Progress at work: How to own your career now

Progress at work: How to own your career now

Build a career plan that you’re passionate about and plays to your strengths.

BY Avi Vince, 5 min READ

Business Chicks have partnered with Australian Unity for Wellness Week 14-20 October, 2019. If you need a better deal on your health insurance, look no further; Business Chicks subscribers enjoy a great 7% discount* and Premium members enjoy an 8.5% discount* on all Australian Unity health insurance covers. Find out more here. 


“Where do you see yourself in the next five years?”

The normally annoying question reserved for job interviews is now something employees are constantly asking themselves as they regularly assess their careers.

Sharyn Donaghy, Head of Career Solutions Career Ahead and National Executive Committee member for Career Development Association of Australia calls this owning your career.

“Owning your own career means that you have invested the time in building a career plan that you are passionate about and that will help you unleash your potential,” she says.

“An excellent career plan requires research about possible options, speaking to people in the industry and understanding the pathways you could take, this helps you to build the clarity required on your career goals.”

Sharyn highlights to not only use your head when developing a career plan, but your heart too. She recommends looking at the opportunities and asking yourself how they make you feel and what gets you excited.

How to own your career

Typically, when you think of a career plan, you think of what areas you need to develop.

Sharyn says that, while this is great, employees are missing a critical area.

“Reflect on your strengths, the things that come more easily to you,” she says. “Leveraging and amplifying these are key to a successful career.”

She recommends assessing your career goals to understand what critical skills and experiences are needed to achieve those goals.

“What can you do to grow your capabilities? But most importantly, how can you use your strengths to find energy and grow confidence.”

Sharyn says business owners need a career plan too, particularly solopreneurs, as they can get stuck in the day-to-day of a business.

“Business owners forget they need a plan. Being clear about your own plan and where you going, why are you in business at all, what skills are you going to intentionally develop are all critical to directing the choices you make along the way and being able to enjoy the journey.”

When you’re not happy with where you are

“What is it you really want to be doing? If you’re not sure, then delve into research mode,” advises Sharyn.

“Ask trusted advisors, like old bosses or colleagues about their careers. Increase your networking in the areas you think you might enjoy learning about. You’ll pick up great information along the way and be building key contacts who will be open to helping in the future.”

There is a misconception that today’s generation of employees are jumping ship more readily than previous generations.

Instead a 2019 report by Deloitte found that, “Australians are staying in their jobs longer than ever. In fact, 45 per cent of workers have been with their current employer for more than five years”.

But what if you’ve come to the decision you no longer want to be where you are?

For anyone looking for a complete career overhaul, Sharyn recommends taking a minute to develop an individual development plan.

“I encourage working with a professional to empower the process,” she says.

“Conduct research, network and talk to people who are leaders in the industry you are looking to switch into and reflect on transferable skills you already have.”

“Don’t compare yourself to others. You are on your own individual journey – embrace it, own it and don’t be afraid to reach out for support.”

Read all of our Wellness Week articles here. 


©2020 Business Chicks

Log in

Forgot your password?