Imagine this: You’re in a good job, you like what you do, and your career is on the right track.

The question is, do you just relax and enjoy the view? While it might be tempting to kick back during such times, the truth is a bit more complicated.

Enjoying your success is important, but staying proactive about your career management is crucial. Why? Staying prepared is the best way to ensure you continue to thrive when the world of work is constantly changing.

Proactive Beats Reactive Every Time

Embracing proactivity allows you to lead the charge in your career, ensuring you’re always one step ahead rather than scrambling to catch up.

How many people do you know who have been caught off-guard by sudden changes like a new boss, a shift in company direction, or even a sale of the company? Perhaps you’ve experienced it yourself. These changes can shake up your career unexpectedly, often leaving you unprepared to navigate the job market.

The key is to be proactive rather than reactive.

Proactive Career Management Strategies

Quarterly Reviews:

Start with the basics: keep a record of your achievements.

Every quarter, make a date with yourself to document your contributions, achievements, and accomplishments. This is more than just busy work. It ensures that your resume and LinkedIn profile are always current and reflect your latest successes and capabilities, which is invaluable when opportunity knocks.

Meanwhile, you’ll be better prepared for performance reviews and making a case for your next promotion!

Networking and Building Connections:

Networking isn’t just for job seekers.

Regularly schedule coffee or lunch meetings with colleagues within and beyond your department, especially those above your level. This helps build a robust professional network and opens doors to opportunities within your organization that you might not have known existed.

Be sure to attend professional conferences and events — at least one each quarter — to grow your network outside your organization.

Seeking Recommendations:

Don’t underestimate the power of a fresh recommendation on LinkedIn. Reach out to someone you’ve worked with recently—maybe a project manager or a peer—and ask if they can endorse your skills. This adds credibility and keeps your profile dynamic.

Aim to add one new recommendation each quarter so you won’t ever be seen doing the “mad dash” that signals your employer that you are actively looking.

Interview Readiness:

Revise and refresh your I-STAR Interview Stories regularly. These narratives—describing the Impact you’ve made on the business in addition to the Situation, Task, Action, and Result of your professional experiences—help you articulate your value in interviews and performance reviews.

Career Readiness:

Review your career goals and strategies regularly to ensure you’re on track to your ideal next role, and seek advice from trusted mentors or peers to refine your approach.

Take Charge of Your Career

Celebrating and enjoying periods of stability and success in your career is important. Celebrate, yes. But remember, these periods are also the best time to prepare for your next career move.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

— Peter Drucker

Take one small step today. Update a section of your LinkedIn profile, or set up a meeting with a colleague. These small actions can have a big impact on your career readiness.

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