11 Steps to Take Back Control of Your Career
For many people, their career is an important contributor to their personal growth and is the element of their life through which they define their value and worth by. However, only a very small number of people are in control of their career and the direction that it is going in. If you feel as if your career heading somewhere that you do not want, or you believe that others are managing your career for you, here are some top steps that you can take to regain control.
1. Ask for What You Want
No one will know what you want from your job and your career if you do not tell them, and asking for what you want is the most direct route that you can take to achieving your career goals. Whether you want extra training, a promotion, or a pay rise, learning how to ask your boss for these and how to persuade them to make the decision that you want are vital if you are to get what you want out of your job. One of the best times to ask your manager for what you want is during your annual one-to-one review. During this meeting, your manager will often ask you about your goals and be willing to discuss the targets that you need to reach to be seen as a suitable candidate for progression within their company. This meeting can then produce goals that will help you to aim for your dream job. The old adage “don’t ask, don’t get,” is especially true in this respect.
2. Tell Others About Your Goals
Although many people simply feel as if their career is directionless, many others feel as if they are being coerced into a career choice that they dislike by others. This is especially the case for young people, where their parents might be adamant that they follow in their footsteps or take on a prestigious job. If this is the case, it is important that you tell others what you want and the career choice that you have opted for, and that you follow your own path regardless of what family or friends think. After all, it is you who will have to spend the majority of your life within your chosen workplace.
3. Be Proactive About Your Job Search
With a large amount of competition for jobs in 2020, it can be easy to give up and stop looking for a job that suits you and your career plans. However, whether you are looking to change jobs or get the first step on your career ladder, the best thing that you can do is to be proactive about your job search. This means that you should be constantly checking job websites, setting alerts on particular keywords, and updating your resume. You should also phone companies directly to discover whether they have vacancies, send round your resume to your ideal employers, and attend interviews, even if you do not think that you have the right amount of experience,
4. Take an Online Degree
If you believe that your education is barring you from being able to progress in your career journey, you should think about taking an online degree. Online degrees can help you to take back control of your career and move on, all the while allowing you to stay working while you do so. This is even more advantageous for people who are looking to get a leadership position and to break out of their career rut, as degrees can allow you to apply for positions that were previously outside of your skillset and experience levels. At Marymount University, their online nursing programs and EdD Leadership & Organizational Innovation program will enable you to be proactive about getting the career of your dreams and will ensure that you have the training and support that you need to make a success of your career.
5. Take on Leadership Responsibilities
If you are used to sitting at the back of meetings and letting other people make the decisions for you, why not learn to use your voice and put your ideas forward in a workplace environment? To do this, you should consider taking on more leadership responsibilities within your current job role, such as offering to head projects or to host discussions or events. This can help you to be noticed by your manager and your team, and will allow you to constantly grow both as a person and within your career.
6. Take Risks
One of the most common reasons why people fail to progress in their careers, though, is that they are afraid to take the risks that are necessary to succeed. This includes failing to know when it is time to move on or being too scared to look for another opportunity. However, before you take risks or decide to move on, you should make sure that you have an idea of where you want to go and that you have the right financial support to fund yourself if your decision does not work out. You should also be ready for rejection and potential loss of work, and the impact that this could have on you and your family.
7. Track Your Career Progress
Whatever career path you decide to take, to take back control, you should constantly track the progress that you are making and compare this with the career goals that you have laid out for yourself. You can do this by setting small targets that can help to make your progress definable, and by downloading apps that can help you to move your career on. You can also track your progress by speaking to your manager about your progress and by getting feedback, as well as by measuring performance indicators such as the quality of your work, its impact or the speed at which you perform your work.
8. Have a Back-up Plan
However, even the most confident career-minded person should have a back-up plan, as this can help to stop your career from derailing completely if something were to go wrong. Having a properly prepared back-up plan can ensure that you will be in control of every situation and that you will have several different options that can help to see you through difficult points in your career. This back-up plan could be an alternative career path to the one that you currently have, an emergency fund, a side-hustle or a hobby that you can rely on in times of need, or a skill that you can provide as a service. You should also consider building your network so that, if your career does not work out, you can quickly harness a range of other available opportunities.
9. Think of the Future
However, while you may feel in control of your future, you will only remain in control of your career if you can think of the future and how your career will change. For instance, you should think about the major skills and knowledge that you might need in the future, the direction that your company is heading in and whether this is something that you support, and whether your career will still align with your vision in five or 10 years.
10. Work for Yourself
If employment is leaving your career directionless and if you are feeling as if you have lost grip of your career path, you should consider the advantages of working for yourself. Working for yourself by either going freelance or owning your own business can be difficult, and yet, for all its challenges, it gives you the opportunity to rely completely on yourself and your own expertise. Not only will you be able to change the direction of this venture at will and constantly seek out opportunities for it, but you will also be in charge of practical elements such as your pay. This can then help you to take the reins of your career progression and enable you to create the career of your dreams from the ground up - all you need is confidence in your ability.
11. Beat the Competition
Lastly, when you intend to take back control of your career, you need to find ways in which you can beat the competition. There is nothing worse than being completely prepared for an interview or job position only to find that someone else has beaten you to it. Then, you should look for ways that you can stand out from the crowd, whether this through finding your niche, gaining outstanding experience, or simply through presenting yourself correctly. However, when you do this, you need to make sure that you can resign yourself to the possibility that you might not always be able to progress in your career in the way that you want.
Taking back control of your career can often seem hopeless, especially if you believe that everyone else is incredibly successful. However, by using this guide, you will be able to successfully home the tools that you need to restart your career and reach the goals that you thought were impossible.