Career Corner: Be the CEO of your career

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Angela Copeland

Lately, the news has focused a lot on topics evoking fear. The stock market is down. Hiring is likely to slow down. Prices are skyrocketing. The labor shortage still exists and the supply chain issues are not fully resolved.

Uncertainty and fear are often the product of the unknown and of change. These feelings can cause us to try to find or stay in a stable place. But in the way business works today, uncertainty can become a normal part of the job.

Let’s go back a bit. Just a few generations ago, a stable job in a company lasted a whole career. If you were pragmatic, you would get a job and slowly climb the corporate ladder, one step at a time.

It has evolved. For many career paths, the path to the top now involves a series of job changes. Whether you change company or professional field, the road is no longer linear.

The more non-linear your career, the more you introduce both change and risk. After all, you can join a new company that isn’t right for you. You may try a new type of role and find that it doesn’t work. But many successful careers now require this type of change to continue to grow.

As you can imagine, your current company is less likely to invest resources in you if your path will take you outside of its doors. This requires you to be in the driver’s seat. You must establish your own relationships, be responsible for your own upbringing, and go your own way. You must be the CEO of your own career.

But it is not without risks. You may not always have the same income. The competition is higher. You need to prove your worth to stay relevant. In other words, today’s market is full of uncertainty and change.

If you find yourself at a point in your career where you’re ready for a change, don’t wait. Things may or may not feel more stable soon. Do not mistake yourself. I’m not suggesting you quit your job without a plan. This means you should start taking small steps today that will lead to bigger changes later. Start networking and job interviews. Go through uncertainty and change one step at a time.

Leadership and career expert Angela Copeland can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.

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