Do you see the announcements about radical NHS funding cuts and the changing agenda as a threat or an opportunity? Now might be a good time to start re-evaluating and managing your future to meet the challenges.

George Bernard Shaw wrote: “The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and, if they can’t find them, make them.”

Much will depend on your outlook on risk and your personal and financial situation. These may shape your decision process, especially if it means a drop in salary or retraining to rebuild your career elsewhere in the sector. A good strategy involves:

  • becoming a valued employee;
  • understanding your environment.

Becoming valued in your organisation may depend on your flexibility, adaptability and creativity. By managing your career now you should be well positioned to change direction when opportunities arise.

By really understanding your environment you may even be able to influence the creation of new and more relevant roles that maximise your skill set and can benefit the organisation.

Some key tips are:

  • Take stock. Evaluate your professional standing and the main trends in your organisation and profession. How will your profession change? What do you need to change? What threats do you foresee? What opportunities exist? The answers will highlight whether you still wish to follow this career path.
  • Develop an action plan. Take account of the things that will help you achieve your goals and break this down into manageable stages. Researching new opportunities is likely to play a big part.
  • Self promotion and networking. Successful professionals incorporate this into their career management plan: conferences, sector and social events, online networking tools. Be visible, make it known you are looking for new opportunities and network with the right people in the right places.
  • Position yourself - stand out from the crowd. What is your unique selling point or value proposition? What skills and attributes do you have that the organisation requires?
  • Look for mentors.
  • Demonstrate leadership and the ability to take on challenges. Volunteer for secondments, projects and take on leadership roles. It is important to demonstrate how you can contribute towards the organisation’s requirements and deliver in a time of change, while developing yourself in the process.
  • Review your plan and keep your options open. Effective career management is an ongoing project and you need to continually review and revise your strategy.
  • Start updating your CV and profiles, including career and professional development, regularly. Highlight your recent achievements and contribution. Create a powerful document that will position you as the perfect solution for any future job role.