The other day I was facilitating a career development workshop for one of my corporate clients. This is a large company going through a lot of restructuring and layoffs. Many of the employees in this workshop were uncertain about their future with the company yet the theme of the day, which resonated with everyone in the room, was, “you own it”.
This workshop focused on teaching employees about taking ownership of the direction of their careers. By spending the day focused on these things, employees began to realize that regardless of whether they are impacted by a layoff or end up retiring from that company, their career growth (inside or outside their company) is completely in their own hands. It is up to them to seek out new opportunities (either inside or outside) and it is up to them to explore what is possible at different stages of their personal and professional lives. Yes, managers have some responsibility to support employees’ career development but it is the individual employee who must take the initiative to make things happen.
You should do things like keep your professional network active, keep your résumé up to date and keep your eyes and ears open about opportunities that may interest you. Regardless of what happens internal to your company, your career is always yours to control. In fact, do you know what happens when you wait around for someone else to take charge of your career development?
You own it. So take the reigns and lead it in the direction that you want.