Stop Sitting in The Passenger’s Seat of Your Career! 5 Ways to OWN Your Career
Too many times, we allow what happens to us and the situation we find yourselves determine our career paths. Too many times, we don’t take personal responsibility for our career rather we allow the jobs we get lead us through our career journey. The downside of this is that you will end up with regrets after 10-15 years in your career journey.
This article seeks to enlighten you how to take charge of your career so you can have a more rewarding career void of regrets.
- Intentionally and consistently build a brand for yourself
A lot of people tend to think that a career brand is only for people who want to be ‘KNOWN’ as an influencer. However, A Brand Identity is basically what you want to be known for. It doesn’t have to be all over social media but it has to be known and obvious by anyone who encounters you. It all starts from identifying your values and the things that would drive your actions or inactions. E.g If you want to be known as someone who’s reliable and diligent wherever you find yourself, you should always show it.
It’s about deliberately pushing a narrative of yourself to people and It always outlives you and opens doors for you.
- Do a thorough assessment of where you are and where you’re going to
You can’t OWN something you’re not even sure of. This is where a SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) Analysis would be very helpful because it helps you to identify pertinent things about yourself and guide you towards a clear path. If you’re still confused about where you want your career to be headed to, it’s best to make up your mind fast. Have this assessment documented so that you can refer to it frequently and it can serve as a guide. This is like developing a Career Planning Guide to guide you. Get an accountability partner that will push you towards achieving your set objective.
- Aim for Jobs that lead you towards your long term goals
It’s very common for people to think of the NOW and not always consider their TOMORROW when accepting a job offer. When you define your career path, don’t be too consumed by things that may look well NOW but aren’t aligned with what you want to be TOMORROW. When you allow the job you get define your career for you, you’re simply sitting in the passenger’s seat of your career which is one mistake you should avoid. Strategically, go for jobs that would challenge you and equip you with skills and competencies for your desired destination.
- Intentionally Build a Network: Ensure it’s robust
I’m sure you have heard this cliché multiple times “Your network is your net worth”. What most people don’t know is that it’s a LOT of work to build a network. You don’t just have a large network by chance. It’s something you have to decide about and deliberately reach out to be people who have the potential to be of Value to you. Don’t just connect with people who are in your profession, rather seek to connect with professionals in other sectors. Start by connecting with other professionals on LinkedIn and engaging on their post. When you attend events, ensure you share your business card and collect as many as possible. Join online groups on Watsapp and Telegram, (don’t be a silent member), interact with others even if it’s once in a while.
- Make Personal Development a PRIORITY
If you are someone that’s ambitious and has a big vision for yourself, then you need to understand that you have to consistently grow into that position you want to achieve OVER TIME. Developing yourself doesn’t always have to involve spending money (although sometimes it does). It involves identifying the skills (soft and technical), competencies and other abilities that you need for where you are going to and then looking for ways to get it. Does your long term goal need someone that speaks or writes better? Before you waste your money on a course, start making an effort to reduce the way you speak Pidgen English and stop writing with short hand e.g Am instead of I’m. Little things like that count and go a long way!
Have a yearly budget for personal investment and start saving from January. Give yourself personal targets and push yourself towards achieving it. Be an ardent reader (both online and physical books) because it pushes your mind further.
I sincerely wish you the best in your career journey! Follow @careerlifeng on Twitter and Instagram for more career insights. Subscribe to our newsletter www.careerlife.com.ng