Career Anchors: Understanding Who You Are and Getting the Job You Want

career anchorsIn today’s world it is important to manage your career so you can reach your career goals and thrive in your work environment.  The companies and organizations that you are employed by are charged with making the company profitable and successful, which does not always mean an attention to employee development.

Managing your own career means having the knowledge to know what is best for you – what sets you apart and what you need in a work environment in order to succeed and be happy. When you are successful in your career and happy, the company you work for is happy and the benefits multiply.

So where do you start? Identifying your career anchor can be a great step in the direction of knowing what you are looking for and an aid as you create a personal business model that will guide you into career success, rewrite your resume to align with your needs, engage in interviews to land the perfect job and eventually transition into your dream job.

What is a Career Anchor?

Your career anchor is a useful assessment of what your competencies, motives and career values are. It is an understanding of what makes you tick at the workplace, what you find important and how you are motivated to achieve the goals that are set before you – either personally set or set by the management that you work for. Your career anchor helps you identify the specific roles and disciplines that fit your style, skills, methods and talents. Plus, it is all based on a self assessment, which means you can contribute your experience and goals to the assessment even if you are in a position that doesn’t fully utilize your experience and talents right now.

When you are assessing new job opportunities, do you look for ones that will properly fit your values and personal work-life preferences? Many jobs sound great on paper, but knowing your career anchor will help you weed through the ones that are going to lead to an imbalance in what you see as important. For example, one of the career anchors is Lifestyle. The Lifestyle career anchor indicates a preference for balance between work requirements, family needs and personal needs. A person with a high Lifestyle career anchor would probably be incredibly unhappy as a personal assistant that was on call all day and all night, never completely in control of their own schedule or able to leave the office work at the office when they were done with their day. Security, entrepreneurship, autonomy, promotion access, and many other career anchors influence the way you excel in or despise your work environment and knowing what cornerstone would help you make great career decisions is what the career anchor is all about.

How to use Your Career Anchor

With this understanding you may find it easier to navigate the decisions that are before you in regards to your career. The information in the report may help you see why some of your positions have been encouraging and full of growth while others have seemed to hinder your progress. The ideas in the assessment could help you understand why you feel you have been stuck in a rut or why you are so focused on that next promotion. Along with the information and ideas of the assessment you will have solid career guidance for moving forward, which is what managing your career yourself is all about. This guidance will help you determine how to best present yourself in interviews for new jobs, promotions, or even requests to move laterally within the same company in order to be in a position in which you could really excel.

Additionally, this knowledge can help you in your personal life as you will be able to communicate with the ones around you what you are looking for in personal development opportunities, what is important to you as you make decisions and when it is time for change. This knowledge can help you identify the support you need, the further education you should consider and the experience you should highlight in order to fully realize your career potential.

When it comes down to the bottom-line, what would it take to get you in the job of your dreams and thriving in it? Your career anchor can help you identify and answer this exact question as it pertains to what is important to you in your workplace and give you the vocabulary to explain it so potential bosses can identify your unique fit to their team.

Branding Yourself

We have all heard of branding for products and businesses, but what about branding yourself? With your knowledge of your career anchor you can learn to brand yourself in a way that is sure to land you a great job at a great company, because you will know what to highlight about your skills and experience as well as your needs in order to be happy.

This branding is good for your potential employers as well because they will know what they are getting when they hire you and how you would potentially fit with their already working team. Imagine finding the best job, the best fit and the best team partially because you were able to express what was most important to you in your work life and your employer was able to understand and provide for that need right from the start. Branding is a great way to succinctly communicate what is most important about your biggest asset – yourself.

Branding yourself also includes what is important about how your image is communicated over the internet. Today, employers look up social media profiles and information about their applicants before they even meet them. What does a Google search of your name look like to a potential employer? Will you walk into the interview with marks in your favor or marks against you because of what they find online? Developing your personal brand can help you go from one of many to the one that stands out and gets the dream job.

Branding yourself doesn’t mean just taking down that embarrassing photo of you that your friends posted last year. It means intentionally highlighting the qualities that an employer would be looking for and putting your best foot forward no matter what website they come across. Something as simple as a byline on a career focused article for an applicable website could help show a potential employer that you are serious about your job and know what you are talking about which improves your personal brand.

Resume Tips and Winning Interviews

Now that you have identified your career anchor and are convinced that it is time to transition to a new job that significantly improves your work-life happiness, it is time to find that perfect fit and get offered that dream job.

Create an engaging, professional, well-designed and attention-grabbing resume that will be sure to get you noticed by the hiring managers and CEOs of your dream company. Beyond the basics be sure to include the following:

  • Experience that shows  your passion and potential
  • Action words that reveal your drive and goals
  • Personal objectives that highlight your compatibility
  • Customized details that ensure you are the perfect fit

When your standout resume wins you an interview be ready with all the tools you need to make a great first impression. From non-verbal communication to confidence, answering the most challenging questions and negotiating your salary and benefits, you can excel with a perfect interview that ensures you stand out.

Don’t be overwhelmed, you can break down all the steps it takes to get to your dream job and complete the tasks you need to complete over the course of seven days.

Transitioning to a New Career

You are a unique person with unique goals, aspirations and needs in the workplace. Focusing on identifying your uniqueness and developing the value you have to bring to any organization will open the door for potential career changes. Transitioning to a new career doesn’t have to make you anxious or be overly risky. If you are ready to transition to a new career, it is time to focus on what it will take to get you out of your current position that just isn’t cutting it and into a great position that is fully aligned with your goals.

By starting with the career anchor assessment and tailoring your personal brand, your resume, your interview style and your path to success to align with your knowledge of what will make your career the most fulfilling, you will ensure that your next career move is the best career move for you. There is nothing stopping you from going from invisible and unhappy to invincible and successful.  There is also nothing stopping you from simply acknowledging that it is time for something new even if you have experienced some success with your current positing. With the knowledge, tips and insight you gain from developing your personal business plan you can land your dream job and accelerate your career this very month!