Michael Sterling

How to Tackle the Career Control Conundrum


Career control is a conundrum.  Is your career in the hands of your manager(s), co-workers or family? Sure – to a degree. Without the proper support from those around you, it can be tough to build career momentum. However, professional success is truly yours to own. You’re in the driver’s seat. No one is going to hand you success. Only you are responsible for your goals, decisions and actions.


5 Ways to Take Career Control


  1. Get Others Out of Your Head. Filter out the naysayers, the bullies and the gossips. Resist reading into people’s words and actions. That almost always becomes an energy drain and a negative self-fulfilling prophesy. Make your decisions based upon facts. If someone around you is speculating, stay out of it. Rely on self-confidence, self-control and, when necessary, self-correction.
  2. Align Priorities. Know your employer’s priorities and make them your own. Understand your firm’s focus and how your skills and experience can benefit the good of the whole. Continuously look for ways to improve your efficiency, test your ideas, and when they work, communicate those up.  If your employer’s priorities are in contrast with your values or goals – it’s time to move on.
  3. Be Proactive. If you’re not having monthly review meetings, formal or informal, take the initiative and arrange those yourself. Ensure your manager & their manager/partner know what you’re doing. Always have an action plan to improve your quality, speed, and knowledge. Communicate with your supervisor or manager routinely and consistently seek their input. Always approach these conversations from a confident, upbeat mindset. When you create your action plan, think like a partner – how can I improve client service, how can I expand business, how can I develop staff, and how can I improve firm profit?
  4. Form Habits. Consistency is key. Remember the phrase “Practice Makes Perfect?” Few things are mastered with one try. Develop positive habits to leverage career control.
  5. Shape Shift. When an unexpected change happens somewhere along the line, embrace it as an opportunity. Be willing to morph and mold yourself to respond to life’s ‘curve balls’. Control also requires being fluid and flexible. Something unexpected happens in everyone’s life and career, but those who continuously practice the elements of career control always rebound well, and often find they take a significant leap forward!


If you do these five things, you’ll find yourself on a clear path to success. Defining your career control also requires you to identify what you cannot control. Acknowledging the items beyond your power of control frees you to concentrate your time and energy on what matters.


As a career coach and recruiter, working exclusively with Public Accountants, I help professional attain their career goals. Connect with me on LinkedIn.


Interested in more career nutrition? Check out the Career Wellness section of the SterlingFreeman website.  


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