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4 Secrets to Career Fortune

Selena Dehne, JIST Publishing

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How do some people fall into the job of their dreams even when they aren't looking for it? Why does it seem like everyone you know is gaining momentum in their career, while yours is stuck at a standstill? And why are you combing through job openings online when everyone else claims to be getting jobs based on the help of "someone they know"?

You've asked yourself these questions a thousand times and found no answer. Like most people, you hope for the best in your career, but have no idea what it takes to succeed. The secret to having a rewarding career, however, isn't as mysterious as many may think. The truth is, all a person may need to do to get ahead in the world of work is become a better planner.

"It's easy to sit back and wait for a recruiter to knock down your door and welcome you to your dream job, but this will definitely not happen. The fact is, you have to roll up your sleeves and get to work to develop the specific career goals that will make up your career plan," says John Liptak, Ed.D., author of "Career Quizzes."

He adds that many people are reluctant to set goals or develop plans, because they're afraid of not following through or -- worse -- failing.

"That's why it's important to remember that your goals should provide you with direction and motivation and that you can, and will, make changes as you encounter new situations and meet new people," Liptak says.

In his book, Liptak identifies four ways people can be more effective career planners. His advice includes:  

Be active

  • Do not rely on other people to make plans for you.

  • Identify the career choices right for you, rather than accept others' suggestions or whatever job is available at the moment.

  • Get involved

  • Discuss your career with family, friends and knowledgeable people as they relate to your career interests.

  • Learn more through career research, job shadows and informational interviews.

  • Make compromises

  • Look for new opportunities and realistically appraise your career options.

  • Understand that you will have to make some sacrifices, such as accepting a job that pays a hundred grand a year, but may come with only two weeks of paid vacation.

  • Set goals

  • Use short-term goals as benchmarks to stay motivated toward reaching long-term goals.

  • Review and revise goals to meet your current needs.

  • In today's fast-paced, competitive job market, possessing one or two of these qualities won't cut it. People must develop the entire package to stay ahead of their competition and prepare for sudden career changes -- good and bad.

    Selena Dehne is a career writer for JIST Publishing who shares the latest occupational, career and job search information available with job seekers and career changers. Her articles help people find meaningful work, develop their career and life plans, and carry out effective job search campaigns.

    Last Updated: 31/10/2008 - 10:49 AM

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