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Taking Control of Your Career – 6 Career Development Tips

Taking Control of Your Career – 6 Career Development Tips

You often hear many people saying they picked the wrong career. Or you hear them complaining about a lack of professional development in their chosen careers. Usually, such people don’t accept their part in their career woes. In the 21st century, you need to hold yourself accountable for your career choices and decisions. You are more in control than you would otherwise think.

Taking Control of Your Career Development

Having spent a large part of my professional career in human resource management, I often get to hear from disgruntled employees. I always ask them the same question, “Have you spoken to your supervisor?”. The response is mostly in the negative.

I think a lot of people make the mistake that you can get career development in the same way I subscribed to Spectrum Voice. That is, just pay your dues (or perform your duties) and expect something more in return. This is rarely the case. Many people expect their supervisors to consider them for advancements, raises, and even bonuses. But the fact is, a supervisor is not a telepath.

Today, career development requires equal input from both the employee and the manager. Still, it is astonishing how few people know that they can influence their career paths. This means that in almost every organization, there are employees who fail to realize their true potential. As an HR professional, nothing makes me more upset. Which is why I’m sharing the following six tips to help you take control of your career development:

  1. Know Your Goals
  2. Talk to Your Supervisor
  3. Be Proactive
  4. Learn and Educate Yourself
  5. Network
  6. Find a Good Fit  

Let’s take a closer look at these tips below. Read on to find out more on how to be in control of your career.

Know Your Goals

Knowing your goals is the first and most important step towards gaining control over your career development. You need to be very clear on what your career expectations and goals are. Unless you have clarity on where you want to be, you will find it very hard to get there. Of course, your career goals may change as your career advances and your circumstances change. But knowing and focusing on your career goals will make your path forward much smoother.

Talk to Your Supervisor

If you really want your career to develop the way you want, you need to have an honest conversation with your line manager or supervising officer. This means you need to do two things. First, you need to clearly convey your career goals and expectations to your supervisor. Second, you need to ask for objective feedback on your performance. Make good use of annual reviews and performance appraisals for both these purposes. Without an honest conversation with your supervisor, you can’t expect them to know what you want from your career.

Be Proactive

Being a proactive member of your organization is very important if you want to advance in your career. You need to be ready to take action. For example, if an annual review turns up areas of improvement in your performance, be proactive about it. Go to your supervisor and ask for a structured plan to improve your performance.

Being proactive also means not being shy to ask for promising opportunities. If a project or position comes up that you think you’d be perfect for, don’t be afraid to ask for it. Asking for an opportunity shows that you have drive and initiative. It also allows you to explore your areas of interest and prove your competence to your colleagues.

Learn and Educate Yourself

It is foolhardy to think you know everything there is to know about your field. Even if you are the best at what you do, most fields continue to evolve as technology changes. Innovations and new developments mean the way things are done changes constantly.

Therefore, you need to be open to learning new things and educating yourself. This will not only increase your command over your career but also reflects well on your competency. Take advantage of any educational reimbursements for courses, degrees, and workshops that your employer supports.


Networking is a crucial part of taking control of your career development. But who should you network with? The short answer is everyone. Mingle with other professionals at work. Attend events which attract members of your areas of interest. Join professional bodies to expand the number of people you know in your field. You never know when networking with different people can pay off. You may learn something new, or you may even find your next job through them.

Find a Good Fit

The final step towards gaining control over your career development is to choose a career that is a good fit for your skills and interests. If you feel like you don’t fit well at your current job, be brave enough to move on.

If I didn’t have the courage to apply for my first HR job, I would probably still be selling Spectrum internet packages over the phone. There is nothing wrong with a job like that, it was just that my interests lay elsewhere. Don’t let the need for financial stability lock you down. If you think you aren’t a good fit at your current organization, don’t be afraid to explore other opportunities.

Linda Whitt

Linda Whitt

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