hours and, often, 'just will not get it'.

Beneath all this is the key need to become highly skilled and active in business and office politics. In the US, more than in the UK, there's an ideological and and astonishingly damaging denial that this should be done. They are a reality and can be taught, analysed and understood. If uncontrolled, they wreck the careers of the very best managers and employees and destroy companies.

If controlled, information flow is brought under control, informed decisions are greatly improved, good managers prosper and corporate productivity and profit climbs. These basic skills give individuals competitive edge and this creates vital competitive edge to entire corporations. In these frightening times without edge you could be doomed to fail.

There is no future in bullet point exhortations. The future lies in a more positive organic approach to understanding how careers and corporations can win through. The two are organically linked. People do well when their corporation does well and they suffer when the company suffers.

Ditch the bullet points and ditch ideological denial of the need to control information flow in corporations. Get real about office and business politics instead of moaning and then doing nothing. Things are much more interesting and exciting than you appear to suggest.

December 28 2012 at 6:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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