Career Management: Maintain a Time Tracking Record in Order to Stay Organised as an Employee or Freelancer

Career Management: Maintain a Time Tracking Record in Order to Stay Organised as an Employee or Freelancer

Today we have another guest post from Tamara M. Williams who is an EzineArticles Platinum Level Expert Author. Her articles cover topics such as Computer and Technology and Email Marketing. Visit her profile page on EzineArticles to learn more.

You have to learn how to manage your time and tasks responsibly whether you work as an employee or as a freelancer. You need to keep track of time spent on certain tasks each day for your employer or client. This is useful to verify the progress that you are making on your projects. It can also pinpoint any difficulties that you are having which require more information or resources. In addition, you could identify tasks that you are very talented or skilled at completing.

First, you will need a Word or Excel Time Tracking template. Then you will need to add relevant information for yourself and your employer or client. Ensure that the template has columns for the date, hours, time and task. You will need to have a total field that sums up all the hours worked per week. Templates can be downloaded from Microsoft Office at http://office.microsoft.com/en-001/templates/. In addition, most Office suites already come preloaded with templates, so you could check those to determine whether they suit your needs.

One advantage of keeping track of work done for each project is that it makes it easier to determine how much progress you have made. You can easily identify your milestone tasks and compare them to your expected project schedule or Gantt chart. Then you can communicate with your team or client each week to determine if tasks should be added, removed or modified for future work.

The second advantage is that you are able to pinpoint problem areas. These would be tasks that you spend an incredible amount of time on in a specific day or have to repeatedly tackle over weeks or months. You need to determine if you have all the information you need to complete the tasks correctly or if you need to ask your supervisor or clients for more information. It might also be that you need to strengthen your skills and experience in that area. Maybe you have to ask a team member or another freelancer for assistance in order to defeat that hurdle. Make sure to ask for guidelines and tips on how to tackle similar problems in the future too.

The third advantage is that you will be able to identify tasks that are easy for you to complete. The task could be easy because of the area that it covers. On the other hand, it might also indicate great talents and skills that you have in those areas which allow you to complete the work quickly and efficiently. Add those tasks, talents and skills to your strengths and use them to showcase your expertise in the future.

Using a time tracking sheet to track your daily tasks is very beneficial to your job or freelance work. Be better prepared for future projects by using the lessons learnt from your previous time tracking records.

About The Author:

Tamara M. Williams is an EzineArticles Platinum Level Expert Author. Her articles cover topics such as Computer and Technology and Email Marketing. Visit her profile page on EzineArticles to learn more.

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Make career planning a regular feature of working life

Make career planning a regular feature of working life

It doesn’t matter whether you’re an expatriate involved in the oil and gas industry in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a teacher at one of the many international schools in Egypt, or an employee of a major multinational Middle East bank, charting a successful career path is a vital exercise no matter where you live and work. It should be a proactive exercise, not one carried out only when plans go wrong or when a career grinds to a stop inside some company cul-de-sac.

The world of international business continues to provide opportunities for expatriates, with tens of thousands moving abroad each year in a bid to better their lives. Banking and business finance have proved particularly lucrative areas of employment over the years, and will continue to do so as the needs of multinational companies grow ever larger in their attempts to circle the globe. However, much is expected of the individual within such organisations. And with the high salary paid comes enormous pressures, acceptable perhaps for a few years. But then what? That’s when career planning comes into its own.

Career planning ought to be an integral feature within our working lives and should be carried out on a regular basis, at least once every couple of years. Yet how many of us do so? When was the last time you sat down with someone and discussed your career options? Was it maybe during the last year at school or the final year at university? And over the years since then, you’ve muddled your way along a rather convoluted career path, probably never quite sure where it was all leading to. Recognise the scenario? If the answer is yes then it’s time to do something about it.

Take stock! Grab an hour or two from your busy schedule and sit down and relax. Turn off the mobile phone, the television, the radio. Tell everyone you’re unavailable. Then think back, to your first job, the second one and so on. If possible, analyse what you did and why. Could you have done anything differently? Be honest with yourself, critical, yes, but not self-destructive. You can’t change the past. But you can learn from the past and take any lessons with you into the future.

Mull over what you really want out of life. Is it more money, greater challenges and responsibilities, or a better quality of home life with more time spent with the family? What is it that you like about your life? What don’t you like? Grab a piece of paper and a pen and draw two columns, one headed ‘like’ and the other ‘dislike’. Go through everything, jotting each down in the appropriate column. Now, if there are lots of entries in the dislike column, and a fair number of them refer to your job, that’s a possible sign you need to change career. If circumstances don’t allow you to, you would certainly need to change something, anything, in order to begin to turn your life around.

A possible way forward is to up the level of any qualifications you may possess. Better qualifications usually mean more opportunities for advancement. But they can also take your career, and your life, in a whole different direction. Taking interests and hobbies more seriously can sometimes turn into career possibilities, too, something which you should at least consider.

Useful Resources:

Go here for more on career planning.

Banking Services in the UAE

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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The Benefits Of Good Career Management

Today we have a guest post from Mary Hope who is, like me, a Careers Coach.  She has over 30 years of experience in business, teaching, HR, headhunting and coaching.  She believes passionately that people need to understand their own drivers and needs to find fulfilling careers.

The Benefits Of Good  Career Management

Careers advice is what you get at school or university  after someone has given you a questionnaire test, chatted to you and then they tell you what job you should do. Or something similar.

But career management? What is that? In this rapidly changing world with organisations and sectors making huge changes and adjustments.. how can you manage a career? And  why should you bother?

I work in the field of career management and coaching so obviously I do believe that people can manage their careers but sadly not enough people do that. They drift, they hop, they jump in what they perceive to be an upwards direction. Sometimes they are pulled by the attractiveness of a new opportunity, sometimes they are pushed by unhappiness in the role or organisation they are in. Few people plan strategically.

Career management is a process by which individuals develop, implement and monitor career goals and strategies. It may be art or it may be a science;  in my book it needs to be a bit of both. Whichever, it delivers huge benefits.  Research shows

  • Having career goals means people outperform those  who do not have goals or who only have a weak commitment to their goals.
  • Those with goals are more optimistic, they are more resilient,
  • Those with goals are more focused , they work harder at job search, are engaged and are more successful at finding new roles.
  • People who engage in career management generate more job interviews and more offers.
  • They obtain higher salary offers and are more realistic about their job expectations.
  • They are more effective in job interviews.

In other words their careers are more successful.

The cornerstone of good career management  is research: research about yourself and research about the world of work. That’s the science part. It is making the decision once you have got the information that leads into the world of art and metaphysics.

Career management is not a one-off activity; it is on going throughout life. It is an adaptive process. But it is particularly important to engage in active carer management when you are at a career crossroads, when facing the decision on whether to move from a technical to general management role, when your family circumstances change, if you are facing job loss, when you face a set back in your career, when you are offered a dramatic job move, when you feel the dissatisfaction of boredom or frustration with a difficult boss. These are critical times to make the right decision rather than jumping into something because of the expectations of others, the opportunity is there or because  you feel  you have no choice.

What does it take to be good at career management?

There a six key elements of this iterative, messy process:

  • Know thyself
  • Understand the environment
  • Develop realistic goals
  • Adopt strategies that can deliver your goals
  • Be prepared to adjust those strategies when new information comes to light
  • Learn the skills of finding opportunities and of succeeding in selection exercises

Are you doing all you need to in order to manage your career well?

For a reality check on your approach to career management visit (www.topcareerstrategies.info)

Mary Hope supports people to manage their careers more effectively and get paid more, promoted faster and feel more satisfied. She has over 30 years of experience in business, teaching, HR, headhunting and coaching. She believes passionately that people need to understand their own drivers and needs to find fulfilling careers.