Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the entire East Coast of the United States reminds us all that some preparation reduces what could be a life-threatening situation to an inconvenience. Filling up the car with gas, filling the cupboards with canned goods and water, obtaining a generator, all these things can make a week without outside electricity feel more like a camping trip than like facing the prospect of dehydration.
In the same way, taking the time to assess your strengths and weaknesses, along with your future career goals, can allow you to take small steps now that can provide huge benefits later on. To help you figure out which way to head, November has been designated National Career Development Month. Use this opportunity to take stock of your career, both current and future. Career development professionals make a special effort during November to get their resources into the hands of those who need that extra help to move up where they are, or move on to their next career.
Even if you are satisfied with your current job, there are things that you can do that will enhance your earning potential. The National Career Development Association has created a National Career Guidelines Development Framework, which tracks assessment in three domains:
Personal Social Development Domain (PS)
- GOAL PS1 Develop understanding of self to build and maintain a positive self-concept.
- GOAL PS2 Develop positive interpersonal skills, including respect for diversity.
- GOAL PS3 Integrate growth and change into your career development.
- GOAL PS4 Balance personal, leisure, community, learner, family and work roles.
Educational Achievement and Lifelong Learning Domain (ED)
- GOAL ED1 Attain educational achievement and performance levels needed to reach your personal and career goals.
- GOAL ED2 Participate in ongoing, lifelong learning experiences to enhance your ability to function effectively in a diverse and changing economy.
Career Management Domain (CM)
- GOAL CM1 Create and manage a career plan that meets your career goals.
- GOAL CM2 Use a process of decision-making as one component of career development.
- GOAL CM3 Use accurate, current and unbiased career information during career planning and management.
- GOAL CM4 Master academic, occupational and general employability skills in order to obtain, create, maintain and/or advance your employment.
- GOAL CM5 Integrate changing employment trends, societal needs and economic goals into your career plans.
America’s Career Resource Network has broken down this framework into actions that can be taken by parents, students, teachers, counselors, and administrators. Head to their website to avail yourself of the resources that apply to you. Also, if you are currently in school, many institutions provide services and host events designed to assist students, including seminars on how to dress for interviews, job search strategies, review of resumes and cover letters, how to interview successfully; and how to use social networking for job possibilities. Take advantage of as many of these resources as you can. Even if you think you know what you are doing, there are always new innovations, new standards and new uses for technology that you may not have considered.