ITB 2024 Special Reporting
Get In Shape For Your Next Career Move!
By Althea DeBrule
Friday, 2nd June 2006
Research suggests that as many as 8 out of 10 employed adults are in the wrong job or career! They are in poor career-shape or have little or no career-stamina.

If you are one of the 8 or your goal is to shape up, it is important to have a good understanding of some basic career management principles for a healthy career workout and to help you make the best decisions about your career on a day-by-day basis.

Career Fitness Tips - Here are 10 proven tips to maximize your career-workout:

1. Set Goals You Know You Can Reach.  

Keep your goals realistic.  Unrealistic goals leave many people feeling like a failure even after a career success. Rather than feeling good about what has been accomplished, many feel dissatisfied because they have not yet attained their dream career.  To manage your expectations, set reasonable goals that can be worked on and achieved.

2. Divide your career goals into manageable pieces

Bite off only what you can chew at any given moment.  Resist the urge to multi-task when working on your career goals. If you overdo it and push yourself by trying to accomplish everything at once, you will become discouraged and lose your motivation.

3. Work On Your Goals One At A Time.  

Prioritize your career goals and then work to achieve the first one. Continue to tackle each subsequent goal by completing it before starting the next one.  Before you know it you will have accomplished all of your career objectives.

4. Make Modest Changes To Your Work Habits.  

There are a number of "baby steps" you can take to advance your career.  Instead of fantasizing about the perfect career, apply creative thinking and implement a few "quick wins" to boost your career.

5. Develop A Career Roadmap

A career roadmap helps you find the best route or direction to take to achieve your career objectives. List the actions you will take to ensure an interesting, challenging and rewarding career that uses your best strengths and natural talents.

6. Increase Your Focus. 

To stay challenged and to progress towards your ultimate career goal, gradually increase the intensity and focus your efforts as you follow your Career Roadmap.

7. Make It A "Whole-Person" Experience. 

Your career is more than just one or a series of jobs.  A well-rounded career includes a balance of healthy personal relationships, work, and recreation (fun). To avoid boredom, make sure you include others who have a stake in your career and activities you truly enjoy.

8. Celebrate. 

Whenever you achieve a goal, do something nice for yourself.  Make sure it's more than just a pat on the back or verbal acknowledgement; make it worthwhile.

9. Consult A Career Management Specialist. 

If you're serious about advancing your career, hire a professional to help you get the most from your career activities and to motivate you to stick with your plans.

10. Get A Career Fitness Partner. 

Find a mentor or colleague who is willing to be your career fitness partner.  Choose someone who will motivate and challenge you when you want to quit.  Or, form a support group with co-workers who share similar career interests.

As you begin to use these tips, they may at first feel burdensome.  However, with a little effort and continued use, they will become second nature.

Althea DeBrule, entrepreneur and seasoned human resources executive, has focused for more than 30 years on helping people achieve their career goals. Creator of The Extreme-Career-Makeover™and a founding partner of RADSGroup Organizational Consultants, she is recognized for her bottom line and practical application of career development and management strategies in a way that penetrates hearts and compels action.

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