Stop Waiting, Start Managing Your Career
Do you ever feel like you aren’t in control of your career, and find yourself in a pattern of waiting for someone else to tell you what to do? If that feeling resonates with you, stop the cycle in its tracks and make the conscious decision to become proactive in how you manage your career. While you don’t have control over career changing events such as companywide layoffs, there are many aspects of your career that you can (and should) manage. Don’t allow your professional life to stall and suffer because you are waiting for someone else to determine your future; instead, use the following to start brainstorming ways that you can become more hands on and invested in the direction of your career.
- Manage the amount of feedback that you receive from your peers and senior staff members by requesting it rather than waiting for them to give you constructive criticism or praise. After all, you may be left waiting until your next formal review for any feedback. By opening a dialogue in which feedback is given and accepted, you are demonstrating your willingness to listen and apply critiques to improve your work.
- Manage your professional development by seeking out and attending trainings and seminars that will keep you current and competitive in your field. Take advantage of educational opportunities that will not only build your resume, but can be used while negotiating a future wage, bonus or raise.
- Manage your commitments in the workplace by scheduling appropriately, prioritizing and learning to say “no” when you are presented with conflicting obligations. This will ensure that you have a healthy work/life balance, are able to follow through with your obligations, and don’t burn out.
- Manage your relationships with coworkers by keeping a professional and respectful demeanor and attitude. In addition to forming a positive reputation through being a team player, express your appreciation for their contributions to your success as well as team success.
- Manage your future and go beyond simply keeping an eye open for advancement opportunities. Too often, employees either wait for opportunities to present themselves, or wait until they are struggling and fearful of losing their job, to take matters into their own hands. Rather than waiting for the next stage of your career to become apparent, explore opportunities both within your company and externally to keep your career moving forward and upward.