NDT professionals have skill sets and certifications that can be applied in a variety of situations. But the ability to move on and move up has created the need for another new skill — the ability to market yourself just as a company would market a product or service.
The first step in marketing yourself is to evaluate your life and set personal goals. These goals will form the basis of your decision making process. Everything should point back to the goals you set for yourself.
Your career goals should take your personal life into account — your self-esteem and satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with your present position. You should also set professional goals. Do you want to further your education and add to your certifications? Move into management? Eventually start your own business?
Financial goals are also important. How much money will you need to achieve your personal goals? Do you want to become filthy rich, or moderately comfortable? What about retirement?
If you’re married — and especially if you have children — you should set goals as a family. What if your new job means a cross-country move? Do you want to cut down on travel to spend more time with your children? Are benefits more important than a high salary?
Look at your goals on both a short- and long-term basis. A big salary increase might look great this year. But if there’s no pension plan with it, your long-term prospects may suffer.