Advice » Job Hunt Strategy» Career Assessment » Is Your Career in Danger? Tak ...
Is Your Career in Danger? Take the Test

Is Your Career in Danger? Take the Test

Answer These Eight Questions to Make Sure You're on Track for Career Success

A successful career is built over a lifetime. Your goal can't be merely finding a job and then, in performance-review lingo, "meeting expectations." In a tumultuous employment landscape where most people have numerous jobs in a career, and many people have multiple careers in a lifetime, we all need to assess ourselves frequently to make sure we're on the road to success.

Whether you're looking for work or currently employed, this list of questions, supplied by leading career experts, will help you keep your career on track.

Are You Always Prepared for a Job Search?

First, that means having an updated resume (and portfolio of work) that you can customize for each job you apply for. "Most job seekers use the 'spray and pray' approach;" that is, spray the same resume around and pray that someone calls," says Emily Bennington, a co-author of Effective Immediately: How to Fit In, Stand Out, and Move Up at Your First Real Job. "But hiring managers want to know that you're a fit for their organization. When you take the extra time to note something specific to each company, it shows you care and that you go above and beyond."

And Lewis Lin, founder of Seattle Interview Coach, warns against being poorly prepared for job interviews. "Interview questions such as 'why do you want to work [here]?' continue to surprise job candidates," he says. "Take the time to prepare your interview stories."

Have You Developed, and Shared with Everyone You Know, a Short, Clear Branding Statement?

Career expert Liz Ryan says you need a great 10-word description that conveys exactly what you have to offer. "A great branding statement zooms in on the business pain you solve," she says. "For example: 'I run HR for businesses where recruiting talent is critical.' Once you can articulate your professional power -- not your skills, years of experience, degrees and titles -- to people you meet, your message can find new audiences in every interaction you -- and they -- participate in."

Do You Regularly Conduct Stakeholder Interviews at Your Current Job?

Soliciting feedback is a must. Julie Jansen -- speaker, coach and author of I Don't Know What I Want, But I Know It's Not This -- says you should consider everyone who affects your career. "They could range from someone who attends meetings regularly with you or your manager's boss," she says. Ask each person for a 30-minute meeting at which they can share specific feedback about you and how you handle aspects of your job.

"Prepare your two or three questions ahead of time, and design them with a focus on areas that you would like to improve or develop," says Jansen. "Ask them for ideas or recommendations."

Are You Developing a Consistent, Industry-Appropriate and Professional Web Presence?

Recruiters and employers are researching candidates and employees online, and they have to be able to find you represented well. A first step is to do a thorough search for yourself on the Internet -- and then take steps to clean up anything inappropriate you find. Then you can begin to develop your online presence by establishing a presence on sites like LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as on industry-specific networking sites and forums. 

Are You Building and Maintaining a Professional Network?

"Build relationships with colleagues in your immediate geographic location, your country and globally," advises career strategist Dr. Janet Civitelli. "Attend a major industry conference once or twice per year, and participate regularly in local professional groups. Consider taking a leadership role that will bring you visibility. Keep in touch with colleagues who leave your company."

Are You Staying Educated About Your Industry -- and About Job Search Practices?

Reading books and publications related to your industry may give you the knowledge you need to stay ahead of the competition. In a recent  poll, 60 percent of people say they'd read zero professional-development books in the past year.

And seek out continuing-education opportunities that add not only industry-specific skills but also broadly applicable ones -- PowerPoint or public-speaking skills, for example.

Do You Have a Long-Term Career Strategy?

Fast-paced changes in technology and society can quickly make a profession obsolete. Everyone needs to make long-term plans and prepare for upheavals that may doom his profession -- or send it overseas.

Do You Enjoy Your Work?

Most experts say that if going to work each day makes you miserable, your career is in serious danger. The solution may be a new employer, a new career or a new attitude -- pinpointing the causes of your dissatisfaction is the first step.

And enjoying what you do for a living is one likely byproduct of following this article's advice. When looking for a new job is out of the question, consider tackling one of your preceding "no" answers as a first step to career security and satisfaction.

Latest Jobs

The Invictus Group
Posted: 05/23/2015
Glassboro, NJ
LQ Management LLC
Posted: 05/23/2015
La Porte, TX, 77571
SunEdison Partner
Posted: 05/23/2015
Hampden County, MA, 01089
Posted: 05/23/2015
San Diego, CA, 92121

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.8.0.34-317