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Performing an Internal Career Audit

By Ford R. Myers
President, Career Potential, LLC

Would you like to get your career on track, with more power and momentum than ever before? Are you prepared to create the focused and productive career that you know you are capable of having – one that will give you great satisfaction and financial reward? When you think back to prior career transitions, did you also believe that you were finally going to “get it right?”

It is a sobering fact that more than 75% of adults who try to realign their careers lose momentum and give up within a few months. Many are waiting for their jobs to get better, passively hoping that circumstances will improve someday. But deep inside, we know one thing for sure. Careers do not get better by themselves. We have many previous years of work experience to prove this!

So the pressing question is: What will make this transition different from previous attempts to control your career? The simple answer is: take stock; plan; and take action!

You have the power and ability to take charge of your career! The following eight principles will provide you with the items you need to perform a candid and effective “internal audit” of your career situation.

1. Understand that success is not an accident, but a planned event.

  • Most people actually spend more time planning their vacations than designing their careers.
  • Many people think they lack discipline or are lazy, but the real issue is a lack of knowledge.
  • Career change takes time, and it is important to understand the necessary components that produce desired results.

2. Accept the fact that you are fully responsible for your career.

  • There is a direct relationship between accepting full responsibility for your career and the amount of control you have over your success.
  • When you assume responsibility and feel that you are in control, you experience greater personal freedom, power and motivation.
  • Don’t make excuses for the problems in your work life. Commit to taking charge of what you create in your career.

3. Create a detailed picture of your ideal career.

  • In order to move forward in a powerful way, we must first clarify our career direction.
  • This principle is best described in a quote by the popular motivational speaker, Brian Tracy: “Eighty percent of success is being clear on who you are, what you believe in, and what you want.”
  • The first requirement is to identify what “success” really means for each of us – in professional, financial, personal and social terms.
  • We are often “handed down” definitions of success from our family or culture – definitions that may not align with our own needs and desires, but definitions to which we remain loyal. We must consciously evaluate these “messages” to see if they are working for us or against us.

4. Identify clear goals based on your own definition of career success.

  • One measure of success is identifying meaningful goals and then bringing them into reality.
  • Clearly defined goals create focus, direction and positive energy, and they enable you to create an action plan.

5. Know that in order to get results, you must take action.

  • Action is the only difference between someone who has dreams and someone who brings dreams into reality.
  • Our actions come from a decision to change our situation.
  • Make the phone call, write the letter, have that important conversation, resolve that issue you have been carrying around – don’t delay any longer.
  • Clarify the action steps you can take to move your career forward.
  • Identify one action step you can take right now to improve your career.

6. Learn about the things that get in the way of your success, such as:

  • Self-limiting beliefs. (“I could never be a manager, never get a promotion,” etc.)
  • Fears. (i.e., being rejected, failing, looking bad in front of others.)
  • Negative self-talk. (“I’m not smart enough, I’ll mess it up again.”)

7. Associate with successful people.

  • The single most influential force in your environment is the group of colleagues and friends with whom you associate.
  • If you are serious about achieving success, you should associate only with successful people.
  • Spend time with respected role models and identify the qualities you want to emulate.
  • Find ways to “transplant” these success habits into your own life.
  • Work with a qualified Career Consultant or professional development program to support your career plans and provide a structure to accomplish your goals.
  • Associate with like-minded individuals who are also committed to reaching their career potential, and who will “stand behind you” in your quest to achieve real success.

8. Do an image makeover.

  • Make a deliberate, consistent effort to present yourself in the best light.
  • Ask: how can you improve your attributes in the following areas?
    • Hair
    • Eyeglasses
    • Makeup
    • Hands
    • Clothes
    • Shoes
    • Accessories
    • Posture
    • Speech
    • Smile

Now is the ideal time to stop and take stock of your career. Your present circumstances are based on choices you made over the past 5 to 10 years. Where will you be a year from now? Will you be proud of the strides you’ve made, or will you find yourself in the same career situation you’re in right now?

By following the eight principles above, you can create dramatic improvements in your career – but only if you truly commit to making it happen through planned, effective action!

About the Author:
Ford R. Myers is an award-winning career coach, speaker and author of the best-seller, Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring. Ford’s firm helps clients take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve! He has held senior consulting positions at three of the nation’s largest career service firms. Ford’s articles have appeared in thousands of publications and web sites, and he has been interviewed on every major television and radio network. Ford has also conducted presentations at hundreds of companies, associations and universities. Learn more at


FORD R. MYERS is an award-winning, nationally-known Career Coach, best-selling author and speaker. He is the President of Career Potential, LLC, a premier provider of career success services. Through powerful individual, corporate and government career programs, Ford has helped thousands of clients take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve!

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