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It's time to take control of your career! Individuals who have the most career success are typically those who take full ownership and control of the direction their career is heading. They do not sit around and wait for the next opportunity to arise or for someone to tell them what they need to do. Instead, they grab hold of their own ideas and passions and build their most successful career. So, what exactly do they do? Related: How 4 Words Control Your Career Decisions Here are five things you need to do to take control of your career:


1. Make A Plan

First, they make a plan. They decide where they want to go and then make a plan to get there. For some people, this is a long-term plan (5+ years) and for others it's much shorter (12 months). The point is that they have a plan and an end state in mind. They know where they want to go and document the steps that must be achieved to reach that end state. They are also flexible with these plans because they know that things change in life and career plans must be altered accordingly. Having a plan is your blueprint for career success.

2. Get A Mentor

Another thing that these individuals do is get themselves a mentor. They seek out someone who has more experience than they do and who has taken a similar path as they are taking. This is a person who can guide them and help them get the necessary exposure and experiences that are required to be successful. A mentor is also someone who can give honest feedback and who you can trust. Find yourself a trusted mentor who can help guide you along your career path to success.

3. Build Strong Relationships

Taking control of your career also means building strong relationships with key stakeholders and having a solid network of referrals. The key stakeholders are those people who have a say in where you go next with your career. They can be people internal to the company where you work or your external contacts. The point is that you must have solid relationships with these individuals, as they are the people who will vouch for you and provide you with necessary referrals and recommendations. The more solid your network is and the better your relationships are with your key stakeholders, the more options you will have as you travel along your career path.

4. Figure Out What Skills You Need To Succeed

As you build these relationships and put your plan together, you must also have a firm understanding of the skills and experience required to reach your career objective. This is something your mentor and key stakeholders can help you comprehend. If you do not know what skills and experiences you need to reach your goal, ask these people for input. Then determine what training, exposure, or other assignments you may need to get the required development. Look for the experiences you need to develop and take the necessary steps to get those experiences. Remember, you're doing what is essential to be in full control of your career growth.

5. Stand Out From The Crowd

Finally, you want to do everything you can to stand out from the crowd. Having full control of your career success means you get ahead at the rate which you want to, and are prepared for, and you have many opportunities to advance. To do this, you must perform beyond expectations, take the difficult and sometimes unwanted assignments and even take the occasional assignment that's outside your comfort zone. By demonstrating your ability to be successful outside of your comfort zone, shining in difficult roles and consistently performing beyond expectations, you will stand out from others. You will be the one your company leaders and customers look to for expertise and be in full control of the direction of your career. Your career can be anything you want it to be. It's yours to grow and develop however best suits you. Taking these steps will ensure you're in full control of the level of success you achieve. And, if you implement these steps, you will achieve the highest levels of success throughout your career. This post was originally published on an earlier date.

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Everyone needs to feel their voice is heard and their contributions are important. Something as simple as sharing a drink the last hour of the day on a Friday with the team to recap wins and give praise can build camaraderie within the team.


All of the above are fairly simple to implement but can make a huge difference in morale and motivation. Have any of these tips worked well for young the past? Do you have other tips to motivate your creative team? If so, please share them with me!

Encourage curiosity. Spark debate. Stimulate creativity and your team will be better at handling challenges with flexibility and resourcefulness. Create a safe space for ideas, all ideas, to be heard. In ideation, we need the weird and off-the-wall ideas to spur us on to push through to the great ideas.

Sure, there are a ton of studies done on this, but here is my very unscientific personal take. When team members can make decisions about how they work on projects, they are more engaged and connected to the project outcome. When they see how potentially dropping the ball would affect the entire team, they step up. When they feel like what they are doing is impactful and valued, they are naturally motivated to learn more, and be even better team members.

Rarely does a one-size-fits-all style work when it comes to team motivation. I have found that aligning employee goals with organization goals works well. Taking time to get to know everyone on your team is invaluable. What parts of their job do they love? What do they not enjoy? What skills do they want to learn? Even going so far as to where they see themselves in five years career-wise. These questions help you right-fit projects, and help your team see you are committed to creating a career path for them within the company.

Most designers I know love a good challenge. We are problem solvers by nature. Consistently give yourself and your team small challenges, both design-related and not. It will promote openness within the team to collaborate, and it will help generate ideas faster in the long run. Whether the challenge is to find a more exciting way to present an idea to stakeholders or fitting a new tool into the budget, make it a challenge just to shake things up.

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