#95 Prepare for the Future by Owning Your Career

owning your career

Every day you will make choices that will position you for a bright future… or not. Learn why owning your career affords you the ability to create an amazing future.

I. Success

No doubt, it can be a seamless exercise to take credit for our big wins.

Maybe a big win for you is increasing company revenue. Perhaps you’ve prevented a grave blunder or influenced a difficult customer. It’s natural to want to take credit for our wins, and that may look different for everyone. In fact, I would argue that sometimes we need to take credit for our wins, both personal and professional.

And wins can be external (such as recognition by the team) or internal (recognition from within). This is important because the wellbeing of any professional’s life hinges on balancing both external internal wins. This topic is another conversation for another time – see my webinar replay “Are you too Attached to Your Career?” for details.

While there can be a line between boasting about your triumphs vs. sharing them out of joy, please congratulate yourself for every obstacle you defeat. This acknowledgement exercise is part of a larger process that leads to owning your career, as mentioned in Section III.

II. Failure

But it’s not so easy to take credit for failure, is it?

This can be a tough challenge when it comes to owning your career: admitting mistakes, failures or lousy judgment calls.

It’s uncomfortable to say, “Yup, I sure screwed that up. I definitely made a bad call.” However, this is part of the process of openly admitting our failures or mistakes… leading to career ownership. And this process is so uncomfortable to some professionals that they will avoid it, hide it, or try to blame. 

It can feel bad enough to realize you have misjudged or made a mistake. But the negative feelings only compound as the lack of ownership lingers. And then these negative feelings compound. The result is that you show up as a lesser version of yourself, dismissing a portion of your capabilities. Thus, you perform at a level that is beneath you.

When we fail to own mishaps or mistakes, our self-worth takes a beating and we regress in our level of emotional intelligence. This is not the way to position yourself for the future.

III. Career Ownership

We all face moments of truth: that moment in which you must decide who you want to be in a tough situation. Are you the person who fears consequences or others’ opinions? Are you the person willing to embrace consequences that you manifested and then learn from mistakes?

There is an exchange that happens when it comes to owning your career:

The employee willing to suffer temporary discomforts (such as embarrassment or guilt) by owning all mistakes/failures gets to, in return, graduate to the next level of emotional intelligence… a major internal win! This person is building the skill of learning how to own all that they have created – the good and the bad.

Why is that important? Because one of the greatest benefits of employment is that we are afforded ample opportunity to unravel our own capabilities. Capabilities we never knew we had. 

But unraveling your capabilities requires the intermittent painful process of owning all actions, emotions, and results.

Practice owning both failures and successes to tune into your higher intelligence. The result is elevated self-respect and the privilege to earn that next level of your being.

If you enjoy this content, I invite you to ask me about free career strategizing and follow me on LinkedIn!