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How to Own Your Career: Ten Steps to Taking Control of Your Professional Destiny


There are many reasons why women should pursue a career. For instance, having a career will enable them to channel their education and talents, help them develop confidence, and gain financial independence. If she has gone to school and gained the necessary skills, then it is only natural that she did something with them. Many career women in the United States and other parts of the world get into their place of work as guests, and very often, they are treated as guests. Research has shown that the extent of your career growth depends on you, and it is as simple as making a choice. If you go about your career as a guest, you limit yourself because, as a guest, there is only so much that you can expect or ask for. An owner, however, has a different perspective. Her confidence level is higher, and she chooses what she wants. It is, therefore, vital that you own your career. Here are ten steps that will help you along the way.

Stop looking elsewhere: It's your profession at stake here. So, take the focus away from everyone and the environment for a moment and keep it on you. We are not talking about self-absorption but Self-Reflection to determine what you want. It is through self-reflection that you become self-aware. The most significant impediment to career success is a need for more self-awareness. You need to know your strengths and weaknesses to apply yourself coherently, and a lack of coherence in your career does not lead to ownership. It leaves you wide open to poachers, distractions, and even loss of your position. But armed with actual knowledge of what you want in your profession, your strengths, and weaknesses, you can set your career goals. These are your own goals that will help you own your career if you work on them.

Skill Development: "Continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success in any field.″ Brian Tracy. Continuous learning could grow your skill set, increase your knowledge, inspire new ideas, increase your confidence, and boost your performance. There are strategies for effective skill acquisition and improvement:

1. Identify the skills you already have and the ones that are needed in your current position and in the position you aspire to attain in your long-term goal. Taking stock of your skills is essential because you have to excel where you are and intentionally position yourself for where you want to be.

2. Acquire skills that are trending and emerging in your industry.

3. Be intentional about your training as you would in any investment activity so that your return on investment (ROI) will set you apart in your profession.

Mix and match skills from related industries. If you are an accountant in a healthcare company, invest reasonably in accounting and financial management in technology industries. Every industry is being affected by technology. And be strategic in your skills acquisition and improvement. Do not overcrowd yourself with skills in a short space of time. The goal is to "nurture intrinsic motivation and self-guided discovery, providing the minimum amount of instruction and feedback necessary to stimulate positive change.″ Alex Hutchinson [Inside Oct. 27, 2023] While all these may sound inundating and time-consuming, you can leverage online courses and resources and employer-sponsored training opportunities and pace yourself.

Networking and Building Relationships: we get it. You are a very busy woman. Your calendar is swirling with business activities and family commitments, so you don't feel like chatting and making small talk. Sorry to burst your bubble, but your network creates your net worth. And no, networking is not asking for help from people. It is about building and nurturing relationships with people. Do you have to subscribe to professional associations? Yes. But it is optional to subscribe to every professional or networking association out there. You, however, need to be purposeful in networking. For instance, plan why, who, and how to network. There are opportunities to network everywhere. At work, your place of worship, coffee shop, bookstore, online, community events, etc. Figure out the networking method that works best for you. If you are an introvert, start with small, intimate groups or one-on-one networking, perhaps at your place of work. But try out different formats and then settle for the style that suits you best.

Once you establish a contact, you have to nurture the contact. This writer was guilty of not following up on her contacts—a considerable loss. What you don't know can hurt. So take it from me:

a) Value your contacts, and treat them like your flowers by watering and adding manure as needed.

b) Seek for ways to add value and not to consume value.

c) Set healthy boundaries. It would be best if you didn't say yes all the time.

In every setting, people tend to seek advice or help from women. While this may seem good, however, many women feel constrained to say no even when they should.

Proactive Career Planning: There is a scientific theory that says people achieve career success based on how the individual sees themselves with their career and their social environment. Achieving a goal requires planning, which entails processing one's desired outcome. A proactive mindset embraces articulated movement, while a reactive mindset reacts to an event or occurrence. For instance, if a lawyer wants to make a partner in the firm where she works, it cannot happen by luck. She needs to take the proactive steps to find out what the requirements are. She will have to make plans to meet those requirements before a position for a partner is available. If the requirements include showing leadership and the ability to exert influence and solve problems, start from where you are to demonstrate those skills. If you don't have them, acquire them and begin to apply. The proactive aspiring partner should start early to create her career road map to her goal and set short-term and long-term milestones while adapting to changes and unexpected opportunities.

Personal Branding and Online Presence: In today's competitive marketplace, personal branding for the career woman is essential. It will provide her with (a) unique identity, (b) credibility, and (c) differentiate her from the others. Your brand is your close-up shot. As a female professional, you need these three elements to craft a strong personal brand to get the attention you need.

- identify your personal and professional values, your purpose, and that one powerfully valuable thing that you alone can provide. It should also speak to who you are.

- E.Q. [Emotional Intelligence] is in high demand, and women are said to have higher E.Q. than men.

- Your authentic self should be evident in your brand, portraying who you are as a person and professional.

Utilize social media and professional networks to build your brand, showcasing your expertise and achievement. It will help you own your career.

Effective Communication and Leadership: Almost all job requirements include effective communication or the ability to communicate. Every career woman needs vital communication skills regardless of her position or line of business. Good communication skills can help you understand your duties and responsibilities.; help advocate for your rights and salary, resolve conflicts, and motivate and execute your projects more effectively. While we can argue that the workplace needs women leaders, it is essential to note that leadership roles require leadership skills such as assertiveness, the ability to perform, perseverance even under pressure, the courage to take risks, strong communication skills, emotional intelligence, and mentoring. It takes time to acquire these skills, but you can start from where you are to learn and apply. Starting where you are will get you noticed when the time comes for promotion.

Time Management and Work-Life Balance: Balancing career ambitions with personal life has challenged women and continues to challenge their career journey. Without the ability to manage your time efficiently, your work-life relationship will veer off. Several resources are available to help the working woman maintain a work-life balance. The critical resource is support. Many professional women need to ask for the support they need. One reason is fear of being perceived as lazy or incapable. Women need support from the family and employers. With effective communication, they can get the support they need. There are training courses and tools that can provide you with the right help you need. The most important thing is to decide to do something to take charge of your professional life continuously. With the various technologies out there, you don't have to search too far to get some help. If you have a smartphone, you can do a lot with it. For instance, you can plan your day, set alarms or reminders, and keep track of your children at home. Avoiding burnout and maintaining well-being is crucial to career ownership.

Taking Risks and Embracing Change: Every day, we take risks in one way or the other. Regarding our careers, women tend to be more hesitant to make bold moves. More women are losing jobs in the current climate of artificial intelligence. [As The World Turns: Embracing A.I. for Growth and Success] This is a must-read for anyone wanting to improve themselves. It delves deeply into overcoming fear and tackling the challenges that life may throw at us. If you are due for a promotion but afraid of asking because you feel that asking might portray you as too aggressive, so you decide instead to hide in the crowd and hope that somehow, it will happen, what might happen is that the company might hire someone from another department or outside the company to fill the position. Take calculated risks to grow your career. Calculated risk could mean saying more yes than no. It could mean venturing into pursuing your passion, especially if you have become comfortable with where you are. A Harvard Business Review discovered that chief executive officers who take more risks derive more career fulfillment. When you take risks, chances are that you will suffer some setbacks and failures. How do you respond to setbacks and failures? These are new canvases you can imprint your masterpiece, but only if you learn from them and see them as such. If you throw in the towel because of a failure at the first attempt at a new idea, your chances of career fulfillment are slim. Let setbacks and failures be your guideposts.

Seek Feedback and Continuous Improvement: There is excellent value in feedback. And there are strategies for seeking and utilizing feedback. Do not engage in random feedback. First, determine why you want the feedback. Is it for growth? Get more information and delay judgment? Remember, your boss is not the only person you work with. Keep an open mind. What is the point in asking and, at the same time, resisting the feedback? It is essential that you are clear on why you want feedback, and it is even more so who you seek the feedback from. Feedback is a powerful resource for continuous improvement. Reflect on the feedback you get and make informed choices on what to take from it and how and where to apply it. Feedback tells you what you need to improve on and what you are doing well; it tells you how people see you and how people see things. Remember, it is a resource, and any unused resource is a waste. To take ownership of your career, you should utilize your resources optimally. Remember to give feedback when necessary. When giving feedback, consider how you would like to receive it if were receiving it.

Staying Informed and Adapting to Industry Trends: It is important to keep up with the trends and changes in your industry, especially in this fast-evolving digital and technological landscape. New technologies, consumer demands, and market shifts are influencing industries. The career woman must stay informed and adapt to these dynamics to remain competitive and succeed in their profession. Staying informed will increase your knowledge, enhance your professional reputation, increase your networking value, and add more value to your career portfolio. The importance of adapting to industry trends is invaluable. It can make you an industry expert and set you apart from your colleagues, making you more attractive.


Owning your career is not a gift from the outside but a choice. As a career woman, you must know what you want, plan, set your goals, and work on them. Take proactive actions, improve your skills, network, seek and utilize feedback, and keep up to date with industry trends. Ladies, it is your career. Start today to take the right actions that will enable you to take ownership and control of your professional destiny.

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