If you are waiting around for new career opportunities or promotions to be dropped in your lap, you’re going to be waiting a long time. The fact is, the only person who is in charge of your career trajectory is you. If you have goals and aspirations to move beyond where you are today, it’s time to take ownership of your career.
If you wait for your boss to give you new responsibilities, if you hope for a promotion, if you wait for recruiters to find you with offers of new opportunities, etc., you are reactive. Taking ownership of your career requires you to stop waiting and hoping and start doing. Sit down with your boss to outline your career goals and to ask for more responsibilities. At the same time, reach out to recruiters and let them know you are open to change. Step into the driver’s seat and start moving forward.
Research and Network
There may be growth opportunities at your company, but don’t wait around for them. Start researching other organizations that might be a great fit and begin networking with people who work there. Lookup people on LinkedIn, see if you have mutual connections, and find a reason to reach out and introduce yourself. The fact is, individuals expect to be contacted on LinkedIn, so it’s a low-pressure way to make connections within your target organizations. Just make sure you help them out in return whenever possible because networking only works when it’s a two-way street.
Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
You will never achieve the changes you want if you stay stuck in the same routines. Step outside your comfort zone regularly to push your boundaries, have new experiences and grow as a professional. This might mean taking on responsibilities outside your comfort zone, attending a networking event alone, asking someone to be your mentor, applying for a job that is slightly out of your league, etc. If it makes you a little nervous, it’s probably something you should try. You never know where a new experience will take you, but if you stay in the same routine, you know that you’ll be in exactly the same spot in six months, one year or even five years from now.
Partner With A Recruiter
Once you take ownership of your career, you’ll begin to have new experiences and grow as a professional. But uncovering new opportunities and landing a new job can take months, if not years. Partnering with a professional engineering recruiter can help you achieve your goals much faster. A recruiter will match you with jobs and projects that align with your skills, experience, and career goals.