What Children Can Teach Us About Career Management, Part 2

Two girls holding hands while walking to schoolYesterday, I started a series on lessons that can be learned about career management from children. Continued here are more thoughts.

4) Routine is king!

Anyone who has been a parent knows that keeping a consistent routine for children leads to them being more calm and secure. Relatively little is in their control when they are young, so it makes sense that being able to know what to expect would soothe them.

What can be really amusing are the routines they devise themselves. My little guy is a good one for this. This is what happens in the morning without fail: when I hear that he is awake, I go to his room and find that everything that has been in his bed is scattered all over the floor. I get him dressed and put him down to clean up his belongings. As he picks up each stuffed animal, he has to give it a hug and then he hands it to me to give it a hug. I then give it back to him and he puts it away. We go through that every. single. morning.

Routines are also very important for all stages of career management, whether you are an active job seeker or if you are at a comfortable point in your position/career.

For those who have experienced job loss, a lack of scheduling can really derail your efforts. You may end up wasting a lot of time on activities that don’t hone in on your goal of getting a job or making your career change a reality. By keeping a daily schedule for everything you need to do — networking online and in-person, following up on job leads, preparing cover letters and résumés that match the needs of the company you are targeting, preparing for interviews — you can be sure that your time will be better spent on activities that will help you reach your goals.

Even if you are in a position right now, you should routinely ensure that you are adequately managing your career. When was the last time you updated your résumé? Has it been a while since you connected with key contacts in your network? How aware are you of the latest happenings in your industry? Maintain an action plan that will allow you to progress in your career and to be prepared in case you experience a sudden job loss.

5) Kids love to network.

Once children get to that stage of development when they have more awareness of the world around them, they are curious about other people. They want to make friends. They regularly seek them out.

My daughter is already a huge social butterfly — she loves going out (even if it’s a quick run to the grocery store). Meeting people and forming connections is a big deal for her. She’s always asking when we are going to see this person or that one, and I can see that it’s only going to pick up speed when she get into the school-aged years.

When it comes to getting a job, the statistics are clear — 80% of job seekers got their current position through networking. A tweet that Joni Liebel (@JoniLiebel) put out earlier this week also speaks volumes about the importance of networking:

“Who you are and who you know is more valuable than what you know. – Thomas Leonard”

That’s not to discount having a solid background of accomplishments and a thorough understanding of your field. You need those, too. However, if you don’t cultivate good connections or if you let them “dry up” by not reaching out to them, you lose out on that edge that can be gained when someone can give a first-hand testimonial on your work.

A reminder — the JibberJobber giveaway ends tonight at 9:00 pm Pacific time! Enter to win one of three three-month premium memberships to JibberJobber, an awesome job searching and career management tool.

More on this series to come!

Image courtesy of D Sharon Pruitt

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