What char­ac­ter­is­tics are key to work on to de­velop my ca­reer?

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ANNE-MARIE DOLAN HR leader, Aus­tralian Hu­man Re­sources In­sti­tute

MANY of th­ese will be de­pen­dent on the type of ca­reer you are seek­ing to pur­sue but there are a few key char­ac­ter­is­tics that any em­ployer will look for, re­gard­less of role or in­dus­try. Loy­alty is im­por­tant. While em­ploy­ers will ex­pect to see some move­ment in your ca­reer, par­tic­u­larly in the early stages, ev­i­dence of com­mit­ment to an or­gan­i­sa­tion is a good sign. Com­mit­ment to growth is also good to demon­strate. Fur­ther­ing your stud­ies and ex­pe­ri­ence in a va­ri­ety of ways (eg cour­ses, vol­un­teer­ing, work ex­pe­ri­ence) is a good in­di­ca­tor to em­ploy­ers that you are com­mit­ted to an in­dus­try or pro­fes­sion.

Mid-ca­reer ADRI­ANNA LOVEDAY Gen­eral man­ager HR con­sult­ing, Rand­stad

TIME and time again, re­search demon­strates there are clear links be­tween op­ti­mism and ca­reer success. Op­ti­mism is the abil­ity to view hap­pi­ness as a nor­mal state, see neg­a­tive events as tem­po­rary glitches and sense op­por­tu­ni­ties even in the face of ad­ver­sity. The skill al­lows us to be re­silient, fo­cus on what can be achieved and seek the valu­able les­son in ev­ery sit­u­a­tion, rather than drown­ing in neg­a­tive emo­tions, such as dis­ap­point­ment in per­form­ing poorly at a job in­ter­view. Look around you and you will prob­a­bly no­tice that op­ti­mistic peo­ple tend to look at their ca­reer prob­lems dif­fer­ently.

Ex­pe­ri­enced TIM ROCHE Prac­tice leader, Right Man­age­ment ca­reer tran­si­tion

I SUG­GEST that peo­ple fo­cus on three key ar­eas. Have a clear un­der­stand­ing of your strengths – de­fined as high-skill, high­en­joy­ment ac­tiv­i­ties or the things you can do with your eyes closed. Un­der­stand the roles with which th­ese strengths are best aligned. Too of­ten, peo­ple take on roles not aligned to their strengths and their per­for­mance suf­fers. It’s best to de­velop a ca­reer strat­egy map cov­er­ing in­cre­ments of 10 years at a time. Such a map cre­ates mul­ti­ple op­tions based on ex­ist­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and helps peo­ple un­der­stand their lever­age points.

The Ex­pert MICHELLE BENT­LEY Gen­eral man­ager, Don­ing­ton tran­si­tion and out­place­ment

THIS will vary from per­son to per­son but there are generic el­e­ments that should be re­viewed or con­sid­ered. Are you suit­ably qual­i­fied, trained and have rel­e­vant ex­pe­ri­ence? If not, en­rol in a train­ing/devel­op­ment pro­gram to ad­dress your short­fall. If ex­pe­ri­ence is miss­ing and you just can’t get that job, try vol­un­teer­ing in an aligned busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment. Draw on and im­prove your net­works and get out and about talk­ing to peo­ple in that in­dus­try. Build a rep­u­ta­tion as a proac­tive ‘‘ can do’’ per­son who as­pires to and at­tains high-qual­ity work. Be re­spect­ful, hon­est, gen­uine and help­ful in your busi­ness deal­ings.

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