Taking Ownership of Your Career - A Detailed Guide

Do you want a good job? You want to move up in your job. You want a promotion or a bonus. Or maybe you’re just trying to survive the layoff period. But you have no idea how to achieve these things. Well, Good news! Taking ownership of your career is very easy, you just need to change your approach towards your life and career. And we will help you in finding out how you can do this. The secret to a successful career is a very simple one; You need to take ownership.

What does it mean to take ownership?

Taking ownership means accepting responsibility for your career. It is easier said than done though. Every job you will ever have in your life, every duty, responsibility, project that exists within your career is a reflection of you as a professional. This is why you need to take responsibility for it to ensure that it reflects positively on you.

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Accepting ownership of your career comes with the understanding that your career is entirely yours. You are the one who’s responsible for it. Only you have authority over it. You can ask other people for advice and help but ultimately it is all up to you. Others do not direct your career nor do anyone can affect it. Therefore the only way to make sure your career goes where you want it to go, you must take ownership of it. You can start by understanding who you are and what you bring to the table. Once you have learned this, the next step is to figure out how to use it.

Sometimes, taking ownership isn't a glamorous or a remarkable move on your part. It can seem like a mundane task such as being accountable for a project within your job description. However, sometimes, it might mean having to take on tasks outside of what is expected of you, tasks that are tiring and difficult. Taking ownership also means being proactive and taking on these tasks with enthusiasm.

All of us strive for job security but you need to understand that the only security that can be achieved is the one that you create by and within yourself. In today’s competitive work environment, there is a noticeable shift occurring in the way we achieve success. It is clear that success depends entirely on our abilities

Why is it important?

The most important reason why taking ownership of your career is crucial is that it is going to aid you in achieving almost everything you have ever wanted. All the goals you have set for yourself are possible. People who shy away from taking ownership and do not take initiative will always lag.

There is a global shift occurring in the way organizations are structured. Because of changing market trends, stakeholder pressures, and customer demands, organizations are forced to become leaner. They have started to rely on outsourcing more and more. Freelancing, contract labor, outsourcing are changing the way work roles are defined.

This is a lot of fancy jargon, but what exactly does it mean? What this means is that you need to lead in charting your future rather than letting the changing times push and pull you to where it desires. Regardless of whether or not it is beneficial to you in the long run or whether or not it assists you in reaching your goals This is something you must do on your own. No one else can do it for you.

Still, why should you take ownership? Volunteering for every task, being responsible, doing grunt work that no one else wants to do. None of this sounds very fun. But ownership is vital, it has a direct hand in your success. You are viewed as an indispensable employee. Your boss will not want to lose. Because, at the most fundamental level, ownership as we discussed is telling your supervisor that you’ve got this. You are the one who is volunteering to be responsible for this task. You will also take responsibility for any failures that come in the way because of you.

What you have done here is taken off a huge chore from your supervisor's plate. This is every boss’s fantasy. With this, you have proven that you are an asset to the company.

How to take ownership?

You need to make rational, reasonable decisions and make sure that you take the responsibilities for the decisions which you have made. Remember, even if you have given someone the authority to make decisions on your behalf, it is still your responsibility, and you cannot blame anyone for what’s happening in your life. 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 will lose control of your career and performance.

Here 6 ways you can take ownership of your career.

1. Be a leader

Naturally, when it comes to taking ownership of your career, it is very important to take the lead. You need to embrace your role and take up responsibilities willingly. Carry them out to the best of your abilities.

In today’s economy, leadership qualities are one of the most important things to possess as Organizations are actively searching for employees who are responsible and “good men in a storm”. You need to be someone who can lead from the front rather than lagging and letting everyone else do the work.

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Organizations appreciate go-getters. It proves to them that you are a valued employee. Therefore, making you indispensable to them. When a crisis arises, you will be the first one people will look upon because you have maintained the reputation of being a problem-solver. To the organization, you are not much different from superman always reliably showing up to save the day. This is why they just cannot do without you.

Being a leader also means being able to take responsibility. don't be afraid to make mistakes, remember they are a normal part of life as well as a career. However, not owning up to your mistakes is not encouraged. Taking responsibility for your actions is one of the most critical aspects of being a leader and taking ownership.

Do not let it slip your mind that you are the one who is in charge. Make sure to let others around you know as well. You are the one who is in charge of your destiny and your career path. You are totally in control of the situation. You might need some assistance or advice now and then. Trust your peers, and try to delegate work.

2. Be Passionate and self-aware when it comes to your work

An integral part of ownership is being passionate about your work. You need to have your inner satisfaction. Be committed to finding meaning in your work.

It may seem like hard work, especially when you have to wake up before the sun on some Sundays. Searching for meaning and being passionate about your work, will lead you to enjoy work which will automatically cause you to be more confident in your abilities and eager to work towards being more responsible for your decisions.

To cultivate passion within yourself. Along with figuring out whether your current career is something you want to invest your time and energy in, you will have to do some heavy soul searching. It is certainly difficult but it is not impossible.

To start with you need to look within yourself and ask questions like

Ø What is your morning routine?

Ø What are some of your career goals?

Ø Where do you think you will reach in the next 5/10 years?

Ø If you had a different job (your ideal employment) how would your lifestyle change?

Ø Describe your passion. What challenges you? What intrigues you? Can you find this at your current employment?

Similarly, along with passion, it is also essential to be self-aware. There has never been a better time to cast an introspective look within yourself. Take out the time to objectively evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and figure out how you can use this to get ahead in your career.

3. Experiment

Never hesitate to try new things or adopt new ways. Venture out of your comfort zone in search of newer opportunities. This is a sure-shot way of claiming ownership over your career.

Experimenting helps you grow. Exploring new paths in your career is often one of the best sources of informal training. It teaches you many valuable skills such as networking, reading professional publications and books, cross-training, teaching, and mentoring. You can also go for formal training such as proper classroom-based teaching. You must remain a lifelong student, exploring new paths and gaining experience that will undoubtedly prove helpful in the long run.

Of course, the outcome of these experiments is always unknown. There is very little guarantee of whether or not they can be successful. Nevertheless, you will learn along the way which is a definite advantage. Don’t be afraid of failure. Big advances don’t happen without big failures. The best thing to do is to remember to draw on your previous knowledge and remain calm.

4. Career friendships

Teams become stronger by embracing our similarities and individual differences such as education, race, sexual orientation, gender, and family background. We have to remember to be proactive and be responsible for our own decisions and career choices. And even if we are supremely self-aware, have clear and concise goals, and are dedicated to personal development, there is still a chance that we might not be successful in the way we would want to.

Claiming ownership certainly does not mean that you have to reach all your goals and be successful all by yourself. You have to focus on building interpersonal relationships between family, friends, colleagues, customers, supervisors, and peers. If you fail to do so, you will not get far in taking control of your career.

5. Develop a career action plan

All of this work is useless if you do not have thought-out goals that you are actively working towards. Think about your short-term goals and your long terms goals. Figure out where you see yourself in five or ten years. Where you see yourself ending up is what will help you figure out how to get there.

Start by envisioning what you want for yourself and trace back to where you are right now. What’s different between you right now and you in the future where you have achieved your dreams? Are there any skills you need to get there? What sort of values and behavior is paramount to getting to these goals? What are some of the steps you need to take to be successful? All of these questions will help you create a strategic plan and give you the push you need to work actively but in a strategized, no-fuss manner.

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6. Blame-Game

The extract of taking ownership of your career is to stop blaming others. You need to stop blaming others for what is happening in your personal and professional life. The day you will realize that everything that is happening in your work life is the result of your hard work, mistakes, efforts, and dedication, you will become the owner of not only your career but your life. The person who whines about others letting him down or getting in his way can never succeed in their life.

Whether you are a fresher or an experienced professional with many years under his belt. Taking ownership of your career is essential in excelling in your professional life. Not only that but it applies to every type of professional field there is. What's important to remember is that you spend a lot of your time at work. You have the choice to approach this time proactively and win in terms of personal development, life satisfaction, and career success.