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Lifetime Career Management(tm): It's Not Just (About) a Job...It's an Adventure!
By Darrell W. Gurney, CPC, JCTC, CCMC, RScP


Lifetime Career Management: a simple concept...a system any ambitious person would naturally use, right? Wrong! After 17 years in recruiting and career coaching, I'm often amazed at the lack of forethought and planning that goes into individuals' careers. By far I would say a majority of folks employ an emergency career management strategy: I need another job because of a layoff; I need to move fast because the company's going in the wrong direction; I'm desperate to leave because I'm dying here! Rather than recreate the career wheel for every transition, it's best for working individuals to keep their options always open.


How does one focus on a current job while staying abreast of other options? By establishing career partnerships(tm) that last a lifetime.


"Keep...your networking working, and your eyes and ears open for clues of changes coming that could be hazardous to the health of your career. Never stop looking out for number one."
-Harvey Mackay, Sharkproof


Here's a quick test to determine if you utilize lifetime career management.(tm) Let's say you just landed a great position (on your own, through your networks or through a headhunter...doesn't matter) making more money than you ever have doing exactly what you want to do. What do you do the first week on the job?


A) Notify everyone involved in your search that you're happy and settled now so please, "take me off your list"

B) Rework your resume to include your present job description and send it, along with an updated "wish list," to your favorite recruiter(s)

C) Send the first of many quarterly check-in notes to your back-door network alerting them as to your current status


D) Find the nearest dry cleaner and Starbucks to the office


A is the current standard. B sounds absurd, but let me make a case for executing it along with Cóeven before D! If you don't update your "career partners" with your particulars right away, you will only think to do so during your next career-angst moment. It's called emergency career management. You don't update them now because you're itching to make yet another move. But putting your new paperwork in the hands of a few trusted recruiters and giving a quarterly heads-up to your network will keep you tuned in to arising opportunities that you should at least know about. You may not move for another 10 years...but it doesn't hurt to hear about what's going on in your field. Pay attention to what's out there-you never know when it might be you!


"Take a chance on romance. Even if you're secure in your job and not seeking to make a switch, you may change your mind if the right opportunity comes along."
-Harvey Mackay, Sharkproof




Darrell W. Gurney, veteran Headhunter, Career Coach, and Home-Based CEO is Principal of A Permanent Success National Career Coaching & Home-Based-CEO Partners and author of Headhunters Revealed! Career Secrets for Choosing and Using Professional Recruiters ($14.95, Softcover), available online at and . Headhunters Revealed! received the Clarion Award for Best Book from the Association for Women in Communications, has been reviewed in Publishers Weekly and the American Library Association's Booklist.

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