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Do you take your career seriously?

"An organization that concerns itself with career mentoring takes its employees’ growth seriously and a long-term approach to employee retention. That is certainly an attractive quality in the job market, and one that we should actively seek out."

With a new year ahead of us, now is a perfect time to re-evaluate your career and determine whether you are on the right track, but how many of us will actually do this?

Do you know where you are headed? Do you know what you want from your career? If you are not sure, perhaps it is time to pause and think about it. Taking the time to review your career path is an important, but sometimes overwhelming, task that many of us gloss over, put on long-term hold, or skip altogether.

Ask yourself the following:

  • What happens when you take your career seriously?
  • What happens if you don’t?

One answer is guaranteed to help you make the right choices, whilst the other is leaving it to chance. Which one is right for you?

If it is time to review or refresh your career plans, it's always worth asking whether your organization supports an internal mentorship program to help your professional growth. If not, you can always find an external mentor who can guide you through this rather daunting task.

An organization that concerns itself with career mentoring takes its employees’ growth seriously and a long-term approach to employee retention. That is certainly an attractive quality in the job market, and one that we should actively seek out.

Firstly, take a step back and ask yourself:

  • What are my interests? What am I good at? What are my greatest achievements? Where are my weaknesses?
  • Then ask yourself… where am I right now? What am I working towards? What do I want to do next?

You really need to work out the answers to these questions before you can move ahead, but you can get some help along the way!

Here are some top tips to help you get started with evaluating yourself:

  1. Understand where you are right now. The thought of trying to do this can have some of us running for the hills, but it may not be as daunting as you think.
  2. Ask for feedback from your peers and those who know you well to help you answer the questions. This always demonstrates that you are committed to improving your skills and contributing even more to the team.
  3. Request a mentor. A mentor will help to empower you, engage with you, and enable you to focus on your goals or help you set them. They can help you to realize what you can achieve regardless of the challenges that you might you foresee.
  4. Set goals for yourself and monitor them regularly. These goals should be over a 6 month-1 year period and broken down into manageable, focused tasks with ideas on how to achieve and measure your progress. You can always adjust your goals as you go depending on what you learn about yourself along the way.

So, will you do the above? If you prefer to put it off to think about for another day, then perhaps now is not the right time. You have control over your career and how successful you can be. You should own it! Isn’t it worth your time? If the answer is yes, then you are indeed taking your career seriously.

A good organization will have initiatives and mentorship programs available to you. Will you avail of them? You deserve it!

As well as a formal career mentorship program, see the link below to the types of career-enhancing initiatives that Parexel offers for its employees.

  • Wisdom Circle (Women Inspiring Success and Developing Others to Management)
  • MARC (Men Advocating Real Change)
  • WIL (Women in Leadership)
    See link: Women at Parexel

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