Taking Control of Your Career
When’s the last time you felt in control of your career? Most days, we feel like our career is controlling us: telling us when to wake up, when to stay late, and how much money we can earn — which is never enough!
There are two big ways to take control of your career, but both of them have to come from you. You can’t wait for a boss or manager to give you control of your career; that will never happen. Instead, you have to make the choice that from this day forward, you will be in control, no matter what.
Method 1: Change Your Mindset
Who, ultimately, is the boss of you? That’s right: YOU. No matter what your work boss says or does, and no matter how little control you feel like you have over your current job, the truth is that from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed every day, you are the boss of your own actions and choices.
What would happen if you went to work tomorrow under the new mindset that you were in control of your career, and no one else? Maybe you’d manage your tasks more efficiently so you could get more done without staying late or feeling stressed; when you’re in control of your work, rather than feeling like someone else is dictating what you do, you are naturally more productive and happier.
Maybe you’d spend an hour cataloging your contributions to your company and then set a meeting with your supervisor to negotiate a raise. There’s nothing like asking for an increased salary — and getting it! — to make you feel like you’re in control of your career.
If you want to go this route, do some homework in advance. Like the team at Money Management International notes: before you go into the meeting, you need to know exactly what you bring to the table, and you also need to know whether your company currently has the financial resources to offer raises. Part of being in control of your career is knowing when to strategically pursue opportunities, and this includes raise negotiation.
When you change your mindset to decide that you’re going to be in control of your career, and no one else, you start thinking of things differently. You literally become the CEO of You, and start to have real agency in the role you play in your workplace, from the way you contribute to teams to the time you take out of your schedule to refill the office copier. You understand that your role in the workplace isn’t just to do what you’re told; it’s to create the best possible opportunity for your own advancement and growth.
Method 2: Change Your Career
Sometimes changing your mindset is not enough. Sometimes, to take control of your career, you have to actually change jobs — or change career fields altogether.
Luckily, there are ways to get started on this process while still remaining gainfully employed at your current job. Online classes are one of the best ways to learn new skills and prepare yourself for a new career. As with the other aspects of taking control of your new career, be strategic; look for a career path that has both high demand for workers and high possibility for advancement, like careers in healthcare. Start with this list of the US Department of Labor’s fastest growing occupations, then start looking for schools that offer related degrees, such as a healthcare administration degree.
Once you have found a potential new career path, it’s time to get to work. Often, just the act of taking classes related to your new career path will give you an increased sense of control over your career, and you’ll start getting excited about career possibilities again. Look for new fields of study online, specifically noting degrees that would benefit from new legislation like healthcare administration. You can find more info on this at http://online.bryantstratton.edu/bs-health-services-admin/.
As you take your online classes or otherwise brush up your skills to prepare for a new job or career step, remember to take the CEO of You mindset into every aspect of your job hunting and negotiation. You don’t want to jump from one bad job to another, after all. Make sure that your new job fits your needs, offers a competitive salary, provides benefits like a few weeks of vacation every year, and gives you opportunities to advance in your career. After all, you are in charge of your own career now — it’s up to you to only choose good career opportunities.
*This is a Guest Post by Sara Stringer