Five rules for lifelong career management

The people who do best in their careers are sometimes not the most talented at their profession, but the best at managing their careers. Here's what they know that everyone should know.

-Moving your career forward is your responsibility. It's not the responsibility of your employer, the U.S. military or your college. It all lies with you, so always be on the lookout for great new experiences, opportunities and more, whether with your current employer or with another.

-Dedicate yourself to lifelong learning. The more you know about your industry and profession, the better positioned you'll be to find and take advantage of new opportunities.

-Stay visible. You can do this by volunteering for special projects, coordinating and/or speaking at professional events, writing articles or blogs, or any one of many other professional activities. Visibility translates to credibility, and that is remarkably powerful in a job search and career management.

-Maintain an active and responsive network. The two most important aspects of networking are the quality of your contacts and your reciprocal relationships.

-Dedicate yourself to your career, and understand that it will require your active participation - forever. Career management is not about paying occasional attention when you need a new job, but what you do every day of your working life.

Wendy Enelow is co-author of "Expert Résumés for Military-to-Civilian Transitions" and "Executive Résumé Toolkit."