Careerpreneurial Strategies for Career Success
It is overwhelmingly evident that the permanent job, for the most part, is extinct. Working Canadians rarely stay at the same company for any great length of time. In order to succeed in the workplace, rather than relying on others, job seekers must take a much more proactive position in creating their own future as “independent agents.” What this means is that Canadians need to adopt careerpreneurial strategies to become entrepreneurs who craft their own career direction.
Canadians who keep a constant eye out for emerging and growing opportunities and embrace ongoing professional development do better than others. By scripting their own career path instead of waiting for someone else to do it, they find and secure better opportunities.
Personal career development is a crucial component of careerpreneurialism. This is why leading Canadian career organizations such as Career Professionals of Canada (CPC), The Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC), Canadian Council for Career Development (3CD), and Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF) have made it a great part of their mission to raise awareness and disseminate crucial information on the value of career development.
Careerpreneurialism is a concept coined by Career Professionals of Canada and the idea is gaining ground. Here’s a tip sheet of careerpreneurial strategies that you can share with job seekers and workers who want to stay at the leading edge of their own career development.
Tip Sheet of Careerpreneurial Strategies for Success
- Think building blocks. Ensure that you can clearly and persuasively describe your key competencies that contribute most to your employability. Your competencies are components that you can assemble in new configurations as you move through your career.
- Ensure employability. With constantly changing work and shifting skill requirements, lifelong learning is a necessity in the workplace. The key to protecting yourself now and in the future is ensuring that you have choices. Do not be held back by a lack of skill portability.
- Think roles, not jobs. Instead of preparing for specific jobs, identify the areas where you want to contribute, whether those are technical areas such as software design or market analysis, or non-technical areas such as leading knowledge workers or relationship building.
- Market, Market, Market! Network broadly and participate in multiple networks to gain access to new and unusual ideas and information. Be thoughtful in your networking strategy and don’t equate the number of business cards you have handed out with effective networking.
- Ensure resilience. Your work is not the centerpiece of your identity. Being rejected or failing does not make you a “bad person.” Maintain an independent sense of self and replace any fear of change with a belief that changes are challenges you can handle.
- Stay culturally current. Read broadly outside of your professional area. Think about your work in creative and unconventional ways by building on cultural and demographic trends.
- Be a compelling communicator. Get to the point quickly. Capture your audience’s attention by tailoring your messages. Be specific in discussing business issues with colleagues.
- Find a mentor / be a mentor. Your mentors may be your most important career-management resource. Most successful people have one or two mentors who have helped them along the way. In fact, they have actively sought out these mentors.
- Build financial independence. You can no longer rely on all of your income coming from one source. Whether you are a full-time employee or an independent contractor, you should cultivate other sources of income, as a fallback for difficult times.
- Think like an outsider. Effective people take their own counsel. They develop creative solutions by listening objectively to the input of others and maintaining an independent stance.
- Decide whether to specialize. Organizations require both specialists and generalists. Specialist skills get you in the door, while general talents have more flexibility for career options. Make good decisions regarding the benefits and detriments of the areas you target.
- Be kind to yourself. The abilities to feel deserving and to celebrate successes may well be the most important skills of all. Put yourself at the top of the agenda.
Sharon Graham is founder and executive director of Career Professionals of Canada. Committed to setting the standard for excellence in the career development profession, Sharon has authored top selling paperback publications and textbooks, and has established a range of certification, professional development, community development, mentoring, and award programs. As executive director of CPC, she provides foresight and leadership within the sector and ensures that the mandate of this national organization is upheld with integrity.