You’re the Only One Who Is In Charge of Your Career Success

I send a motivational quote to members of my career mentoring site every day. Last Friday’s quote was from Earl Nightingale. Check it out…

The biggest mistake that you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else. The driving force of a career must come from the individual. Remember: Jobs are owned by the company, you own your career!”

Very true.  J T O’Donnell, my friend and founder of CareerHMO, is fond of reminding her coaching clients that they are a company of one.

When I graduated from Penn State in 1972 conventional career wisdom went something like this, “Find a good company, stay with them and work your way up the ladder.” In those days, there was an implied contract – if you worked hard, did your job and remained loyal to the company, the company would remain loyal to you.

Those days are gone. These days, companies have less loyalty to their employees. And consequently, employees have less loyalty to their companies. A recent Forbes article said that all employees stay in their jobs for 4.4 years, and that millennials stay in their jobs for less than three years.

That’s not a bad thing. But is does reinforce the point made in the quote above. You have to take charge of your career. You have to own it.

Owning your career starts with getting clear on what you want out of it. Once you figure out what you want (and this can be easier said than done), you need to take personal responsibility for making it happen. This means that you don’t whine about setbacks – not getting an interview, getting an interview and no offer, getting a job but no promotions – you learn from them.

Learning from your setbacks and using this knowledge to move forward is the best way to own your career. As I say in many of my talks, “You fail only when you learn nothing from the experience.”

The message here is simple. You are in charge of your career. You need to make things happen. The best way to keep moving forward is to learn from your mistakes and setbacks and use this knowledge to do better the next time.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve. Now I’m going one step further. I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success. And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free. Just go to to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals. I hope to see you there.

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