Owning Your Career by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans


To resuscitate your career, own it! This attitude is key. Take steps now to plan, build and strengthen it. Here’s how:

  • Know yourself.
  • Know your options.
  • Know how to take action.

Know yourself

Examine your interests, values and work skills. What do you love to do? Ask yourself:

  • What accomplishments at work have made me feel particularly proud?
  • What makes me feel unique in this organisation?
  • What kinds of things would I do if I could create my ideal workday?

The things you do well, value highly, and like doing give you a basic map for planning your career. Ask others:

  • What are my overdone strengths? (Too much of a good thing.)
  • What two skills should I strengthen? How would it help me, given what I want to do?

Seek out your critics. Listen to them. Get clear about your missing skills and those skills you overdo.

Know your options

Look around your organisation for trends, learning opportunities, and career options. You may be surprised to find projects, task forces, and jobs that will support your goals.

  • How much do you know about your organisation, industry, and profession?
    • What are the major industry, economic, political, and social changes that will affect this organisation?
    • What are the opportunities and problems ahead?
    • What counts for success here? How will that change in the future?

Not every step in a career has to be a step up. There are other options inside the organisation to consider. Talk to your boss to learn about these possibilities:

  • Moving laterally – a change in job, but not necessarily a change in level of responsibility
  • Exploring – testing and researching changes without permanent commitment
  • Enriching – seeding the current job with more chances to learn and grow
  • Realigning – adjusting the duties to reconcile them with other priorities and future possibilities

Imagine at least one move you could make in each of the above directions.

Know how to take action

Use this information to develop your plan. Be ready to answer these questions:

  • What new skills, knowledge, or abilities do I need to achieve my goals?
  • What are some short-term goals (3 to 6 months) that I could start on right now?
  • How can I gain new skills that will help me with my goals while in my current job?
    • What relevant experiences can I have through serving on committees and task forces?
    • Who in my network can help?

A clear plan of action turn goals into realities if you:

  • Write down your goals, steps and deadlines. Revise along the way.
  • Forge alliances with people who can help you.
  • Seek learning. Get training and experience to help you reach your goals.

Owning Your Career is doable if you look at yourself, look around and look ahead. You’re in charge of your career. You manage it within your company, within this economy and with the resources that you have.

“To resuscitate your career, own it! This attitude is key. Take steps now to plan, build and strengthen it.”

This blog post was written for getAbstract by Beverly Kaye and adapted from Love It Don’t Leave It: 26 Ways to Get What You Want at Work – Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans. All rights reserved.


If these ideas are useful to you, check out our upcoming career planning and career coaching workshops on 20 and 27 Mar 2017.

Having sat through the entire career development session, we found the content relevant, insightful and inspiring. We enjoyed the stimulating and interesting ways you conveyed the key points. The engaging exercises helped us understand and remember the key concepts too. 

– Andrew Fung, Director, Caliberlink

Thank you so much for conducting the career development session and gave us a lot knowledge for clarifying our career roadmaps as well as doing our jobs in better ways.

– Gordon Chen, Corporate Trainer, Aegis Media

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