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Take Control of Your Career Development

  • 18th Jan'23

The age of DIY professional development is currently upon us. Formal training is less often provided by businesses and becoming a long-standing trend. This could be because businesses don't see the benefit in investing in individuals who are likely to quit. After all, they change jobs so frequently (the average job tenure nowadays is roughly four years). It stands in stark contrast to the investments top leaders once made in their workforce.

In this blog, we will discuss 7 ways to take control of your career development if your company doesn’t care about it.

Sadly, businesses today inadvertently expose workers to skill gaps and blind spots that can sabotage careers and business effectiveness. Additionally, management may be doing little to help. Some are too preoccupied with protecting their interests to have the time or energy to consider those of others.

Organizations could do more to support career development, including promoting more immediate feedback, creating clear performance standards, delivering developmental feedback with clarity and sensitivity, and giving managers the tools and incentives they need to prioritize employee growth. However, in actuality, it is the employees who bear the heavier load. Workers at all levels need to develop the ability to recognize their areas of weakness, their blind spots, and their skill gaps.

7 Ways to Take Control of Your Career Development If Your Company Doesn’t Care About It


1. Recognize the criteria used to evaluate you.

What does success in your position entail? What are the success metrics for your job? The easiest way to do this is to discuss it with your manager, but if that doesn't happen, you should write down what you think the objectives and key performance indicators are. Take them to your manager for approval, and have continuing conversations to ensure you stay on the right path.


2. Find solutions to your blind spots.

Top performers consistently ask for feedback from their supervisor, peers, and subordinates and are always learning and making adjustments. If your manager doesn't provide you with feedback right away, strike up a conversation on your own. Describe one aspect of a presentation or a significant meeting that you believe went well, and then ask for feedback on one aspect that could be improved. It's best to keep things straightforward because most people can only take in one new skill at a time. Pay attention to your boss's advice and express gratitude.


3. Document your knowledge.

By keeping a journal, you can record criticism and lessons learned. Make a list of the five to ten talents or competencies you need to gain for your position and rate each one of them (either independently or with the assistance of a trustworthy advisor). You might assign yourself an A in advertisement development, a B+ in pricing research, and a C in trade marketing, for instance, if you work in brand marketing. To close skill gaps, concentrate on the Cs. You can learn more quickly by asking someone who has held your position in the past for input.


4. Make yourself more visible to the C-suite.

Senior leaders may not always be able to see your direct work, so you might try volunteering for programs like on-campus recruiting, company events, or charitable activities. This is a simple but sometimes disregarded method of meeting senior individuals who will observe you in action and, ideally, take notice of your contributions.


5. Become an authority in a subject that is getting more crucial to your business.

New technology like the internet of things, artificial intelligence, or cloud computing may be causing disruptions in your firm. Become recognized as the department's foremost authority on a new problem. Attend conferences, engage in literature reviews and research, or write on the subject. Gaining knowledge in a new field with expanding importance can result in promotions and other job prospects.

6. Look for sage advice and guidance.

Although a senior person's opinion is priceless, approaching someone and asking, "Will you be my mentor?" might turn them away. Try to arrange your meetings in a casual setting, such as the coffee shop in the foyer of your workplace, a business picnic, or a golf outing. Knowing the person's background will help you craft some insightful inquiries about their area of expertise. You'll hear, "If I can help you, let me know," if all goes well. You can invite them to "continue the conversation" over coffee a week or so later. A mentor-mentee connection may naturally grow over time.

Strong functional skills develop gradually. Being competent typically entails having in-depth functional knowledge in four or five core job areas and a good working understanding in another four or five, whether the role is in enterprise sales, brand marketing, supply chain logistics, or corporate finance. A well-rounded skill set will be difficult to acquire without the readiness to accept multiple tasks or strategically sound and even lateral moves. It requires endurance.

Take the time to improve your functional skills because they are ultimately your career capital. You won't be able to get the functional expertise you need to grow in your career if you move between jobs too frequently (for example, every 18 months or every two years). You have a much better chance of thriving in this world of DIY with time, patience, and ambition.


7. Be Unique Among Others

Last but not least, you want to make as much of an impression as you can. If you have complete control over your work performance, you advance at the rate you desire, are ready for, and have several opportunities to do so. You must go above and beyond what is expected of you, accept challenging and perhaps undesirable assignments, and occasionally even accept assignments that are uncomfortable for you. You will distinguish yourself from the competition by showcasing your capacity to succeed outside of your comfort zone, shining in challenging situations, and constantly exceeding expectations. You will be in complete control of the course of your career, and your company's leaders and clients will look to you for advice.

Whatever you want your career to be, it can be. You can shape its growth and development any way you see fit. These actions will help guarantee that you have control over the degree of success you experience. 

So these were 7 ways to take control of your career development if your company doesn’t care about it. Companies can support employee career advancement if they wish to do so.


Employees at all levels must learn to recognize their areas of strength as well as their areas for improvement. The author of this article provides six tips for taking charge of your studies and career: First, be aware of the criteria used to evaluate you. Second, get input, especially on areas where you could have blind spots. Third, grade yourself on each competency you need to perform your job properly, and concentrate your time and efforts on the areas that require the most work. Fourth, make yourself more visible to senior leaders so that your efforts will be acknowledged. Fifth, become the departmental authority on a new problem that's critical to the business.

Find a decent mentor who can guide you along the road, and that's all. There are no shortcuts, but with diligence and persistence, you can acquire the knowledge, connections, and experiences necessary to succeed in the profession.

Shellye is committed to helping people from diverse backgrounds to achieve their aspirations in careers and life. The content published above was made in collaboration with our members.

Shellye Archambeau is determined to help you with all possible strategies to climb the ladder of success. She values your feedback. Do mention them in the comment section below.


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