Compiled by Don Lee Times staff writer

Managing a Career: Mark Alch, managing director of the outplacement firm Drake Beam Morin in Irvine, has a holiday gift for today’s beleaguered worker. He calls it: “The Seven Steps to Making Sure You’re Not the Other Shoe That Drops.”

Step 1: Learn your value in the wider job market. In other words, he says, find out how many jobs there are out there for someone with your job title, education and experience. Are your current salary and benefits above or below the norm?

Step 2: Examine which of your skills could be transferred to other functions and other jobs.


Step 3: Aggressively pursue continuing education.

Step 4: Network both inside and outside the company relentlessly, establishing wide contacts throughout a company’s management structure.

Step 5: Actively look for other opportunities within the company that give you broader understanding of the whole.

Step 6: Manage your boss as assiduously as your subordinates, meaning that you make sure your boss knows what your priorities and goals are.

Step 7: Don’t be afraid of changing jobs.

“Companies no longer offer people careers,” Alch said. “People create their own careers.”