In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility. – Eleanor Roosevelt.
(This is a post by Alison Horner. Pic course: www.careers.queensu.ca).
We normally think of ownership in terms of things.
You own a car. A house. A turkey shaped serving platter.
With any of these items it’s clear when they became yours. You signed a piece of paper or swiped your credit card. In return you were handed a set of keys. Okay, technically you may still be paying off your mortgage, but there is a definite difference in the way you treat a home you are buying versus one that you are renting temporarily.
In contrast to these defined transfers of goods there is no clear moment when you are handed the keys to your career and told, “This is yours. Take care of it!”
As a result you may not have ever claimed full ownership of your career.
You may be working at a particular job based on what family, community, or professors expect of you. While you may show up to work each day, it’s as though you’re in the passenger seat, merely along for the ride.
Taking ownership of your career means deciding that it is your responsibility to be in the driver’s seat, steering your career toward a destination that is agreeable to you.
The possibility of taking ownership and responsibility for the direction of your career is ever present. And you can choose to own it on any regular day of the week.
Maybe even today.
Here are two simple steps to take the reins of your career into your hands.
1) CREATE A LONG TERM CAREER VISION.
Thinking about where you’d like to be with your career in five years is not just relevant when asked as an interview question. It’s important to consider this question in the privacy of your own brain, where the only correct answer is what you truly want.
So, where do you want to be in the next couple of years?
In a more advanced position in your current field? In a new field? Running your own business? Taking a break to raise your kids?
Your answer is going to be unique to your preferences and values. It will reflect what you yearn for in your heart of hearts. Give it some deep thought, you might be surprised what you find!
2) INVEST IN YOUR VISION WITH TIME AND EFFORT.
To bring your career vision to life first consider your end goal. Assume that you have reached it. Then work backwards. What steps did you take en route to achieving your goal?
These steps may involve networking to learn more about a new field, going back to school, creating a website, or seeking out a promotion.
Name as many of these big steps as you can. Once you’ve identified these steps pick a small first step to accomplish today. Take another small step tomorrow. As you continue to take these small steps over time your momentum will build.
When you take ownership of your career you will stop drifting along waiting for your turn at your own life. Instead you will begin moving in a direction that is attractive to you.
Let this be a little whisper in your ear that it’s your time right now.
Have you taken ownership of your career? If not, what is one small step you will take toward doing so? Leave me a comment and let me know! Please like/tweet/pin/share this post with someone who needs it, thanks!
You can signup to receive her free Career Unstuckinator at www.alisonelissa.com.
She tweets at @alisonelissa.
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