February 2017: Spring Clean Your Career

After a full weekend of near record temperature highs in Houston, “Spring Cleaning” is on my mind.  I know I’m probably a bit ahead of the curve on this, but having just put together:  2017 Goals, final tallies for 2016 and all my, not so “New” Year’s resolutions, Spring Cleaning is next on my list.

The Gulf Coast had a rough go the last 12-18 months, especially those in the Oil/Gas/Chemical industry.  During this time, many of my conversations resulted from mid-career professionals suddenly left without a job.  For most, this was a shocking, if not debilitating turn of events.  For many, the last time they thought about a resume was 10+ years ago.  Some haven’t updated their resume or accomplishments since college.  On the flip side, for many, the last interview was sitting on the hiring side of the table; certainly, with no thought they’d be changing places in the not too distant future.

Many were caught without a plan, reeling from the shock.

Although we can’t plan for the unexpected, in this day and time I do think it pays to be as prepared as possible, hence a bit of insurance.  As you browse the article from 2013, “It’s Time to ‘Spring Clean’ Your Career” by Andrew Kosztyo, I think you will find most of the items still impactful in 2017.  Note, small changes can make a big impact.  Key elements like:  Keeping up with your accomplishments and knowing the current industry “Buzz” words are just a few ideas to hopefully help make a smooth transition into a new role, should the need arise.

When it comes to “Buzz” words…it’s time to get rid of these phrases: “Highly Motivated,” “Dynamic Self-Starter” or “Effective Communicator.”  These are meaningless and show you’re out of touch.  Another that I often see is putting Microsoft Office on skills.  In this age of technology, it’s assumed that everyone is fully functional in Microsoft.  Other ideas, joining a new association in your specialty or attending a work-related conference serve a very useful purpose.  This is time well spent in keeping your career on track.  I can’t stress how impactful a deep industry network can be when you find yourself in this position.  If you look at your contact list and can’t find a single current industry contact outside your company, it’s time for an overhaul.

If you need help finding a resource for #3 from the list, “Ring a Recruiter,” please don’t hesitate to reach out to those of us at Whitaker.  We’d love the chance to help!

Karen Walding-Zuntych, Manager Business Development, Whitaker Technical



So, with apologies to Shakespeare, the question is thus — is your career still mired is its “winter of discontent,” or is it prepared to be “made glorious by the summer sun?” The following “top 11” list — top 10 lists are so cliché — will help you prepare your career for the new, new-normal:

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