Ever found yourself wondering how that job you took to fund your life became your life? Or maybe you are stuck in the same job you started before you graduated. Perhaps you have been made redundant or accepted a voluntary separation.

Moments like these can make you feel like you’re not in control of your career. Here are five steps you can take right now to put yourself back in the driver’s seat of your career.

Take control of your future

When looking to progress our career or when facing change and transition, we can become a little out of tune and start to question what we should or should have not done.  If this is you, and you are wanting to take proactive steps, draw a line in the sand right now. Stop endlessly scrolling through job ads. Instead you should grab a pen and paper and get started.

1. Make a list of what is not working for you in your current job or career.

Start by creating three columns with the following headings:

  • What I do/did each day
  • What I am trained for
  • My skills

Now start writing down everything that applies under each of the headings. Don’t overthink it! This is a brain dump – just write it down as you would say it.

2. Make a list of what you want to DO day to day

For this exercise, don’t think about titles, like CEO, management consultant or HR administrator.  These are all titles and titles for jobs don’t necessarily reflect what that job involves on a day to day basis.

Instead write down what you want to DO every day to earn a living.

For example:  I want to analyse marketing data so that I can make recommendations on marketing strategy and customer habits for clients.  Or I want to prepare financial statements for business so that I can report back on the financial status of a company.  I want to assist people to find their next job so that they can achieve their potential.

It is essential to realise at this point that every job has its downside. Even if you are the CEO, own your business or work for yourself, you will have items in you’d be tempted to throw in the too hard basket. There will be things you do not enjoy doing.

If you want to build on this step, also take a few moments to write down how you want to make an impact, or how you can contribute to help society.

3. Compare your lists

Now it’s time to compare the list of what you currently do, what you are trained for, your skills, and the list of what you actually want to do.

  • What are the differences?
  • What are your observations?
  • How can you move from your current situation and take steps towards your desired future?
  • Are there gaps in your education, skills or capabilities?
  • How will your natural talents add value to this change?

4. Create your roadmap

Grab another piece paper and write down your vision of where you want to be and then make a list of the things you need to do to get there.


  • Connecting and talking to others who are already working in this type of position or working in the industry.
  • Research companies who employ people in the job you want to do. Perhaps you already know someone working for a company like that.
  • Identify how your current skills, strengths, capabilities, natural talents and experiences can be applied to the job you desire.
  • Join the peak body or professional association of the job you seek.  Start networking and learning from others.
  • Showcase your value – in writing, verbally and through your behaviour – so that people start to see your value and capacity to do the job you want to do.
  • If you not be working right now – volunteering for an organisation you believe in can be a very powerful way of connecting with like minded people, expanding your capability and showcasing your talents.  Further, by volunteering and giving back you will feel positive and connected to people.

If you’re not sure how to do all of these things, you should consider signing up for Steam Capital’s Activate Your Career – Take Control And Design Your Future programs. These three-day workshops upskill participants in the hard and soft skills needed to stand out in a highly competitive employment market. Our program shows you how to navigate the employment process with purpose and intent, gain the confidence to capitalise on your strengths, reach for your potential and develop resilience. You’ll benefit from the experience of a range of experts and access connections to industry.

You will complete our program knowing what steps you need to take next to thrive in the ever-changing world of work, connect your potential with opportunity and take control of your future.

REGISTER NOW for Activate Your Career – Take control and Design Your Future 2018.

5. Take Action!

There’s no point making a list if you’re going to forget about it. Get out there and start ticking off each item on your list.

Libby Marshall

Author Libby Marshall

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