Don’t answer that!  It’s a trick question.  For most of us the only time we think about our career when we are forced to do so because we are out of a job, deeply unhappy in our current job or transitioning due to our current life stage.

In reality, making career decisions when in crisis mode is the worst time to do so.  Evaluating our career and when to make our next move should be an ongoing process with regular career check-ups with ourselves or a valued mentor.

The health of our career is important and needs to be monitored regularly.  New jobs don’t usually drop into our laps, so we need to ensure we have done as much groundwork as possible before we are ready to make the change.

Networking takes time, sometimes years, to be an effective weapon in your job search arsenal.  It can be very valuable to review your existing network.  How useful would it be in a job search?  What help have you offered to others in your network?  How likely are your contacts to want to help you out?

We are often unable to see the big picture when it comes to our own career moves.  I know I wish I had been able to step back and review my career progress objectively when I was in my 20s.  I spent 6 years in a company that ultimately was not the right place for me to be.

We wouldn’t think twice about seeking advice for our financial planning, it’s no less important to seek advice about our career planning.  Maybe in the days when people could work for one company for their entire working lives it was less important to plan for changes.  However, in this age of diminished job security and financial volatility career planning is an essential yet often neglected activity.

When was the last time you took a good look at your career?