When it comes to having a career, there's usually no exact right or wrong way of doing things. Just because one path worked for someone doesn't mean it will work for you. But there are things you should do to take charge of your career if you truly want it to blossom. When you first started in your profession, you probably only had a vague idea what exactly you were getting yourself into if you did have any clue at all. You may had envisioned where you saw yourself and you probably had an idea of the type of work you wanted to do, but after a few years of experience, your perception and expectations might have changed.
While going to work every day may have slowly turned into a mundane routine, there are ways to change your view of your current situation by taking charge of your career again. To begin, you might want to ask for a little bit of help. "Work with a career coach. Someone who gets you and offers you objective feedback," says career coach and author to The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide Roy Cohen in an phone interview with Bustle. By taking this first step, you'll be allowing yourself to have the career you've always wanted. And remember: While your career might not define who you are as a person, it does take up a lot of your time, so you might as well make the most of it, right? Here are nine ways to take your career back into your hands once and for all.
1. Find Key People To Help Balance The Work Load
In order to propel forward, it's a good idea to hire people for your everyday business tasks so you can focus on the big picture. "As a business owner and founder there are going to be aspects of the business that you naturally excel in, and then other aspects that will drain and exhaust you mentally," says CEO & Founder of Sugarlash Courtney Buhler in an interview with Bustle over email. "I needed to outsource and hire staff to deal with: customer calls and emails, software updates, excel spreadsheet work, inventory management, and the day to day tasks of the business. This way, I stay fresh and excited about work each day and propel my business forward instead of feeling 'stuck in the weeds' doing tasks that are necessary, but not my forte."
2. Don't Be A Victim
Remember that you always have a choice of what path you want to go down when it comes to your career. The only person who can dictate your happiness is you. "Always remember that your career is your choice. If you choose to be there — be positive, be engaged, be resilient and bring your A-game. Don't play the victim. If you decide that you aren't happy working for a particular company, in a particular role or industry — then do something about it," says CEO of Skinfix Inc. & SweetSpot Labs Amy Gordinier-Regan in an interview with Bustle over email.
3. Control Your Attitude
While your resume and work ethic are pretty darn important, the way you present yourself to others is just as vital for your profession. "If you decide to 'go for it' in your current career, resolve to give it your all and be mindful of your attitude. Your energy and attitude are the most compelling elements of your personality — and can single-handedly make or break your career," says Gordinier-Regan.
4. Don't Give Up
Even when you feel down about your career, you have to learn how to pick yourself up to move forward. "Whether starting out or changing careers, it can be hard to get your foot in the door. Gaining experience is hardest when you don't have experience. But that doesn't mean you should give up. You might get rejected from a few opportunities but that doesn't need to stop you from making new connections and finding that person, or that company who will give you a chance," says Career Consultant & Executive Coach Maggie Mistal to Bustle over email.
5. Take Responsibility For Your Career Happiness
For you to fully take charge of your career, you should try to figure out what fits best with your lifestyle and what kind of profession you truly want to have. "To have the ideal career you've got to soul search to know what 'ideal' specifically means for you. Then you need to research to find or create the possible careers that match your ideal. In this way you take full responsibility for your own career happiness and your job search becomes about aligning with the right opportunities and less about winning a popularity contest," says Mistal.
6. Stop Negative Self-Talk
The only conversations you should be having with yourself are ones that are going to make you into a better person and help you have the best career possible. "I once read that the average person talks to him or herself 50,000 times [per] day and most of that is negative. It's hard to take charge with all that negative chatter distracting you. So make an effort to change your thoughts. It can change the outcome," says Mistal.
7. Be Clear On What You Want And Check Periodically
Your dreams three years ago might not be the same vision you have for yourself today. Ask yourself every now and then about what exactly you want to see if it still matches up with your career goals. "We think we want something, but our environment changes and we need to make sure everything in lines with what we want and it's still exciting," says Cohen.
8. Don't Be Afraid To Make Some Changes
Just because your career might not be going down the path you've been hoping for doesn't mean it's the end of the world. "Look at other options outside of your current career and determine if you are willing to take action to change your situation — whether that means speaking to your boss/organization about adapting your role in some way — or if that means leaving for another role/career altogether," says Gordinier-Regan.
9. Be Realistic
While everyone wants to make million of dollars and have a fantastic career, it doesn't just fall into your lap without an excellent work ethic. "Know that you need to work hard to get to where you want to go. Make this part of your career story, a part of your experience," says Cohen.
While you may not know where you exactly want to be in the next 10 years, how you decide to take charge of your career today will most likely determine how bright your future will be.