Wednesday, 3 September 2014


If you're developing your career strategy consider your use of language carefully. You will achieve greater clarity and find it easier to maintain focus if you build a set of descriptors that market the real you.

Call it a 'phrase bank' or 'compendium of terms' that clearly define your career attributes; ready to be used at a moment's notice. Pre-arming yourself in this way instills purpose and conviction.

Remember, be precise and grammatically astute. 'Creativity' is not a skill. It is a quality, a trait, a state-of-mind. Arguably, a value. (Values fuel your desire to deliver your skills.) 'Creating' is a skill. As a rule, skills end in -ing. They are verbs. Doing words. Opportunities to do 'your thing'; which will underpin your vocational identity.

Another self-marketing principle is that verbs should be in the past tense on your CV/Resume. They end in -ed. For example, "Designed a new database using Excel which managed our stock inventory and led to a 17% increase in the organisation's ability to ship orders to customers and fulfill expectations 99% of the time."

In your phrase bank of career attributes, consider the ingredients in your strategy. Or, as I call it, your 'Career Dovetail'. Alongside skills, these will include: values, qualifications, experience, competencies, achievements, quantitative results, publications, the list goes on.

On the other side of your career strategy formula, define/decide what other parameters influence your options. Categories such as: the geographical area you might work, supply and demand of your chosen career in your local labour market. Your lifestyle choices and costs relating to them will determine wage decisions. Your social network and willingness to relocate.

All these strategic ingredients will feed into the clarity of how you manage your career and your ability to leverage opportunities when they arise.

One final point, opportunities are seized upon. They don't come to you! Hence, the need to be prepared.