Career Tune-up
When was the last time tuned-up your career assets? What exactly are career assets? These are those things that allow you to seamlessly win the career race every time you compete. After all, everyone knows the best time to look for a new job is when you don’t need one.

“Wait a minute,” you say. “Why would I want to look if I am great where I am?” Well, like a flamingo with your head in the sand-what you don’t know WILL hurt you. Getting a career tune-up will allow your career to run more smoothly, effectively and competitively, when uncertainty occurs.

Certainly, taking this check-up from the neck-up regarding your career is easiest when you are in a good place. In order to continually compete in the career race, you will need to take regular reviews of how career “fit” you are. Consider tuning-up the following assets in your career inventory and keep your career competitive and humming.

Inventory Asset #1 Your Potential Value to Others
First, identify those who you presently support at work. These are the folks who would be happy to say good things about you. Next, get their contact information or, if you are daring, ask them for a written personal reference to put in your reference file. Reference letters will serve you well, especially as you, your peers and supervisors move into different job places throughout your career. The reference letter is a documented snapshot of your success as you progress! Peers are especially good for references as these people often reflect the best responses from working closely with you. Be persistent!

Inventory Asset #2 Your Career Passport to the Next Stop
One of the biggest mistakes you will make in your career is waiting too long to update your skills and accomplishments. How easily we forget the projects, our contribution and our value. Waiting until you need your resume or career profile to work on it will delay your distribution for finding new opportunities. Updates on resumes and career profiles should happen at least every three months. Be committed!

Inventory Asset #3 Your Value in the Current Marketplace
How does your resume compare competitively to others? What new skills are in demand? Now is the time to freshen up your “toolbox” and learn a new skill, take a class, or ask for a new project assignment. Interview known experts in areas of your interest and ask them to project what might be the next “hot” need in their discipline. This value research also develops your level of knowledge regarding your personal compensation levels and potentials. Be relentless!

Inventory Asset #4 Your Crystal Ball
The workplace has drastically changed in the last decade. Keep current with workplace trends for your career health. One of the easiest ways to predict changes and shifts that will affect your career is to join associations. Associations often will publish information specific to the industry and position career needs are they relate to new workplace initiatives. These affiliations will also give you an instant network for getting information on new job opportunities as they arise. Be involved!

Now, get started on your career tune-up. Make it a habit at least every six months or at least every six thousand miles. Is your career humming yet?