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You Are on Your Own: Manage Your Career

Since about fifteen years ago, workers in both public and private sectors have learned to expect layoffs, or mergers or governmental deregulation. Job security has become a myth. Now that you are on your own, the best discipline to specialize in is, managing your career.

While the average employee never knows when he or she will be downsized, there some patterns that may pre-arm you that your organization is making changes. Be alert and follow financial patterns of your industry and how they affect your organization?s bottom line. While the rumor mill may be not the best parameter for your prediction, remember ?where there is smoke there is fire??and possible pollution.

To stay employable, you have to be productive and effective. Measurable results and dynamic skills will keep you marketable. Which means you must learn to learn and transform knowledge and skills into measurable results.

In the unpredictable workplace jungle, your ability to seize future internal or external opportunities depends on how good you are at recognizing your strengths and overcoming obstacles. Your strengths must include recent or current accomplishments and accountability. These are not only bargain tools for you but also make you a transferable market piece.

In the March, 2000 issue of Southwest Airlines Spirit magazine John MacIntyre quoted startling statistics from the Texas Transportation Institute. He noted that there are 4.3 billion hours spent annually by people stuck in traffic in 68 large urban areas. This transforms into $72.2 billion ?lost in time and spent fuel.? These should never be wasted time for you. If you are in a car with a cassette player, that?s a mobile college. Listen to books on tapes.

In the past, getting the job done was what mattered to stay employed. Current trends show that the ability to relate with other people has traded places with technical know-how. A whopping 85% of one?s career depends on the ability to get along with others. Interpersonal skills, listening, solving conflicts and communication will help you seize the new century.

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