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Keep Yourself Relevant by Sharpening Your Skills

Do you know your strengths, interests, or what is meaningful to you? Do you know how to navigate 40 years of your life?

In our career development workshops, most participants confess that they don't spend enough time planning their careers. Some people do think about their job security but lack a systematic process to guide their thinking on careers.

Most people are so busy with work or their personal lives that they have little time to think about their careers. This is an insidious trap because 40 years of our lives can drift by quickly. Career development, which is really planning one’s life, starts with you.

A friend of mine has to work in KL and shuttle back during weekends to be with his three children. Yet another friend who goes through restructuring every 9 months, does not know if she has a job in the next year.

There is indeed a lot of churn in the world of work. How do we keep ourselves relevant? This is a critical and actually low-level question according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The prized question should be - what is the best work I can do that will give me meaning, trigger my creativity and ignite my passion?


Dr. Beverly Kaye, a pioneer in the field of career development, suggests these 5 steps to guide our thinking on career development:

1) Know Who You Are

What are your strengths, interests and values? What energizes you at work? What do you naturally do well in? What is important to you at work?

2) Know What Others Think of You

What is your reputation? What is your brand? Reputation precedes opportunities. Manage your reputation or you will be managed by it.

3) Know the Future

What are the key trends in your organization, industry or global economy? How will these trends impact your opportunities? What skills will become more valuable in time?

Plan with the future in mind.

4) Know Your Options

Do you have any backup plans? Rather than think of a career ladder, think of a rock wall. To get ahead, sometimes you need to move right, left, diagonal, take a step or just grow in place. There are more options than you realize.

5) Know Your Plan

What do you need to learn now and how?

Take action. Focus on development. Opportunities go to people who are prepared. Know what types of skills, experiences and exposure you need.

These 5 steps will help you navigate your career path. Talk to your peers, managers or people who have walked the journey. Then put your learning into action. Lastly, remember, there is nothing we cannot do - only what we have not learnt to do!

"It was one of the bets in my life. I owe a lot to CareerPower. It opened my eyes. If I never went through that, I would have continued to disguise my short-term goals as my long-term vision. Now I feel like I'm living a dream." - CareerPower Graduate, Shipping and Receiving, Gaming Destination Resort

Written by Wendy Tan

- Author, Keynote Speaker & Managing Partner of Flame Centre | Future Skills Institute


If this topic is useful to you, let’s schedule a chat. Feel free to share this blog with others in your network. Thank you!


Information on Career Planning Workshop for Professionals:

Learn more here.

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