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8 Steps to a Healthy Career Checkup in 2018 (Part II)

8 Steps to a Healthy Career Checkup in 2018 (Part II)

By Kevin and Kay Marie Brennfleck


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 four more healthy action steps for your 2018 career checkup: 


5.  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 resources article for finding the cheapest and easiest ways to learn anything.

Associations can be a part of your training and development.  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 connected with that career field.  Once you find an association, schedule to go to your first event.

6.  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.)

7.  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.

8. 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 and 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." 


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