The 12 Habits of an Empowered Career Professional

Managing your career is a challenging process because there are many elements to consider. You have to obtain the requisite education, set goals, develop resumes, facilitate the job search process, interview with various organizations and build career networks. In addition, you have to perform at a high level in your chosen profession while developing an effective work/life balance. People who are successful at this can be called Empowered Career Professionals because they have found a way to effectively balance their vocational and lifestyle needs. You can also find career success and life balance by developing 12 habits:

1. Identify your vocational interests and how these interests best fit with various careers. You should be able to describe the type of work you really want to do, as well as the job tasks and activities you would prefer to avoid.

2. Clarify your values and how these values best fit with a variety of occupations. Be clear about the main purpose that work serves for you, and identify the most rewarding elements of your vocational and avocational activities.

3. Specify your skills and abilities, and how these competencies best fit with various careers. Develop a comprehensive list of your strengths and weaknesses, and clarify the extent to which your credentials qualify you for various occupations.

4. Develop a clear vision of your future work and family life. You should be able to describe your long-range career vision and the type of life you want to live.

5. Identify specific goals that will help you achieve your long-range career vision. Include both short and long-range goals that are measurable, and have a specific timetable for completion.

6. Identify the specific steps you must take to achieve your goals and use this information to create written career plans.

7. Develop an accomplishments-based resume and update it on a regular basis. You should be able to develop electronic and scannable resumes, and create resumes in both chronological and functional formats.

8. When seeking employment, use a variety of job search resources including people, books, professional associations, the Internet, and job ads. You should also be able to develop an effective cover letter to use with your resume.

9. Prior to an interview, research the organization and develop a strategy for covering the points you want to make during the meeting. Communicate your strengths and accomplishments during the interview, and keep a diary of interview experiences you can use to prepare for future interviews.

10. Develop a clear understanding of current and future occupational trends and their impact on potential career choices. Use a variety of resources to obtain information on a diverse array of occupations (e.g., the Internet, magazines, people).

11. Develop a strong network of professional colleagues. Continuously invest the time, energy and money required to expand your network.

12. Develop a positive attitude, maintain desire and keep the faith, even in the most difficult times. Have confidence in yourself and take personal responsibility when something goes wrong.