Are you frustrated with your career direction or lack thereof? If so, you are not alone. It is nearly impossible to find a professional who has not had to reflect on how the changing job market, coupled with a digital revolution, impacts their career goals. The feeling of being stuck is undoubtedly a pervasive one. It can be tough to figure out whether all you need is a little more patience or if it is time to consider upskilling or reskilling to move forward.

Career advancement is not a one-size-fits-all process. Any recommended strategies for professional development will advise you on a handful of tips and tricks to build your brand recognition, but knowing your brand can only come from you. In any case, you can rest assured that there are ways for you to overcome the frustration of not knowing how to achieve your goals. With some professional reflection and intentional strategizing, any professional can harness the strength to forge a path forward. 

Why is it essential to cultivate an attitude of ownership?

Bob Danielle, Market Director at University of Phoenix, firmly believes in the power of cultivating an attitude of ownership to take charge of your career. Danielle commented that most employees think their employer owns their career path. However, most employers do not believe they have a responsibility for this.

This discrepancy reminds us why control matters. Take the difference between renting and owning a car, for example. When a rental car needs maintenance, the renter is not responsible. On the other hand, ownership fosters a feeling that combines “passion, commitment and confidence” to distinguish purpose. The more ownership you take over your career, the more purposeful your actions can feel. 

Danielle believes in “the fuel of ownership,” an energy source that “allows you to be that driver of that car that takes you on that career journey where you can stop and start and move to different places when you want to, not when someone else tells you to.” To him, “ownership is…contagious; it’ll take over the areas of your life, and you’ll begin to feel not just a sense of purpose, but a sense of self.” By cultivating an attitude of ownership, individuals can feel more confident in their professional mobility and pursue opportunities that excite them. 

How do you create a career narrative?

Carol Camerino, a career counselor at University of Phoenix, defines a career narrative as a story that contextualizes your qualifications based on what you have learned about yourself and how they impacted your professional development. Creating a career narrative comes in handy when you are asked the tried-and-true interview opener to tell them about yourself. While you could simply summarize your resume highlights one after another as a way of shining a light on your candidacy, you could also dive deep into why those elements of your resume are highlights in the first place. By telling a story about how a change in your career influenced your objectives, you can show an interesting, thought-provoking timeline that sets your application apart from your peers. 

When creating your career narrative, Camerino recommends that you take a glimpse over your resume and “give thought to the whats, and hows, and whys.” Thinking back to the significance of each professional and academic experience can remind you of what you can bring to a new opportunity. More specifically, reflecting on your resume’s context can help you show your potential employer the ways you learn and approach new endeavors. 

About the University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix offers more than 100 online degree programs aligned to over 300 professional occupations. The University of Phoenix reviews speaks for itself. The University also boasts a broad array of certificate programs. Students can enroll in online or in-person associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral programs. Popular areas of study include business, education, healthcare and technology. 

The University’s unique commitment to non-traditional learners and adult students lies at the core of its flexible learning policies. As a result, students can earn an education on their chosen terms while balancing extracurricular obligations at work and home.