Be the CEO of your career
You may not have thought of it like this before, but you are a CEO.
More specifically, you are the CEO of your Career.
Meaning that the future of your career is in your hands. What you do with it. Where you go with it. How successful you are with it.
Whether or not you take responsibility for it, doesn’t change the fact that as CEO, it’s your job to ensure it’s success, and it’s you that’s ultimately on the line if it fails.
Often times people don’t see their careers this way. Which means they go through life with more of a liazz-e-affaire leadership approach – where whatever happens, happens. This can feel like their career happens to them. But that isn’t how it works. We are each in charge of our own, whether or not we realize it.
The beauty of this is that it means we each get to decide how we want to lead. What approach we want to have, and what we want that career to look like. So what does it take to be a successful CEO?
A sense of direction
This means that instead of reacting to whatever happens to you at work, it’s up to you to take charge and give yourself a sense of direction and purpose. A great way to do this is to have a strategic conversation with yourself. Any CEO would have quarterly meetings and goals to determine if they’re on track. The same is true in your role as CEO for your career. Set up some time with yourself to articulate the vision you have for your career’s future. And come up with clear milestones you can measure against to determine if you’re on the path there. Then, have quarterly check-in’s with yourself to see if you’re on the right path.
It can be easy to blame our jobs, our company, our coworkers, our boss, our work environment for how our careers are going. And yes, while there are environmental circumstance we can’t control – reminding ourselves of the part we’ve played is crucial to being able to move past obstacles or difficult situations. I’m not saying blaming ourselves for the situations we’re in – but what I am saying is taking responsibility for how we’ve gotten to where we are. Remind yourself of the choices you’ve made that have led you to the place you’re at. Remember, no one is forcing you to go to work – no one is holding a gun to your head to make you do your tasks or say yes to that work commitment. Even when it feels like it’s out of our control – remind yourself of the part you play in it. Because by reminding yourself of the part you play, you are showing yourself where your power lies. And, as CEO – you’ve got a lot. Your career is yours to own – no one else’s.
A leadership mentality
Being a CEO does not mean just laying down the rules and scolding when things don’t go as planned. True leadership requires a leadership mentality – and that means leading with compassion along with strategy. Mistakes are a part of being human – so when you make them, be the CEO that responds with compassion, not self-loathing. This means not beating yourself up for what goes wrong or for not being where you want to be. Instead, show yourself compassion as you strategize how you can move forward from where you are now, so that you can create the career that you’ve always dreamed of.
This may seem like more than necessary, but I assure you, however much time you put into your career – is what you’ll get out of it. And, by giving yourself just a little more direction and strategic focus like any effective CEO would, you’ll be setting yourself up to be on track to create the career you’ve always wanted. It’s in your hands.