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If You Have Career Choices, You Have Career Control

career controlWe often don’t recognize how much control we actually have in our careers.

For example, here’s a very small list of the really big things we can control: attitudes, education, what we buy, whom we date or marry, where we choose to live, what we wear, our hairstyle, our eating habits, what we do with our leisure time and where we choose to put our faith. Nobody has final say in what you do with those things but YOU!

But what’s amazing to me is that once an individual feels their choices are limited, they draw the conclusion that they no longer have control of, or a choice about, much of anything. They have focused on the new limitations rather than the other factors they still control.

A friend of mine was going through a divorce and was stretched financially. He accepted a job offer he didn’t really want and explained, “I didn’t have a choice!” But there were reasons he was stretched financially. He believed he had to continue to live in an expensive part of town in a large home, maintain his membership in his country club and continue to stable a horse, one that he spent little time riding. He felt trapped by the lifestyle he’d created and saw himself as someone who didn’t have control of his choices. However, he was very much in control. Perhaps that control was more limited than in the past, but the point is that he still had command of many of these factors that he believed were trapping him.

When it comes to your career, where do you feel limited? Are you feeling that you are still in control of your career growth? What steps are you taking to use the power you have? Are you mapping out alternate plans and strategies within your organization? What conversations do you need to schedule and with whom?

If you have choices, you have control. Once you see yourself as a victim, you have given up your power and will not clearly see opportunities to redirect or rebuild your career path or your life. The key is to recognize change when it happens and then take steps to create a strategy to master it.

If this is a topic that interests you, dig deeper with my book RINGMASTER: 8 Strategies For Becoming A Star Performer In The Midst Of Change.