Has anybody ever told you "As soon as you start a new job you should be working on the next one"?  It sounds a little extreme, but it′s not a million miles from the truth.

One of the rules of good career management is to always have a career objective out there in front of you.  As professional consultants in outplacement and career management, we know that people need to take responsibility and develop a mid-term career objective:

"In five years time, I want to be the Finance Director of a medium sized company with a turnover of £500m."

In the earlier issues of Career Talk, we have touched on the importance of looking at the Four Factors.  They are My Strengths, The Market Place, My Needs and My Career Drivers.    These are the four areas which need close analysis. We draw our conclusions and we list our career options:

"Based on the Four Factors, my career objective is to be........".

If you are in a good job now, ensure you use it as part of your strategic plan.  If your job is at risk or it has recently slipped from under you, don′t just go for a quick fix and take the first hire that comes along.  Far better to choose a job that supports the mid-term career strategy.  Ask yourself what route and which jobs will best lead you to achieving the five-year plan.

Taking responsibility for making decisions about career moves, both inside and outside your present organisation, is a smart thing to do and,frankly, it′s essential.