No matter what job position you have or in what industry you work in, anyone can proactively influence the outcome of their career. When you ask individuals, who genuinely enjoy their profession, about how they created their career, they all share the common belief that everyone is responsible for their own career. While job experience and power of influence, may make it easier to design one’s job role, anyone can proactively impact their professional direction. Additionally, a person’s professional path also depends on knowledge, skill, and desire, luckily, these are all within our control. Find out in the next paragraphs, how you can design your own professional path.
Look for opportunities
If you want to expand your current job scope but are not practicing them in your current job role, you need to show your current employer that you have the right skills. Don’t make the mistake and solely trust the fact that you have worked X number of years for your employer. If you really want to change departments or be promoted, you need to proactively show that you are the right person.
You can do this by seeking a second job where you get to learn and practice new skills. If having a part-time job is not possible because you don’t have the flexibility, then create your own job, this way you can be your own boss, decide the outcome yourself but still expand your knowledge. It might be more difficult to start from scratch and you may not earn much but the skills you gain in return will be more worth. Regardless of what you decide, always remember that no one can take away the skills and experiences you have gained.
Let’s say for example you want to become a cook and are currently a waitress, take the opportunity from working at a restaurant, talk with the chefs and start selling your food to friends and family members, then take advantage of word of mouth and your network. If you are interested in social media but are a salesperson, I advise you to create a social media page of your hobby. Once a social media position is open, show your employer your social media page. Have courage and don’t hesitate when the opportunity arrives, as most employers prefer hiring current employers rather than hiring someone new.
People often believe that promotions only come with doing more of what they are already doing. Try something new and be open to new opportunities by leaving your comfort zone. Another way how you can be promoted is by identifying existing problems and then pitching strategies that could provide solutions to your employer. Consider that this requires you to do extensive research, it is not enough to solely point out existing problems. You need to clearly communicate to your employer what would happen if the problem is not solved and what role you will play in solving the issue. Additionally, communicate your idea to as many decision-makers as possible, this way you get to express the urgency and expand your network simultaneously. Not only does this showcase that you genuinely care but also that you are an expert and the only one who can provide a solution.
Become the expert
If you genuinely want to take control of your career, you will take the responsibility and not wait for an opportunity to fall into your lap. Your mind is your strongest asset and only you can influence your knowledge and skills. Become the expert of your desired job role and career by reading books, watching videos, listening to podcasts, or joining courses. People still underestimate the power of the internet and that information is out there for free. In several professions employers conduct on-the-job training for their employees, realizing that it is cheaper to train existing team members rather than onboarding new employees. Take control of your career, instead of waiting to be trained, train yourself. If you genuinely care about self-improvement and taking charge of your own career, you know that education and expansion of existing skills will pay off in the long run.
Overall, job experience and your network may impact how efficient you get to influence your career. Career development also comes with not always doing the fun stuff, just make sure to do more of the tasks that would add value to your own career. Additionally, creating your own career comes with several sacrifices, you may have to take a job you don’t want to or have to do several jobs, but that’s what creating your own career path is about and you owe it to yourself to live your dream profession.
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The content in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not a substitute for professional career advice and consultation; it is provided with the understanding that Millennial Warrior is not engaged in the provision or rendering of professional advice or services. You understand and agree that Millennial Warrior shall not be liable for any claim, loss, or damage arising out of the use of, or reliance upon any content or information in the article.