Preparing for the New Work World

Managing your career is never easy, whether you've just graduated or you've been on the job for years. However, there are some things you can do to become employed - and stay employed.

Be positive

Make a great impression on everyone you meet. Build relationships with not only your co-workers, but other people you may meet in your company, industry or job function.

You never know who you may meet and who he or she knows. Make your career aspirations, interests and accomplishments known.

This is actually a very successful career management technique called networking. It lets you become connected to future employers or mentors through social contacts.

Be proactive

Remember, even when you land a "permanent" job, your tenure with any one employer is never guaranteed. Job security actually means knowing you have marketable skills that are reinforced by the number and quality of your accomplishments.

You can start doing this today:

  • Start thinking of yourself as self-employed or as a consultant. Competition is fierce and you always have to be on top of your game. That means consistently demonstrating a solid work ethic and an eagerness to contribute and learn.
  • Chart your career path, literally. Then you'll know what skills you need to develop to move to the next level, or field of interest - for this employer or another one.
  • Always have an up-to-date copy of your resume and references. A resume accentuating your skills is handy during contract or employment gaps - temp agencies are a fabulous way to tide yourself over when you're looking for something better suited to your interests.

Be prepared

Most financial planners advise that you consider putting aside the equivalent of three to six months' salary in savings or short-term investments, such as Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs).

If you can't quite build the recommended salary reserve, consider getting a line of credit as an extra cushion.

This financial security will help carry you through if a contract ends or give you the freedom to leave behind unpleasant employment situations.

It's all about attitude

Managing your career in this new work world may seem scary at times.

Try to maintain a positive outlook and face the work world with a plan of attack. You'll reap the ultimate rewards: real job security and limitless success.

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