As a professional, it is imperative to have a solid projection of where you want your career to go — even if you are working for a company and you feel that your professional growth is greatly dependent on the decision of the higher-ups.

You must have a clear idea of your career wants and needs. Otherwise, you may find yourself in the same job position for too long, or drifting too far away from your professional goals and losing this sense of purpose in what you do.

If you feel like your career is currently at a standstill and you want to make your next career move, the only way to do that is to put matters into your own hands.

Here are the best strategies to get you started:

The Steps to Taking Charge of Your Career

1. Write down your frustrations

It always helps to get all your disappointments and frustrations out and put them on paper. You need a visual representation of the things that are wrong about your career so you can easily identify the reasons behind them as well as find ways to make things right.

2. Draft a new plan for your career

Once you have purged yourself of the frustrations you have about your present career situation, it is time to clearly set where you want your career to go. List down the experiences you want and the salary you believe you deserve to get. Most importantly, create a timetable.

The timetable is the most vital element of your plan.

It will set where you currently are in your career path so you can identify logical stages for the rest of your journey. Likewise, it will help break down your goals into bite-sized chunks and ensure that you are accomplishing your objectives in every corresponding stage.

3. Assess how the organization you are working for “plays” in your career journey

Direct your attention to how the company you are employed at is allowing and has allowed you to progress in your career. Surely, you have been presented growth opportunities and have learned new tricks of the trade even if you presently feel stagnated.

After a thorough assessment, meet with your managers and HR.

Discuss with them your concerns and where you want your career to go. This also serves as a chance for you to learn the reasons why there hasn’t been a lot of movement in your professional life.

Their response will determine if you should stay or start looking for greener pastures to ensure the advancement of your career.

4. Improve yourself

Whether you decide to stay or leave your employer, it is crucial to establish the ways by which you can improve yourself. Being a better you is a reliable way to steer your career in the right direction or level you want it to go.

Create two categories for improvement: personal and skills.

Personal Improvement

Making adjustments or tweaks to the kind of person you are will have a huge impact on you achieving your career objectives. So take the time to reflect upon yourself to pinpoint personality traits that can boost your career. At the same time, identify weaknesses that need to be addressed.

Another thing to take into account is your adoption of “success habits.” Take cues from successful people and implement their ways in your life. You just might discover the most effective routine for you and boost your confidence, health and productivity in the process.

Skills Development

Study your industry and see where it is heading to know the skills that can ensure your competitive advantage.

Look for training courses offered online or by industry experts. Sign up for these and gain certifications that will permit you to perform tasks that require adherence to strict standards.

One of the most in demand and relevant courses offered nowadays are digital marketing courses. All industries require some form of marketing and the most powerful marketing programs are implemented using the digital realm.

Even if you are not a member of the marketing department of your company, you will find that the creative principles taught in such a course can be applied in your own work tasks. Likewise, learning digital marketing can open new avenues to reinvigorate your career, such as side hustles.

Other relevant courses to consider, especially in a competitive corporate setting, are “train the trainer” courses. By taking this type of course, you can elevate your expertise in what you do for the company by being an effective repository of knowledge for new hires or trainees.

In a Nutshell…

A career that keeps your passion alive is rarely easy to have because there are different factors that can derail or impede your progress. However, you can do something — in fact, you can do several things.

Continue to polish your character and do not be content with your expertise in executing the responsibilities assigned to you. Expand your skills set with the help of a professional training program provider.

With a mindset of personal improvement for professional success, you will be able to effectively steer your career in the direction you want it to go.


With over 20 years of experience in B2B marketing, Annick Nuyens first worked in the hospitality service industry and then moved to the knowledge industry. She currently works for Informa in the Dubai office, where she oversees marketing for public and inhouse training courses, conferences, exhibitions and managed events across the Middle East and Africa.