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August 2007
Run your career like you’re running a business!

by Susan Reynolds

…Because your career ultimately is your business! Do an analysis and make a business plan for your career, just as you would any business unit.

First, inventory your skills and capabilities. Then analyze the potential marketplace that utilizes and needs your kinds of offerings. Think broadly, identifying all sorts of different types of industries and scenarios in which you might have a market. Be open and imaginative. Research types of businesses about which you know very little. Be ready to learn that there are markets and possibilities you had not previously envisioned.

Analyze your competition. What types of people have similar backgrounds and educations to your own? What additional pieces might they be able to offer that you are missing? Think through issues such as leadership skills, particular exposures to technologies or systems, sales acumen, computer literacy… anything that would cause another individual to be considered more readily for a career opportunity than you.

Evaluate your fair market price. What should you be worth in the marketplace? How do differences in industries, locations, responsibilities, or specific titles make to your appropriate expected compensation package? How are other individuals matching your goals being paid?

Make a long range plan. Think about the various directions you might choose after three, five, and ten years. What will you want to change? What additional education or training might you want to obtain long term? What will it take to make that growth happen, while still meeting the needs you and your family have personally?

Write a simple business plan following all these steps of analysis and you will have laid the groundwork for a career advancement plan that will work for you long term! Then go execute it!

Susan Reynolds is a senior partner at Newmarket Careers in Santa Clarita, a job search and career strategy firm geared toward managerial, executive, and senior level professional careers. She can be reached at or 661-755-3308.

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