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Darrell Gurney (CareerGuy)

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Lifetime Career Management™
By Darrell Gurney (CareerGuy)   

Last edited: Saturday, September 23, 2000
Posted: Wednesday, September 06, 2000

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Ask the Career Meister™ Column

Lifetime Career Management™: It's Not Just (About) a Job...It's an Adventure!

Lifetime Career Management: a simple concept…a system any ambitious person would naturally use, right? Wrong! After 14 years in the recruiting business, 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! With the demise of corporate "loyalty" to employees over the last 20 years, and the frenetic rise and fall of dot.coms on every e-corner, the phrase "job security" has become an oxymoron. The time has come for working individuals to keep their options always open.
How does one focus on a job, while at the same time staying abreast of "options?" By establishing career partnerships™ with professional recruiters.

"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.™ Let's say you just landed a great position (on your own 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) 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-even before C! If you don't update your "career partners" with your particulars right away, you will only remember to do so during your next desperate moment. It's called emergency career management. This is not because you're already available to make another move. Nor is it to say that you will post your new resume everywhere (e.g., the Internet). Yet putting it in the hands of a few trusted recruiters who know your long-term hopes and desires keeps you tuned in to opportunities arising 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. If a recruiter offers you a discreet interview with someone who has expressed an interest in you, consider exploring the jungle. You could be pleasantly surprised."
-Harvey Mackay, Sharkproof

Darrell W. Gurney, Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC), is Principal of A Permanent Success National Career/Search Partners (, and author of Headhunters Revealed! Career Secrets for Choosing and Using Professional Recruiters ($14.95, Softcover), available online at or by calling 1-877-4-HEADHUNT. Headhunters Revealed! was recently reviewed in Publishers Weekly, the American Library Association's Booklist, and Midwest Book Review, and has been featured in nationally syndicated career columnist's Joyce Lain Kennedy's "Careers Now." © Hunter Arts Publishing. No portion of this material may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior written consent from Hunter Arts Publishing.

Web Site: The Career Secrets Newsletter

Reader Reviews for "Lifetime Career Management™"

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Reviewed by Greg Cunningham 8/17/2002
For much of my life, I have waited until my well was dry before, I began digging a new well. I appreciate the insight, as well as the wake up call. Good Stuff
Reviewed by Randal Schecher 1/3/2002
Great advise.

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Headhunters Revealed! Career Secrets for Choosing and Using Professional Recruiters

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