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If you haven't been on the career fast track, chances are you really haven’t thought much about career management. Related: Career Management: Are YOU Lazy? Career management is much like preventive medicine. Preventive medicine calls for you to take care of yourself by eating right, exercising, drinking in moderation, and if so inclined, taking in the Pamplona Bull Run or skydiving only once every couple of years rather than regularly. Career management uses the same proactive approach and, just like preventive medicine, there's no time like the present to start. Career management is actually investing in you and in your career aspirations. It is something you'll do over the course of your lifetime. By committing to lifelong learning and taking charge of your career, you'll be well ahead of your competition. Here are a couple of easy ways to get started:

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Having a career is nothing like having a job. When you find your career, you know it, and you should be spending some level of energy managing it. Related: Career Management: Top 10 Career Limiting Moves We must all start being more active in our career and its management. We must start to own our experience. And when we own our experience, and are active in the management of our career, we must do six simple things.

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Throughout my career in HR, I have seen more people leave their jobs for the wrong reasons rather than stay for the right ones. Related: 6 Career Management Hacks That Will Get You Ahead Personal career management is a continuous process, sometimes misconstrued as a series of independent events. The risk of adopting an “event management” approach is that it can lead to disjointed and potentially unfulfilling outcomes. There are a series of steps in any career journey, and these are interconnected rather than separated. Career management is most effective when we come to terms with our own unique career journey. As such, it will sometimes be uncomfortable, often great fun, and periodically totally chaotic - No matter how much we may have planned for each and every contingency. Many of us plan a career journey as if it were a day trip, so care needs to be taken during the early stages! Here are six key steps of effective career management:

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