Time for a Career Inventory

Many techies were forced to set aside their career aspirations during 2009. They’re getting satisfaction from a little job security and a regular paycheck. But now that the economy is stabilizing, it may be time to revisit your dreams, set new career goals and analyze your current situation to see if it’s possible to reach new heights with your current employer.

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The great recession dramatically altered the business landscape in many industries, and in some cases the changes are permanent. During the downturn, your fortunes may have changed for better or worse, so take a career inventory by asking yourself these questions.

  • Has my situation changed? Staff reductions may have provided you with emerging promotional opportunities by thinning the number of employees vying for higher level jobs. But if only the top performers were retained, it may have created dog-eat-dog competition for available fewer management jobs. Evaluate your current situation to see if you’re still able to achieve your goals, or if you’ll need to change employers to earn a promotion.
  • Has my company’s situation changed? Fewer competitors may be a boon to your company’s bottom line. On the other hand, industry consolidation may have left it dangling on the edge of failure. If your employer can’t get the financing it needs to grow or invest in new technologies, or if it has become a takeover target, a goal for 2010 might be to move to a stable company that offers the potential for professional growth.
  • Are my goals still realistic? While a recession is no reason to forgo your dreams, perhaps reaching the CIO’s chair within two years is no longer realistic. Review your education, professional certifications and work experience to see if you can still compete for the job you’re seeking. Set a plan to improve your marketability and career situation in 2010, and you could be on your way to achieving your goals by 2011.

— Leslie Stevens-Huffman

Comments

3 Responses to “Time for a Career Inventory”

December 31, 2009 at 9:24 am, JL said:

My approach is look at IT market demand for different combinations of skillsets over various time horizons (1 year, 3 year, 5 year) and make my own independent assesment of what skillset combinations I believe will provide the best balance between salary and career satisfaction. After making my determination, I do all I can to “be the best I can be” in the skillset combinations that I have selected as my career path(s). I usually work on multiple Masters degrees at the same time – balanced between IT Security, Business/Marketing, Computer Science, and Telecommunications. I have found this to be a winning combination – but you have to be ready to work very hard on the job, and be ready to study advanced graduate courses six nights per week (3 to 5 hours per night). Is this easy? No. It is not easy to be the best – and you can never let down your continuous learning – as there is always more to learn. Does this strategy pay off? Yes, it does!

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February 03, 2010 at 12:29 am, Mike said:

The economy is “stabilizing”? How so? Cripes Cat, even a half-sunk ship will “stabilize” provided no more water enters, or no more hull breaches are caused, to completely sink it. What’s needed is to refloat the damned ship, not “stabilize” it so far down in the water it can’t make headway.

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February 11, 2010 at 9:38 am, CJ said:

I have a Master’s degree, but it can only be called “Communication” as I can’t receive a master’s degree in any specific area such as Public Relations, Marketing or Business Communication ¿ those specific areas are identified at only the Bachelor’s degree level. At the Master’s degree level, coursework is within general (required courses) and specific areas and are taught at much higher degree of difficulty within the chosen area of study ¿ like Communication. A few specific ¿seminars¿ or ¿classes¿ may be chosen in that selected area within that broader field, but those courses still can¿t name your Master¿s degree. (And you can’t take a seminar from a company and call it an ¿advanced course¿ for your degree.) And to make it more interesting, at the doctoral degree level, the term ¿Ph.D.¿ literally means, “Doctor of Philosophy” – no special indication is given as to the area of study that was done! You must ask the holder of that degree what her/his broader area of study it is in.

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