If you’ve been following the OITE blog this year, you know that in the start of 2012 we decided to help you make a Calendar for Career Success. We picked topics, and blogged about them, giving you advice (and sometimes challenges) each month to help you drive your career. In short, we wanted 2012 to be the ‘Year for Your Career.’
And given that it is December, it is time to sit back and reminisce about the past year – because that is what everyone does in December, right? Some of the things we talked about this year included having conversations about your career goals. Not just you and your friends talking about your dream job over lunch, but a directed conversation with your PI or a career counselor. These can be tough – but worthwhile. They help you take control of your career – set a plan, and work with people that have experience and knowledge to help you create a successful career plan.
And sometimes we made you work – pulling together resources to create your job application, practicing your interviewing skills. Because your career plan is not just a theory or a timeline on a piece of paper, but something you engage in: Thinking critically about your resume or CV, assessing your skills and abilities, and taking advantage of resources and opportunities to strengthen your career.
If you followed our career calendar for 2012 (you can find it here) then congratulations! You deserve a good pat on the back. Even if you are in your same job now (because you weren’t on the job market in 2012) or not (despite your best efforts you still haven’t moved on to your dream job), actively working on your career each month is a great achievement. Even people in their ‘dream’ job constantly engage in making their career a ‘priority.’ They attend conferences and network with colleagues; they think about how to either gain new skills or apply the ones they have to new questions or problems. For these people, focus is on making their current job more interesting or more challenging, not on getting a new one.
But why should 2012 be the only “Year of Your Career?” The answer: No reason. Every year can be your career year. And if you weren’t reading our blog in January of 2012 (shame on you, by the way), then there is no reason not to start working on our calendar in January 2013. And if you’ve been with us all year long, you can continue to actively work on your career – whether you want to just be better at your current job, or get a new one.
In short, your career is an activity, not a thing. And by setting up a career calendar, and sticking to it, you’ve decided that your career is a priority, and actively engage in having your dream career!