Developing Your Career Part 1 – Who owns your career?

This is part 1 of a 5 part series on growing your career.

When it comes to the work place, who is in charge of your career?  Is it your manager, or is it you?

Many people that I have talked to have had differing opinions on this.  Many, when asked, had a puzzled look on their face and were not sure.  This doesn’t surprise me.  For example, when students are coming out of college, they have usually mastered the art of studying for exams, passing tests, etc.  They have been guided on what classes to take usually based on a course curriculum developed specifically for the discipline they are studying.  Everything has been laid out for them, all they were required to do was complete it.  There are some lingering questions that you must answer now, and may not even realize what the questions are.

For example:

What happens when that course isn’t defined for you any longer? 

What happens when you are released out into the work force and have so many options to choose from?

How do you know what skills you need to work on as you enter the work force and continue on in your career?

If you are lucky, you are able to get into a good organization or work for a manager or mentor that can help you define these things.  But remember, it is not your manager’s responsibility to grow your career.  That ownership belongs to you.  Don’t get me wrong, a good manager should and will help you, but in many situations, that isn’t guaranteed.  Which means the only person left is you.

The following key points are critical to successful career growth:

Take Ownership of your own career.

Remain Active and continue learning new things and growing your skill set.

Build quality relationships with everyone.

Remain positive in all situations.

Control your ego and go forth with humility.