How to take control of your career

Are you stuck doing a job you don’t like? Are you sick of being passed over for promotion opportunities? Whatever’s wrong in your working life, here are a few simple but effective ways to take control of your career.

Recognise your skills

All too often, people think of career progression only in terms of straight promotions. The fact is, regardless of your background, you probably have a whole range of skills that can prove useful in a variety of different jobs. So, by broadening your perspective and considering lateral career moves, you could open up a whole new realm of possibilities.

Take the example of working in face-to-face sales or fundraising. This can be a great career path in its own right, and it also provides people with an array of abilities that they can use in other work. In a recent blog post, Appco UK noted that these roles can help people to build their confidence and enhance their communication and organisational skills. It also pointed out that the self-employed brand ambassadors in the Appco network need to be able to think on their feet when dealing with people face-to-face. All of these abilities can be advantageous in many different jobs.

To ensure you’re aware of your full skill set, take some time to consider your work experience and training. If it helps, make a list of the abilities you’ve acquired. You might find you’re able to use these skills as a launchpad to a range of different careers.

Expand your knowledge and experience outside work

Restarting your studies or taking on unpaid internships can be a good way to get your career on the right path. But what if you can’t afford to give up work or go part-time for this purpose? There is an alternative to this approach. Instead, you could set aside some of your spare time outside of work to complete an evening course or take on voluntary work. These are both effective ways to enhance your knowledge and experience, and they don’t require you to sacrifice your income.

Be ready to seize opportunities when they arise

Good jobs can be few and far between, so it’s essential that you’re ready to seize opportunities when they arise. This means ensuring your CV is always fully up-to-date and showcases you in the best possible light. The same applies to your profiles on professional networking sites like LinkedIn. Keep a close eye on jobs websites too so that you don’t miss any relevant ads.

Set yourself clear targets

To help you stay focussed, it’s useful to create a clear plan for your career. For example, you could work out what your ultimate goal is, decide how long you want to give yourself to achieve this and then work backwards to list the steps you need to take in the meantime. You can then keep referring to your plan to see whether you’re on course to meet your targets.