Taking ownership in your career is one of the major steps towards striving for the goal, which is a success and an achievement oriented career. What exactly is meant by taking career ownership?
Well, it’s about making career plans, designing ways to execute those plans and of course, making sure that in case of any mishaps, you can make the necessary adjustments. On the whole it is about being in control of your career.
It is very important to realize that it is your career and if there is anyone who has the authority to take decisions pertaining to your career it is you. You can certainly take advice from your seniors and parents. Discuss with them about the various options you have already thought about. You may even seek assistance from them on various issues; however, what you must not do, is to allow anyone to impose their decisions on you. Sticking to your own career plans is the first step towards taking ownership of your career. Making a decision about career can be tricky and risky at the same time. Quite often, people tend to make wrong decisions which ultimately prove to be damaging.
Why It is Important?
It is very important for you to take rational, reasonable decisions and make sure that you take the responsibilities for the decisions which you have made. Remember, even if you have allowed someone else to interfere and make decisions on your behalf, at the end of the day, if anything goes wrong, you must not blame that individual. Remember, you were not forced to follow what he suggested, you willingly decided to take up his advice. The moment you pass down the blame to someone else, you have lost control. It means, that you are now asking that person to fix the issue. Don’t let this happen; instead, make sure that you take the responsibility. The moment you hold yourself responsible for the consequences; you would feel the urge to fix it instead of waiting for others to take charge.
How to Take the Ownership of Your Career?
Before you get into the details, first of all you need to get clear idea about something. The entire process of taking ownership of your career is not an easy one. This particularly is true for those are about to step into the professional world and has no experience on how to get on with the proceedings. Therefore, it must be remembered that you keep a realistic approach towards your decision making. Here are some tips which you might find helpful.
As a Fresher:
- What are you good at: When it comes to planning your career, this is the first thing which you must take into consideration. This can be a tricky matter as there are enough possibilities for you to get confused. This is a common phenomenon. So, while you are planning for your career path, focus on something which you can apply in the professional field. Remember, your subject of interest doesn’t always turn out to be your path for your career.
- Do not be reactive: Human beings are reactive and emotional. We all react to situations that either not pleasing or not within our control. However, when it comes to choosing your career, it is not a very smart thing to do. Remember, as a youngster who is about to start his career, you will get advice from everywhere and everyone. They might be solicited or unsolicited. There would be people around who would discourage you from going by the path you wish to. All these factors can impact on your thought process. You might get confused and get deviated from your path. Therefore, it is important that you stuck to your plans.
- Career Friends: Making new career friends can be very helpful, especially if you are about to start your career as a fresher. Your career friends would be those people who were already in the profession you are about to step in or those who too like you wish to walk on the same path. You can get a very clear and vivid picture of the career path you are looking forward to from these groups of people. They will tell you about the current trends, what are the possibilities in the future and if you have any sort of wrong expectations, they will be able to clear it. So, get connected with more and more people who belong to the same field you are planning to go.
- Don’t Limit Yourself: You need to look at your career option from a broader perspective. Here, broader perspective means, being far sighted. As already mentioned, your subject of interest might not necessarily be the best career option for you. Therefore, it is very important for you to open up to all the possibilities which you can make use of. Limiting yourself to one option can at times block other avenues which you could have explored. Try to explore different options, encompassing the fields and areas that you love. In this way your chances to get a successful career will also get widened.
- Don’t Look Out For Too Many Options: This is something very important to remember. You might well have a couple or few options in your mind, but try and sort it down to as little as possible. If you try to go with too many options, it is again contradictory and inappropriate for you. The more you try to work with, more are the chances for you to get confused and this can seriously hamper your plans and focus. Therefore, it is very important to select one or two options and then start exploring them.
- Stick to Your Expertise: If you feel you have expertise in certain areas, then you must stick to it. If you think you are very good with accounts or you have the skills to manage people, then accountancy or management could be the best option for you. Even you will be aware of what you are good at. Therefore, work on it explore your own potentials, interests and likings and make yourself industry ready.
At Your Workplace:
Once you have crossed the threshold and entered into the professional world, then things would be much different than what they used to be. As a matter of fact, the things would be more difficult for you. Especially as someone who has no experience, it can be an uphill task for you. Remember, it is you who are responsible for your actions and you will be answerable to your superiors. In the professional world, “explanations” for mistakes are considered as “excuses”. Let’s be honest, you are likely to make mistakes. Even the most tenured and experienced people make mistakes and you being a fresher is most likely to commit one or two. Besides, there are other aspects of the job place which you need to take care of. Here are some tips which you might find handy. Check them out.
- Be Positive: It is very important to maintain a positive attitude. To be optimistic is the very basic requirement to excel. It is quite understandable that as a fresher, the initial few months would be difficult for you. Remember, this is your learning phase. If you buckle down under pressure, it would be very difficult for you to regain your strength. Therefore be positive and exhibit a “go, get it” attitude.
- Be in Charge: Don’t let others take over you while you are within your scope of operation. Always be in charge and let others around you know that you are in total control of the situation. Even if you encounter any problem, make sure you lead from the front to fix it. You can certainly seek assistance from your seniors and superiors; however, you are the one who needs to make sure that the situation is under control. The moment you allow anyone else to take over, then you end up losing your importance. So, take care of it and don’t let your chance to go.
- Be a Leader: When it comes to taking ownership of your career, it is very important to lead from the front. You must always take up responsibilities voluntarily and make sure that put in your sincere efforts to get things done. The aspect of leadership is of utmost importance these days; companies are looking for individuals with leadership qualities, those who can lead from the front. If you lag behind, either for inexperience or hesitation or something else, you will be treated as an amateur and someone else will take the lead.
- Take Responsibility: As already mentioned, you are quite likely to make mistakes at your workplace. They might be minor ones and at times they can be something very serious. Whatever the nature of the error you have committed might be, make sure you take the responsibility for your actions. If you feel that there are others who should share the responsibility along with you, name them; however, don’t try to downplay your role. Taking responsibilities of your action are one of the most vital aspects of taking ownership of your career.
- Be Passionate: You must have the passion to perform at your workplace. Be it leadership quality, being in charge of the situation or taking responsibilities for your actions; all of these are generated from your passion. Being passionate means, you are honest towards your work and at the same time dedicated.
- Be Honest: No matter what your job profile is; unless you are honest with your job, there is no way you will be able to make any progress. You must try and remain as much honest as possible. Though, it can be a difficult task to maintain honesty, even if you want to; however, if you can overcome the temptations and prove your own integrity to yourself, then you have certainly taken the ownership.
- Be Outspoken and Candid: Don’t hold yourself back! Speak out if you think you can contribute in a positive manner. Even if it is out of turn, don’t hesitate. The fact that you have come forward, out of turn to offer some sort of assistance will be highly appreciated. Even if you feel that your inputs might not be of great help, don’t pull your horses back, go ahead and spell it out. This is the kind of attitude which companies these days are looking for, someone who is up-front and not scared of being criticized.
How Ownership of Your Career will Help You Achieve Goals?
The reason why taking ownership of your career is so important is that it is going to help you to achieve almost everything which you would have wanted to. Those people who shy away from taking ownership are the one who lack behind. All those who have succeeded in their careers have taken ownership of their career in advance.
At the end, it can be said that one of the major factors which determine the success of a career is ownership. It is applicable to all forms of profession and it begins even before you have stepped into the professional domain. Therefore, whether you are a fresher or an experienced individual; irrespective of your rank and position, it is imperative that you took ownership of your career. Remember, it is your career, and you are responsible for the outcomes, irrespective of their nature.