Career Success Comes to Those Who Take Personal Responsbility

Penelope Trunk writes an interesting blog.  I don’t always agree with what she has to say, but I almost always take the time to read her writing.  In a recent blog post called “The Age of Personal Responsibility” she says…

“You are responsible for your career.  Make sure you take care of your own career development. You have to keep your learning curve high. If people don’t like you, it’s probably your fault. If you have a bad boss, it’s probably your fault.

“What I have found in my own career, and in the careers of people I coach, is that the more responsibility you take, the more you can affect change. If you blame outside forces for your problems, you have to wait for outside forces to fix things for you; which means you have given up control over your own life.  The Age of Personal Responsibility is exciting. Because the more responsibility we take, the more control we have over our own happiness.”

I agree with Penelope on this one.   What she says is not only true, it’s some of the most important career success advice you’ll ever get.  Tweet 21 in my career advice book Success Tweets says, “You’re in charge! Commit to taking personal responsibility for creating the life and career success you want and deserve.”

You demonstrate your commitment to your career success – to yourself and to the world – by doing three things.  First, take personal responsibility for your career success.  Only you can make you a career success.  You must be willing to do the things necessary to succeed.  Second, set high goals – and then do whatever it takes to achieve them.  Third, stuff happens; as you go through life you will encounter many problems and setbacks.  You need to react positively to the negative stuff and move forward toward your goals, dreams and career success.

George Bernard Shaw, my favorite playwright makes an interesting point about personal responsibility…

“I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.  I rejoice in life for its own sake.  Life is no ‘brief candle’ for me.  It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”

I know that I want my life to be a splendid torch that burns long and brightly.  That’s why I agree with Penelope when she says we must choose to commit to take personal responsibility for our life and career success.  Reveling in hard work is the best way to take personal responsibility for your career success.

The common sense career success coach point here is simple.  Successful people commit to taking personal responsibility for creating the successful life and career they want and deserve.  They set high goals – and do whatever it takes to accomplish them.  They react positively to the people and events in their lives – especially the negative people and events.  They relish the days when they have a lot to do, and then go on and do it.  They get great satisfaction from working hard and seeing the results of their labor.  When was the last day when you were truly busy?  How did you feel at the end of it?  If you’re an achiever – someone who is committed to your life and career success – I bet you felt exhilarated and ready to go the next day.

That’s the career advice I found in Penelope Trunk’s thoughts on personal responsibility.  What do you think?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  As always, thanks for reading my daily musings on life and career success.  I value you and I appreciate you.


PS: If you haven’t already done so, I suggest that you check out my career advice book Success Tweets and its companion piece Success Tweets Explained.  The first gives you 140 bits of career success advice tweet style — in 140 characters or less.  The second is a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail.  Go to to claim your free copy.  You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.

PPS: Have you seen my membership site, My Corporate Climb?  It’s devoted to helping people just like you create career success inside large corporations.  You can find out about it by going to http://www.mycorporateclimb.


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