I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Now is the time for you to take ownership of your career.
Elaine Pofeldt wrote an excellent piece on Forbes on this theme. She says: “Skip the long list of resolutions this year. If you really want to take charge of your career in 2014, you only need to make one: Stop delegating control of your career to others.”
I was recently talking with a professional who was trying to sell me a service. She showed me how it could potentially save us a modest sum of money.
The main thought I came away with was, “Will this make life easier for me? Will it increase or decrease the workload and burdens that I have to bear?”
I am putting together a “reading list” for the year. Having a blog about career development, coupled with a desire to advance in my profession, gives me motivation to read voraciously. I can learn from a broad array of authors and genres. I can write reviews. I can apply the insights I gain. I can follow up with additional blog posts about my successes and lessons learned.
My reading list includes books about the 80/20 principle, which states that 80% of our results come from 20% of our efforts. A corollary principle is that 80% of our efforts are rather wasteful since they only produce 20% of our results.
I once sent my resume to a potential employer who posted an “Accountant Wanted” ad. Specifically, the ad stated that the employer was looking for a Controller, which was a job I was interested in at the time. There were a few other details that caught my attention in the ad, and it looked like a good potential opportunity.
The owner of the business called me, and we set up a time to meet. The weather was cold and snowy, but I was excited to have the interview.
I was recently surprised by a question about a simple, routine business process. For lack of a better response, I calmly blurted out the familiar retort, “I’ve always done it this way.”
Initially, I wondered why only just now I was being asked about the process. I was taken aback. After all, the process seemed to work fine and no one had complained in the past. However, I refrained myself from being affronted or resenting the question. In fact, after my initial response, I paused and became more reflective.