Your career is yours to create.
But it can be surprisingly easy to forget this powerful concept.
Which is forgivable. It can feel like so much is out of our control, given our careers are broken up into small steps which is often getting a job or getting a client or selling things. These involve other people. How can we create our careers, knowing that so much of it is all to do with other people or maybe even “luck”? Whether you’ll succeed or fail can feel like it’s in the hands of other people.
While I would never pretend that things are easy or guaranteed — it’s irresponsible to say you can do whatever you like with ease — what I do believe, however, is that we have far more control and more influence over our careers than we might think.
I truly believe that our careers are ours to create.
When I had the light bulb moment and realised my career was mine and I was the sole person responsible for creating it, my attitude shifted. I started to open my mind to new possibilities. I started to look for different opportunities and seek ways to build the skills I needed for the roles I wanted.
Your career is not for meeting expectations from others or for the sake of achievement. It’s because it gives you something to work towards; to be engaged in, to gain whole-hearted fulfillment from, and to feel like you are making a difference.
Do you feel like you are actively creating your career?
When you reflect on this question, don’t feel bad if you feel like you’ve been on auto-pilot. I know I’ve had that feeling before. “Creating your career” is an attitude shift, and it means you will actively start to seek goals that help you grow in the direction you want to go. And while it’s a process and a lifelong journey, this attitude shift can happen any time. And there’s no time like the present.
Some ways to get started
I always advocate for reflection time. It helps immensely with mental space and clarity. Everyone’s different, but one of the best ways to do this is to grab a notebook and a pen.
Journalling is a brilliant way to go a little deeper below your surface-level thoughts. I find it unlocks answers to things I didn’t even know I had questions for.