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End Of Year An Ideal Time To Perform A Thorough Career Check-Up

The end of year is a great time to perform a thorough Career Check-Up to assess how well your career is progressing, according to Right Management, the world’s largest outplacement company.

“It’s an ideal time to take a realistic look at where you are now, where you expect to be going forward, and how satisfied you are with both,” said Doug Matthews, Executive Vice President, Operations, for Right Management. “With the start of a new year, people like to make new beginnings, if necessary.”

However, many people make decisions about their jobs and careers – whether to change employers, or go into a different line of work – based on only one or two factors, instead of performing a comprehensive career assessment. Or they allow perceived slights and inequalities to outweigh other, more important considerations, according to Matthews.

“People sometimes make instinctive, snap decisions about their careers depending on how they are getting along with their bosses at the time, how well they are being paid, and whether they have been promoted recently. While each of these components is important, decisions about whether to change jobs and/or careers need to be based on a range of factors.”

Many employees make a hasty job change due to one isolated incident, and often later regret making a move, according to Matthews. Also, it may be at least slightly more difficult to find new employment in 2007 than this year.

Even though employers added 132,000 jobs to their payrolls in November, the total of new payroll jobs created from January through November 2006 – approximately 1.64 million – is about 11 percent less than for the same period last year (1.84 million), according to the U.S. Labor Department. And the unemployment rate – which is still at a five-year low – trended up slightly in November to 4.5 percent from 4.4 percent in October.

“Don’t make a knee-jerk reaction based on one meeting or one lackluster performance review. The grass isn’t always greener,” cautioned Matthews.

The four components of a thorough Career Check-Up include evaluations of your employer’s situation; the marketability of your career; your own professional development; and any personal preferences, needs, or desires, according to Matthews.

· Assess Your Employer’s Situation: How well your employer is performing financially is an important component. “Are sales and market share increasing or decreasing? Is your employer an innovator in its field, and keeping up to date with the latest technology? What is your company’s reputation in your industry and community, and how would this affect your own career goals?,” Matthews asked.

· Evaluate Your Career Marketability: The current demand for your skills, and whether you have kept them and your professional knowledge up to date, are critical factors. “Those with the most marketable careers are working in industries that are doing well, performing job functions that are in demand, have kept their knowledge and skills up to date, and have a network of professional contacts with whom they’ve regularly kept in touch,” Matthews said.

· Your Own Professional Development: How your skills are being used in your current job, and your potential for future career growth, should also be evaluated. “Are you in a job that capitalizes on your interests and strengths, and are you regularly learning something new? How often are your input and ideas sought, and is your advice taken? What is the potential to advance further with your current employer?,” Matthews asked.

· Your Personal Preferences:
Factors such as how much you enjoy your job, and how you feel about getting up each day and going into work, should also be weighed. “Is your job still personally satisfying, or do you dread going into work? Has your workload been interfering with your personal life? Have you been thinking about making some kind of change – switching industries, job functions, working for a smaller company, or having fewer responsibilities?,” Matthews asked.

Those who decide that their current job situations are promising and rewarding will appreciate the validation they receive from conducting a thorough Career Check-Up, Matthews.said. “People who uncover areas that they need to work on may want to address these with their bosses. Those with mostly negative answers should realize that their career prospects with their current employers may be limited, and it may be in their best interests to examine other job possibilities.”

About Right Management

Right Management ( is a leading global provider of integrated consulting solutions across the employment lifecycle. Right Management helps clients maximize the return on their human capital investments while assisting individuals to achieve their full potential.

Right Management is a wholly owned subsidiary of Manpower, Inc. (NYSE:MAN), a world leader in the employment services industry, creating and delivering services that enable its clients to win in the changing world of work.


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