Own Your Career

by Ed Britton

The biggest mistake that you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else. Job security is gone. The driving force of a career must come from the individual. Remember: Jobs are owned by the company. You own your career!
– Earl Nightingale

Sometimes, I have felt that other people were in control of my career. I felt that I could make better decisions about how to develop, apply, and manage this critically important asset: my life’s work. I was the one who put the money, time and effort into my education and training. Shouldn’t I have more say in what is done with it? Frankly, I have felt trapped

In the information age, we invest massively in preparation for our careers. Yet we learn almost nothing about how we can take command of what we do to feed our families and serve our souls. There is so much that we can do to be in charge of how we contribute, earn a living, and spend most of our waking hours.

And that is about the best news that a person could hear.

A concept and piece of vocabulary from the world of computer war games speaks to the strategy that will lead us to this personal power. As young players assemble an overwhelming force of armies and hardware around a strategic target, I hear them declare, “I own you!” The phrase speaks of clear and undisputed victory.

You can own your career. You can strategically plan and array resources and capabilities around your mission so that you make the important decisions, do what you were born to do, and live the life of your passion.

Winning a battle — and much more a war — takes clear intent, forethought, strategy, hard work, resources, alliances, and political maneuvering. Similarly, the battle for control of your personal talent – a valuable and coveted asset – will be infused with careful planning and diligent, persistent effort. The power that developing this discipline gives you is simply exhilarating.

It takes time to own your career. Yet, there are few goals more worthy and few achievements more liberating. Self determination in our life’s work is entirely possible and not limited to certain kinds of employment. Whether you aspire to be a free lance artist or a corporate executive, you can have your career on your terms.

What makes this even better news is that it is fun – more fun than a computer game – because it is real!

Own your career!

Ed BrittonEd Britton is a career and leadership coach who lives in Calgary, Canada. He also serves the IAC as the Director of Development and leads the Path to Mastery coaching triads program. Ed has a background in the physical sciences, in adult education and leadership development. After living in China for 10 years, Ed looks forward to a Canadian winter and cross country skiing! If you would like to participate in the Path to Mastery coaching triads program, please contact Ed at ed.britton@certifiedcoach.org.

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