Career Advice & Insights

8 Keys to a Healthy, Rewarding Career in 2019


By Kevin Brennfleck,and Kay Marie Brennfleck
National Certified Career Counselors

 

While it is wise to get a checkup annually from your doctor, it can be equally important to do the same for your career.  Doing so can lead to being a healthier, more joyful worker in your current job or a new one.  Have you had your career checkup?  Here are healthy action steps for your 2019 checkup:

  1. Reflect on this past year.

How is your work life going?  Are there any changes that you would like to make?  (For example, an increase in salary by requesting a raise; a request for working from home part-time; or perhaps searching for a brand-new career.) 

Whether your work is a good fit or not, writing down your top accomplishments and all the ways that God has blessed you within work will help you to appreciate what happened this last year and prepare you for success in 2019.

  1. Complete the online Career Checkup

To help you reflect on your career health, complete the free career fit checkup.  This tool will give you a score that can help you to consider any changes that you may want to make.  

  1. Assess your God given design.

Assessing your design should be an annual event.  Who am I? What is my God-given design? What do I enjoy doing, what do I value, what motivates me, what brings me a sense of fulfillment and meaning? What gifts and abilities has God given to me to use in this world? What needs, issues and/or causes do I find compelling and desire to address in my work?

God has created you to be a unique individual, with a specific design of abilities and interests. His desire is for you to work out of your design; that is, find work that utilizes what you love to do. He wants you to experience the joy and satisfaction that comes from doing the work He created you to do. In so doing, you glorify Him. To work out of your design, however, you must know what it is.  One of the most effective way to  discover and/or reassess your understanding of your design is through an assessment process which can include career tests, exercises, etc.  You can do this through the Christian Career Center through professional career testing or on your own using the Career Fit Test.

  1. Expand your vision of what the next options in your career could be.

You can only choose from opportunities that you are aware of.  Knowing your design can help to explore new options through using tools like the ONET, OOH, LinkedIn and informational interviewing which involves talking to people that are in careers that could be of interest to you.

  1. Seek out the needed training, development and education for your new career goals.

Education can be formal or informal depending on what your goals are.  Spend some time researching the different options that will help you in changing jobs and/or excelling in your current career area.  Here is a great article on how to learn anything faster and better.

Associations can also be a part of your training and development.  Many associations have websites that include resources for learning new skills. By Googling the name of the career area that you are pursuing followed by the work “association” you should be able to find some of the best associations to get involved with.  Once you find an association’s website, take time to explore if they have a local chapter you could get involved with and if they have resources for growing in your career field.

  1. Update your “big six” marketing materials.

The “big six” marketing tools will help you connect with employers, get interviews and ultimately receive job offers and promotions. These “big six” marketing tools will prepare you to conduct an effective job search and/or market yourself to your clients and customers.  The “big six” marketing tools are:

  • Targeted resume (According to The Ladders research, recruiters spend an average of “six seconds before they make the initial ‘fit or no fit’ decision” on candidates. Make sure your resume is updated and targeted for your career path.)
  • Targeted cover letter (According to a survey by the professional staffing service, Robert Half, 91% of executives polled said cover letters are valuable when evaluating job candidates. Having your cover letter up to date will allow you to be ready to apply for any jobs of interest.)
  • LinkedIn profile (Also, known as Resume 2.0. LinkedIn can be your online resume as well as being a vital tool in your job search process which we will look at in a later step.  94% of recruiters, according to top recruiting research company Jobvite, use LinkedIn to find qualified candidates.  Tend to your LinkedIn profile by adding connections, being active in groups and requesting endorsements.)
  • Strengths summary, a.k.a., “elevator pitch” (Many employers make decisions about job candidates within the first 30 seconds to two minutes of having met them. One of the most strategic things that you can do for yourself in making a good first impression is to develop a “commercial,” about 30 seconds in length, about what you can do for an employer.  Develop and practice using your strength summary as you network with those around you who can help you with your career advancement.)
  • Personal contact letter (William Frank, the author of 200 Letters For Job Hunters, says that, “Fifty to seventy-five percent of good jobs come from friends and acquaintances—and from their friends and acquaintances—by word of mouth. The higher the level of the job, the more that rule applies. At the senior executive and professional level, for example, as many as 90 percent of good jobs come through personal friends.” The personal contact letter is a cover letter that allows your friends and acquaintances to become involved in your job search.  Develop a personal contact cover letter that you can use with friends and acquaintances.)  
  • Direct employer contact letter (A direct employer contact letter is used to tap into the hidden, or unadvertised, job market where up to 85% of jobs are found. This type of cover letter is written to the hiring manager of a company for a job that has not been advertised and/or may not currently be available.  Start to identify the companies in your area that you would be motivated to be a part of their team.  Then send a letter along with your resume inquiring about opportunities for someone with your skills and experience.) 

The ChristianCareerCenter.com offers resume writing and job search services.  Also, the Career Fit Test  is a low cost option that provides help for developing your “big six” marketing tools.

  1. Invest time in updating your online brand.

Ninety percent of employers will google your name.  What will they find?  Does your LinkedIn profile, Facebook and any other online presence represent you well?  Take action to polish you’re your online presence to present your best professional self.

  1. Evaluate your challenge and support.

Challenge within your work life needs to be balanced by support for you to have growth in your career.  Too much challenge and not enough support and you will probably be stressed and anxious.  Low amounts of challenge with lots of support and you will probably be bored.  Do you need to add more support or challenge or both? 

Your network can be one of your best support tools if you take time to nurture it.  This can be as simple as sending a colleague an article that they may find helpful or asking a friend to go out for coffee.  Do this with the mindset of not what is in it for you but rather what you can do for someone else.  Zig Ziglar was known for saying, "You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want."

These eight action steps can help you to have a healthy and rewarding career in 2019.

 

© Article copyright by Kevin and Kay Marie Brennfleck, National Certified Career Counselors, ChristianCareerCenter.com, ChurchJobsOnline.com and ChristianJobFair.com.  All rights reserved. The above information is intended for personal use only. No commercial use of this information is authorized without written permission.