My youngest daughter is at a very possessive stage, where everything is “mine” and the slightest inkling that you’re going to take anything off her is met with a screaming frenzy and tightly clenched fists. Whilst this isn’t the kind of behavior that can be tolerated in the office, it’s got me thinking about ownership and how everyone who wants to get ahead in their career can learn a little from my crazy 2 year old…
Over the years I’ve run a lot of workshops on how to develop a career plan and what I’ve noticed is that some people have a clear vision of where they want to go professionally and how they’re going to get there, whilst others are much more vague or have no idea at all.
Having spent many years in H.R. and training related roles, I’ve also witnessed the misconception that HR are responsible for career development, or at the very least should be the driving force behind professional growth in an organisation. Both assumptions are very wrong.
The truth is that you, and only you, own your career. Yes, I know it’s obvious, but years of experience have shown me first hand that when it comes to career ownership, a tight grasp isn’t always a given, nor is the energy and enthusiasm to truly pursue it.
So whats the problem? Well, there isn’t one unless you actually want to keep on moving onwards and upwards. If you want to get ahead, learn more, grow and build your professional life year on year, you have to take 100% responsibility for the journey and the results. And that means having a career plan, reviewing it regularly, and consistently working towards your goals. It’s not a once-a-year review, it’s not a HR-forced exercise, and it’s not just for the employed.
By having the resolve to say that your career is truly “Mine” and holding on to it with white knuckles, the actions you’ll take as a result will be vastly different, or you’ll at least move away from the blame game of hoping that someone else will sort it out for you.
Of course, you can build a team of advisers around you to give you savvy advice to help build your career (cue: Me – Career Coach) but the starting point has to be you. Not me, not HR, not your partner or parents. You.
So lets assume this is day 1 of Career Ownership for you – what do you need to do to firmly grasp your professional life? As a starting point, make sure you have a clear vision for the next 12 months, and then a step-by-step plan on how you’re going to achieve it. And if you’d like me on your team in 2015 book a free focus session now and make sure you kick off the new year on the right foot.
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