What is Career Management?

Sheri Cyprus

Career management is the lifelong planning and pursuit of work goals. What sets it apart from dreaming about one wants to become is an active approach in doing research, then creating and following a workable career plan. Taking training courses to make that path easier to obtain is one example of career management. Building contacts and relationships in the industry one is passionate about pursuing is another major component of career management.

Learning from unsuccessful job interviews is part of career management.
Learning from unsuccessful job interviews is part of career management.

Such networking can be accomplished in many ways, from joining professional associations within a certain industry to taking an internship. Internships are a common and popular type of early career management as they typically offer students their first industry experience. An internship can build contacts as well as experience that may lead to a full-time, entry-level job, either with that company or another one in the same industry.

Mock interviews can help someone with career management.
Mock interviews can help someone with career management.

Refresher courses are a later career management strategy. They allow working professionals to stay up to date in their career. A refresher course or continuing education within a certain field may be suggested and paid for by the employer. Reading relevant industry news and trade journals is another way to accomplish keeping current with changes or recent research discoveries within a field or industry. Job-related learning of any kind includes training sessions that can be considered a way of managing one's career if they expand skills or knowledge.

In this way, even a job interview that doesn't lead to the hoped-for position can be an important part of career development that may result in better management. If the job seeker tries to determine what he or she could have done differently to have perhaps been offered the position, he or she can try new techniques on future interviews. Career management typically must begin with planning and strategy building.

Effective career management relies on structured planning rather than taking a course impulsively or jumping into a new line of work without it fitting in with one's needs or wants. The energy or resources a person expends in managing his or her career should be used wisely. For example, student loans can be considered as good debt if it's likely that the education will lead to a better paying career. To waste money by not checking to see if a school is properly accredited or has a program employers respect would not be good planning in terms of effective career management.

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