Don’t Outsource Your Career

Don't Outsource Your CareerWhy is it, with something as important as a career, people are so willing to let others manage it?

A post by Suzanne Lucas on BNET talked about services that will take your résumé and send it out to pretty much anything that is a remote match — basically taking a spray and pray approach to finding a job for you. She referred to it as a “lazy way” to find a job, and I couldn’t agree more.

There are two things that I see wrong with employing a such a service:

  1. You are turning control of your job hunt over to someone else. While you may get to tell them the level of positions that are applied to, you don’t have a say in where your résumés go. How much control do you really have, then?
  2. The spray and pray method of job seeking is inherently a bad approach because it doesn’t take the time to properly target companies, not to mention that the positions being applied to may not be such a great fit (how can you know since anyone using this method is rifling résumés out there at a record pace?) Really, why would someone pay a service to do something that is a bad idea in the first place?

Another way that some folks check out of their careers is by letting others tell them what they should do. While trusted advisors who provide outside perspectives can be beneficial, looking to them for definitive answers when faced with career decisions is troubling.

Even if you have hired a career professional to craft your career marketing documents or to coach you on how to attain your work-related goals, the true purpose of the relationship isn’t to rely on him/her to determine your future. Instead, a career professional can take what is part of you already — your experiences, your current situation, your thoughts and ideas about the future — and organize them in a way that sheds additional light on your career path.

I understand — sometimes good career management is overwhelming. But just because you are having a bad stretch right now doesn’t mean you should abandon all responsibility to yourself. If you need to take a breather to avoid burnout from the vigilance that goes into sound career management, then do it. But then get back to it.

You owe it to yourself to take charge of the direction of your career.

Image courtesy of Nyugen Hung Vu

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