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Denise Kirwan

Principal/Founder, TracksGlobal Business Consulting & Executive Coaching

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Career Health, Part 2: Take Your Vitamins

11/29/2013 10:09PM | 7617 views

In Part 1 of this article, we discussed the importance of conducting an annual career check-up, with a self-evaluation checklist that included four key vitals: healthy relationships, job knowledge, self-management and individual development. 

Once you have completed your annual career check-up, you can energize your career with a few simple changes and a few career “Vitamins.”

Vitamin A: Ask for help/support. Always look to associate yourself with people you respect and trust.  Ask them to help you create a career development plan;  you can also engage a career coach. Join associations such as Toastmasters or other professional  organizations to meet people who will be able to help you in your career development. 

If you are in school or attended a college or university, find out how you can gain access to Hispanic alumni who may be in careers  similar to yours to learn how they developed from entry point to higher-level opportunities.

Vitamin B: Balance.  Take time to take care of yourself. There is never enough time to do all of the things we want to do. However, you can take some steps to balance work and personal life.  For example, watch less TV and instead go work out with a friend or family member. Just going out for a walk has physical and emotional benefits  that can promote more balance in your life.

Vitamin C: Control your career.  Of course, you cannot change things beyond your control, but if you are feeling overwhelmed, make subtle changes.  Look at your ways of working and see how you can improve your time management and productivity.  By improving one or two small things in your daily routine, you will begin to see how much more control you can have over your daily work life.

Vitamin D: Development.  One of the most important career health management practices you can deploy is to remain current and relevant – this will keep your career  fresh. Don’t wait for others to push how and when you develop, you are in charge of your own development.  Even if your employer does not offer classes or training, you can still  make a development plan. 

With today’s technology, you can learn so much, so easily.  Try podcasts and free university content on the Internet (such as iTunes University or MOOCs); the possibilities are endless.  Pursue culturally-relevant education  and learn how to use your Hispanic values as sources of strength instead of  barriers to advancement.

Vitamin F: Feedback.  Look for feedback from people you respect. Ask them to provide you with honest feedback for improvement.  Also, feedback on what you do well and what you can do more of is a great way to improve and re-vitalize your career.  Some of the people who may be able to give you excellent feedback are your direct supervisor, peers, and  those who may work for you. If your organization supports it, 360 degree feedback can be a valuable tool. 

Vitamin KKnow yourself.  Take time  for introspection, to better understand what you enjoy doing, your current skill-sets, and what you are passionate about.  Most people excel when they are doing something they love to do.  Know what your passion is and incorporate it into your career.  This may mean  volunteering for some different types of projects or learning new tasks.  If you believe your interests may lie elsewhere, it’s a great idea to be very honest with yourself about that, too.  You might try taking a career interest survey such as The Campbell Interest and Skills Survey(please contact for information regarding taking this survey in Spanish). 

Finally, create a plan for career health that inspires you!  Make it achievable with realistic time limits: 

  • What is one thing you can do to get started in the next week?
  • What can you begin/finish in the next 30 days?
  • 30-90 days?
  • 6 months?
  • 9 months?

And don’t forget – in 12 months, your plan should include your next annual Career Health check-up.  Enjoy and have a healthy career!

Silvia Van Dusen also contributed to this article.


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