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Perform a once-a-year career check-in to help reassess your goals

Tami Palmer Founder greyzone, Job Search Coaching and Career Mentoring

It’s good practice to do a job search once a year just to confirm that you are where you want to be. The process will teach you the important life lesson to manage your career through conscious choice. Are you ready to conduct a career check-in? Follow this advice to guide your way.


Do dust off your resume

A career check-in is a great time to update your resume. Layer in the past year accomplishments, projects completed, all those juicy ROI details companies love to hear about. If you get in the habit of doing this in conjunction with your annual review it makes the process easier to manage.

Do update your LinkedIn profile

After you update your resume, do the same for your LinkedIn. Add in more skills (recruiters search these keywords) and determine if the summary is still as accurate as it was a year ago. We all change and grow and our career identity is not fixed.

Do reconnect with old colleagues

Have you lapsed with networking? Staying connected with career colleagues is critical for career success. Find an old boss or colleague and invite them to lunch or coffee - get out and start discovering the great big world outside your office.

Do research the job market

Ask around to see who's hiring, what companies are growing, who's cited for their positive culture. Read through your local business paper and get a feel for who the movers and shakers are in your community.

Do allow for self-reflection

Find a way to tap into those million dollar questions around what you want to do with your life. If your career were to end this year, would you feel like you'd been doing fulfilling work? If not, how can you get on a path that really means something to you? Processing alone can often send you into a tailspin. This is when a good friend or a professional career mentor can best help.


Do not overcommit to the process

You have a job and you don't have to leave, so don't let this become a source of stress. Keep your eyes open, but don't let the search process overwhelm your life. Just decide to be open to new opportunities.

Do not pre-decide on network contacts

Sometimes people pre-determine a contact’s worth. Stay open. You never know who knows who and each new contact could lead you down an unexpected trail.

Do not get trapped by your own tapes

That line about us being our own worst enemy is true. We limit ourselves more than others do. For instance women apply for jobs when they have the majority of required skills, men when they have a few. Go for it and dream big.

Do not force it

If you thought you wanted to do a search, but can't get the mojo up to get moving that's okay. Follow the flow and if the energy isn't there, then acknowledge that it's not time, that you're okay where you're at and review again in a year.

Do not perceive staying as failure

Remember this process started out as one to confirm that you're in the right spot. Choosing to stay is often the decision, but you'll now stay as an active career choice as opposed to the passive slipping of time.

Jumping cartoon

So find that old resume lost on your hard drive, call an old work friend and begin to think about what you want out of your career and if your current job is getting you there. Overwhelmed? Just like a personal trainer at the gym, there are always coaches out there to help guide the way.

More expert advice about Managing Your Career as an Employee

Photo Credits: © Andrey Kiselev -; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas -

Tami PalmerFounder

I'm Tami, greyzone's Founder. I'm a Mom, best-friend, big sister and a boss rolled into one. I have worked in the staffing and human resources management industries for over 15 years and held leadership roles at ACT 1 Personnel, SpectraLink and ...

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