Why You Need To Take Control Of Your Own Career

ship steering wheelIf you had expectations of plugging in thirty years with only ever working in one company, think again. The landscape is changing for career and business minded professionals, and it is becoming more prudent, now more than ever, to take control of your own career. Forbes Magazine coined the term “Careerpreneur” to reflect a growing trend towards people managing their careers like entrepreneurs – always searching for the next big opportunity.

There are a number of factors influencing the job market today; consider the following:

* Economies around the world are undergoing massive restructuring. Economic power is shifting and adjusting. The old ways of doing things just aren’t working any more. Flexibility and adaptability are critical success factors for organizations and employees alike.

* The jobs that are available today, and in the future, are very different than the jobs held by previous workforces.

* Financial markets have been volatile since the financial crisis of 2008 causing organizations to be cautious when it comes to long term planning and investment. Training and development budgets are often the first to be cut.

* Companies are operating in a global economy requiring their leaders to have global awareness, experience, and savvy.

* There is little or no job security for existing employees.

* Employers expect new hires to be skilled.

* And here is a sad truth: over 70% of employees in the workplace admit to being disengaged in their work.

* Upward mobility and the notion of climbing the corporate ladder is falling by the wayside, as companies flatten their organizational structures and adopt more collaborative matrix systems of structure to get the work done.

* According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a growing trend for older employees to delay retirement and therefore work longer. This has implications for employees of all ages. In 2000, 12.9% of people older than 65 were in the workforce. By 2010 that number grew to 17.4% and by 2020 that number is predicted to be 22.6%.

* 40% of new lateral hires at the manager level or above lose their jobs within 1 year, often due to mistakes made in the first 90 days. One of the common reasons cited for being “let go” is that the manager or executive doesn’t “get” the work culture.

* Buzz Marketing Group conducted a survey of 1613 Generation “Y”ers and concluded that 35% of Gen Y that have full time jobs have also started their own business on the side to supplement their income.

Convinced that you need to take control of your own career? Here are 4 steps you can take right now:

1. Take inventory. Understand who you are; your values, strengths, passions, skills and development areas. Maintain a strong sense of self by really getting to know who you are.

2. Set goals. Based on what you uncovered in your inventory above, think about the next 3-5 years and set some career goals and objectives.

3. Develop an action plan. Think about the actions you could take right now. Perhaps it’s to network more, update your resume, create a linked in profile, take a course or hire a coach. Taking control is about knowing what you want and do not want and moving forward with purposeful action.

4. Measure your success. Determine what success would look like for you. Set milestones and monitor your progress towards your goals. Celebrate your successes regularly.

Remember, investing in yourself provides you with the greatest return on investment you will ever make. Become a “Careerpreneur” and manage, rather than be managed, by your career.

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