Long boring days, lack of challenges, uninspired, don’t know the next steps? Does this sound like your work week?  If it does, then it’s time that you take ownership of your career. According to a  report by the Conference Board, a New York-based nonprofit research group, 52.3% of Americans reported being unhappy at work. The good news is that if you find yourself in a place of dissatisfaction you can always change it! There is still time to have a fulfilling career, of course, you will need to put some things in place to help you take the reins. Here are some tips for you to take ownership of your career.

Know Who You Are & What You Want

One way to take ownership of your career is to identify the kinds of activities that you enjoy as well as the type of environment you would like to be in.

Do you want to work in an office? Retail store?  Run Your Own Business? Would you like to have a company car?

What do you want to spend your time doing at work – on the phone, working by yourself at your computer, collaborating with other people, or perhaps something a little more non-traditional?

Unfortunately, many people don’t take the time to get to know who they are and what they want. They get caught up in their daily routines and current situations. By answering these questions, you are taking the steps towards owning your career.

 Be Proactive

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve encountered people who claim to want to work in a specific field, but haven’t done research to find out what the market requirements are. Some individuals even complete a degree in their particular field but acquire none of the required experience needed for entry into the field. If you are to own your career, you must first be proactive. Whether you are a college student or working professional, take the necessary steps to gain both practical experience and education to enter into your particular field of choice. Yes, I know that it can be hard to manage your time, we all have so many obligations these days, but if something is important, you need to find time in your schedule for it.  Network with industry professionals, schedule informational interviews, and conduct research in an effort to obtain information that will help you reach your career goals. You can’t wait around for opportunities to fall in your lap—more than likely they won’t.

 Never Fear Trying New Things

Many people stay in situations out of comfort and fear. You can read my article about this topic here. You hate your job but at least you don’t have to learn something new, right? Or you don’t like the company you work for but you make a great salary. These are just a few of the excuses I hear from people who stay in unhappy situations. When you take control of your career you will sometimes have to make decisions that will take you out of you comfort zone. However, in the end I believe you will be happier. Don’t settle for anything less than what you have in mind for yourself. The path to reaching your goal may not be a smooth one, but you will learn that you are capable of getting through any obstacle that gets in your way.

In conclusion, make certain that you are the boss of your own career. Ensure that the moves you make (or don’t make) are all leading you towards the goals you have set for yourself. Don’t get caught off guard at a place that unexpectedly lets you go when your plans were to retire from the company. Pay attention to your surroundings and read the writing on the wall. Don’t depend on a degree alone to help you reach your goals. Take the initiative to research what employers are looking for, and sell yourself as just that. If you have to work, you might as well be happy with what you do. Owning your career is half the battle.

I have helped many people find career happiness through my business Career SkyRocket LLC. If you need assistance in a job search or with developing  professional marketing materials (resume, cover-letter, LinkedIn Profile) check out my packages here: http://careerskyrocket.com/career-coaching-packages/

Also if you enjoyed this article feel free to view some of my previous work. Here are some of my more popular articles:

How Your Job Can Help & Hurt Your Business

Advice For The Frustrated Job Seeker

Is It Time To Leave Your Job?